Easter 4 2018 Fr. Michael
Oh what a Great and Loving God we have….
a God that saw His Creation terribly sick, gone astray, lost, and sinking in its own sin.
A loving God who decided to save His people; thus sending His Son to cure us of our dreadful disease, called sin;
yes, He sent a Son to heal and return His Creation unto its original goodness.
A God who so loved us, that He would submit to sinful man’s cruelty and hatred and would hang upon the Cross –
not to appease an angry Father, but to heal His Creation.
A loving God who defeated death and sin by rising from the grave on the third day. 1Co 15:55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
and now in the Gospel this morning we are told of a Loving God who leaves us not alone to continue this battle.
The Gospel lesson today from John is loaded with mysteries and doctrines which are foundations of our faith.
However, I am not sure if we hear these words, within our lives of Faith.
Unfortunately our lives, even within the life of His Church, is sometimes lead and fed by our own arrogance and pride.
Many trust in ourselves and the world around us, to guide us.
Often some think that they KNOW and UNDERSTAND the things of God, better and more fully than His Church.
Let us examine just a few words of Jesus, speaking of the Holy Ghost:
“He shall glorify me”
“He shall glorify me: for he shall shew it unto you.”
Bottom line: the HOLY GHOST IS OUR LORD’S GLORIFIER.
And that which does not glorify Christ is not of the Holy Spirit,
and that which is of the Holy Spirit, invariably glorifies our Lord Jesus Christ.
Often we pray for things of comfort, and not things of Christ?
We hear words of comfort at home or in church, which sounds good – but are of “stuff” and “things” — and not of Christ.
The words of some prayers may even charm you, and yet, when examined they are for our, or for others, glory.
True prayers of comfort draw upon the person of Christ and His glory.
Beware, and be suspicious, upon comfort which does not come from Christ.
Seeking peace; we should insist that “I will not be comforted, till Jesus comforts me.”
I have read: “I will not go to Mr. Civility, or Mr. Legality, for the unloading of my burden;
no hands shall lift me from my sin, but those that were nailed to the cross.”
If Christ be not glorified, then be not consoled.
Of the Holy Ghost: Christ says “He shall glorify me”; therefore, any religion or faith that does not so, makes Christ “LESS.”
Many magnify man as his own redeemer, through his own “good-works,” thus preaching an “earning of salvation”,
while attempting to make sinful acts “un-sinful,” by cheapening Christ.
The Holy Ghost at times even puzzles Christians of strong faith.
Sometimes we lay out the grandest plans: let us say, to draw this person or that person, let’s say – into our church family.
If the plan fails we often become discouraged and confused,
fearing that we have done poorly, groaning we have failed to “glorify Christ.”
Believe me; I have felt this pain many a times.
But it is exactly at these times that we have to remind ourselves of the words of Jesus, that it is He (the Holy Ghost) that “shall glorify Me.”
Sometimes it is not merely we who speak, but the Spirit of the Lord, who speaketh by us.
If we are confused within, we must clear our heart and invite the Holy Ghost to intercede,
and being be open to what must always be “His own work!”
Think about it . . . How can you or I glorify anybody, much less glorify Him – who is infinitely glorious?
But the Holy Ghost, being himself the glorious God, can glorify the glorious Christ.
It is a work worthy of God; and it shows us,
the absolute need of our crying out to the Holy Spirit that he takes us in his hand, and use us – as a workman uses his hammer.
What can a hammer do without the hand that grasps it?
And, what can we do without the Spirit of God grasping our lives?
With the Holy Ghost being the Glorifier of Christ, His glory is indeed in very safe hands.
So, lift up the hands that hang down, and strengthen those feeble knees.
For, if you fail to glorify Christ by your speech, there is another who has done it, and who will still do it, according to Christ’s words,
“He … … … shall glorify me.”
As well, CHRIST’S OWN THINGS ARE HIS BEST GLORY.
When the Holy Spirit wants to glorify Christ, what does he do?
He does not go abroad for anything; he comes to Christ himself, for that which will be for Christ’s own glory:
“He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.”
There can be no glory added to Christ; it must be his own glory,
which is made apparent to the hearts of His people through the Holy Spirit.
Christ needs no new inventions!
Often we seek a new line of thought while proclaiming “We have found out something very wonderful.”
And many may agree with us.
But scripture tells us; that it is Christ, the same yesterday, to-day, and forever.
Do you really believe that Christ is in need of our inventions, or our discoveries?
Must we add ,or subtract, from his truth and glory.
Think upon these words:
A plain Christ is ever the loveliest Christ.
Dress him up, and you have deformed him and defamed him.
(!) Bring him out just as He is! The Christ, nothing else but Christ.
Bring and take his cross with you, for we preach Christ crucified;
indeed, some will say you cannot have the Christ / without the cross;
but preach Christ crucified, and you will give him all the glory possible.
The Holy Ghost does not reveal any new and fresh ordinances,
or any novel doctrines, or any new evolutions;
but He simply brings to mind the things which Christ himself spoke,
he brings Christ’s own things to us, and in that way He glorifies Him
as we may receive fresh thoughts that enlighten our faith,
but they must be nourished by the Holy Spirit and not this deformed world of doubt in which we live.
Thus, you see that the things which glorify Christ – are all in Christ;
the Holy Spirit fetches nothing from abroad,
but He takes of the things of Christ; and shows them unto us.
The glory of kings lies in their silver and their gold,
their silk and their gems;
but the glory of Christ lies in himself.
We may bring presents to glorify man;
however, to glorify Christ; we simply must accept His Free gifts to us.
So, do this beginning today; partake of His Body and His Blood,
Taking that cup of salvation,
And invite the Holy Ghost to Glorify Christ through you
calling upon the name of the Lord,
and in so doing let the Spirit do His work within your life.
Let Him lead you nearer to the power, of being refreshed by the bliss and joy which is Jesus Christ … for ever and ever.
The Holy Spirit takes of the things of Christ,
and shows them to us, and so glorifies Christ.
So may all Glory be to the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
The hour cometh….