Sermon – May 17th, 2020

he “Blessings Track” for this week is “Wayfaring Stranger” by the Franz Family https://youtu.be/EqcyCmEfPNc
May the good Lord be with you!

A New Revelation for a Time of Pandemic:

Three short meditations on God’s love, grace, and mercy.

“Those who love me, will be loved by my Father… And I will love them, and I will reveal myself to them.”

As we navigate our present season so filled with unknowns and “What ifs,” it is comforting to have an anchor to secure our lives.  Even more so when the anchor is God’s everlasting love.  And let me double it down – it is even more comforting to know that love, and only love with no other preconditions or additions, is at the heart of any relationship with God.

And it is only from that intimate relationship that everything else flows.  “If you care about me, you’ll see how easy is to live my way,” says Jesus.  While religions and secular philosophies entreat one to follow a certain way of life to eventually find union with the divine, Jesus, on the other hand turns the proposition upside down.  It is in union with Him that we will develop God’s way of living.  And that is the kind of good news that we need to hear.

“Help is on the way”

It may have happened to any of us – being left in the lurch, being let down by friends or even family members, to fend for ourselves.  Now, when the storm of Covid-19 is pouring down on us, with problems and debts piling up, sick friends or relatives lost to the virus, furloughs or, worse, being laid off from a company closing for good, one may find oneself, once again, betrayed by life.

I will not be a surprise that even surrounded by people that are on our side, one may still feel being left all alone, all by ourselves.  In the words of the Gospel, “comfortless,” (14:18).

John was there.  He used words that echoed how he felt in hearing our Lord’s words announcing the dark days ahead – As any newly orphan would feel, they felt comfortless, deprived, broken-harted.

And to him, and to all of us who are looking ahead to a prolonged difficult season, Jesus promises that He would not leave us orphaned.  He would send someone – A Holy Comforter or a Divine Cheerleader – to be with us through all the painful and difficult days, as well as rejoicing in us and with us, as we move forward into a future not any more as orphans, but as siblings of the Lord of the Universe.

“Because I live, you also will be alive.”

Last Sunday I said that “(…) there is life and then, there is life.  There is life being caught up in one’s or someone else’s trivial matters or there is life to address things that really matter in life.  There is life being caught in the rat race or there is life to race towards what truly is valuable in life.”  In other words, there is life and then, there is being alive.

Addressing his disciples Jesus promised, “Because I live, you will be alive.”  As Jesus warned in his story about the impudent rich man, the kind of life that Jesus offers is not a life to be understood by how much we receive and how much we have.  Being alive is signed by how much we receive and how much we share as God’s stewards of His never-ending grace and mercy.  To be alive in Jesus is to go the extra mile, to share God’s blessings, to be merciful, and to rejoice in God’s abundant love, grace, and love – for you, and for others.

Being alive is the only way to understand our Lord’s saying, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

Heavenly Friend:  When you realized your apostles’ despair, your promised that You would not abandon them.  As we trod the unexplored path of this unwelcomed season, send your Spirit to lead us into your ways, ever secure in your everlasting love and grace.  Amen.

Fr. Gustavo,
The Rev. T. G. Mansella, Vicar
St. David’s Church
PO Box 125
11291 West River Road
Aylett, VA 23009-0125
+1 804 496 1002