Sermon May 8, 2022: Rerun, Part 1: Let Jesus Nurture You (Eastertide 3, Mother’s Day)

Images via Pixabay and Amr Idris MD

If you prefer to worship at home at this time or simply wish to listen to the service or sermon again, please click on the link below to watch the entire worship service as a video on your home computer, tablet or smartphone:

Link to Video:

Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/707374871

Screencast-o-matic: https://screencast-o-matic.com/watch/c3hi03VrcQy

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If you would prefer not to view the video, you’re welcome to use the links below to have a time of worship at home. (Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

CALL TO WORSHIP: (St. Teresa of Avila:)

Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which   He looks
Compassion on this world…
Yours are the feet with which he walks   to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which He looks
Compassion on this world.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.


HYMN Jesus Loves Me
Jesus Loves Me (with lyrics) performed by Rosemary Siemens
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wO-XbSaCX4c

(Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

A TIME OF PRAYER (Testimonies, Joys & Concerns)

Congregational Prayer − Almighty God, through Jesus Christ you overcame death and opened to us the gate of everlasting life. Grant that we, who celebrate the day of our Lord’s resurrection, may, by the renewing of your Spirit arise from the death of sin to the life of righteousness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Please pray for yourself and your neighbors, lifting up your needs to God while giving thanks for answered prayer.

The Lord’s Prayer: Our Father, who art in heaven; hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

HYMN 445 Happy the Home When God Is There
Happy Our Home When God Is There
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFYc9MICVCE

(Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

MOMENTS WITH THE CHILDREN – If you are blessed to have children with you, ask them what they are thankful for, and then thank God together!

GIVING OF OUR TITHES AND OFFERINGS – these can be mailed to the church office.

MESSAGE: Rerun, Part 1: Let Jesus Nurture You
Matt 4:19-20, John 10:10-11, Matt 11: 28-30, John 13:34-35, John 20:19-23, Matt 28:16-20.
Series: Instructions for Resurrection and Revival

Right-click, open in new tab to play … Sermon audioSermon slides as a PDF file.
Saturday Video AudioWesley Sermon Audio

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SERMON NOTES

Matt 4:19 And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” 20 Immediately they left their nets and followed him.

John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. 11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

Matt 11: 28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

John 13:34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

John 20:19 On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20 When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.” 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

Matt 28:16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 And when they saw him they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.”

Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.   – Howard Thurman

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HYMN O How I Love Jesus
Carrie Underwood – Oh How I Love Jesus (lyrics)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Plf4djQMn8

(Just right click on the link to “open link in a new tab” to play each hymn or the sermon in a separate tab, and close that tab when finished.)

BENEDICTION: Please recommit your life to the service of Jesus as Lord with the words of The Prayer of St Francis:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace
Where there is hatred, let me sow love
Where there is injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, faith
Where there is despair, hope
Where there is darkness, light
And where there is sadness, joy
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console
To be understood, as to understand
To be loved, as to love
For it is in giving that we receive
And it’s in pardoning that we are pardoned
And it’s in dying that we are born to Eternal Life
Amen

All Scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

If you worship at home, please let us know so we can pray for you!

TRANSCRIPT

Mother’s Day: Let me ask you a question that reveals a lot about you. What do you like to do for fun? And around our house, a lot of times it’s this: reruns.

Many, many years ago – about 15, 16 years ago – I was in a hotel room with a friend of mine. We’d gone to a workshop in Des Moines, Iowa. And he said, “Oh, Dave, you’ve got to watch this TV show with me.” He would never miss it. And that was the first time I saw an episode of The West Wing. And I liked it so much. I said to my friend, “How can I see all of these?” And he says, “It’s easy. Just join Netflix.”

Netflix is full of reruns. And this was back in the days when they mailed you the DVD, and you mailed it back, and then they mailed you another one. And I remember working my way through every episode of The West Wing. Oh, and every episode of NCIS. And Kim and I have done that again, repeatedly. Our days have been brightened with laughter from reruns: from Friends, from The Big Bang Theory, from Young Sheldon. Our hearts have been stirred up by stories of families like Downton Abbey. (It’s a little harder for me to stay awake during that one.) And then something I need to find and watch again, The Vicar of Dibley, if you ever heard that brilliant comedy about what it’s like to be the first woman pastor in a small town in England.

But think about reruns, especially the way Netflix does them. You don’t have to wait seven days. You can go from one part of the story to the next, to the next, and relive every moment: the happy highs and wonderful days; and you can hold your breath to get through the tough days. But that’s the way reruns are. They bring back to life something we’ve seen before.

Let’s talk about Mother’s Day because Mother’s Day is going to be a day when you’ll be enjoying your own personal family reruns. The memories will come back of the happy days and the difficult days, with all their emotions. That’s what Mother’s Day is – reruns.

But underlying that is a very deep human need, which is that we are born – I think it’s fair to say we are created this way by God – we are born with a deep need to be loved with a love that is unconditional, with a love that is nurturing, with a love that is full of affirmation. Mothers look into their baby’s eyes and say, “You are so beautiful,” even when they’re not. And they look at their children’s behavior and say, “You are so wonderful,” even when we’re not.

And I do have to be honest, not every mother is perfect, nor can every day be a perfect day. Sometimes this nurturing love comes from someone else. Sometimes it’s a grandparent. One of the most beautiful ways our culture is changing is more and more fathers are loving children with this kind of love. It used to be dad would go off to the coal mines before the children were awake and would come home exhausted after the children were asleep. But now many fathers spend more time with their children. We all need this kind of mothering deeply. Psychologists have found that it’s a significant difference in the quality of life of a child if they are loved this deeply in those very early days.

Let me mention to you someone you may have never heard of, Julian of Norwich, who in the 1400s was an anchoress. You’ve probably never heard of that. But she was a nun in England who entered what they called her cell, this little room where she prayed and lived her entire adult life after the age of 30 or so. This was during the days of the Black Plague. They assume that she lost her husband due to the plague. She lost her children due to the plague. And she dedicated her life to prayer and to pray for people. And there was this little window in the room built into the church where people could come by, and she could pray with them, and she could advise them. And she spent her life thinking about what it meant for God to love people. And you know one of the conclusions she came to? We are loved by God, the Trinity, but the person of the Trinity that loves us with this nurturing, affirming, unconditional love that we talk about with regard to mothers, the person who loves us in that way is Jesus. Jesus loves us with a love that is like a mother’s love.

This has been studied. It’s really quite interesting. Lloyd Silverman and Joel Weinberger in 1985, they were researching what are called subliminal messages. That’s where you’re watching a little presentation, and a phrase flickers on the screen just for a second, too quickly for you to consciously read it. And they’ve experimented with these subliminal messages. Which ones relax people when they’re upset, which ones help students do better on tests, which ones help schizophrenics with their mental illness.

And what they found, ironically, is the most powerful subliminal message is this:

Mommy and I are one.

It’s been proven over and over again in successive studies. There’s something about the idea that you and your mom are okay, and that you are loved by your mother, that just empowers us. And you know what else they found? if you don’t get along with your mother, if you had a mother who maybe wasn’t so wonderful, it’s even more powerfully beneficial … because this is a yearning that’s inside of our soul.

And you know how it is, friends, over the years, the mother who took care of us eventually becomes someone that we parent, that we have to take care of. And that’s always reminded me of this Psalm. There comes a point in time where our father and mother can no longer do what parents would do. And this verse in Psalms 27:10 KJV … When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up.

I think we’re created by God to transfer our need to be loved unconditionally in this way onto God over time – who will always be able to love us in this way. And what Julian of Norwich says to us, “It is Jesus, it is Jesus.”

So let me ask you to take a look at some of the reruns of the life of Jesus on this Mother’s Day – so that you can sense Jesus loving us with this kind of love that is so healing and helpful.

On Easter Sunday night, Jesus is with the disciples. He asked them to touch his body. He says, “Peace be with you.” And then he gives them four instructions for how to live in the resurrected life.

Jesus said to them again, Number one: “Peace be with you.”

Number two, this is the rerun, “As the Father has sent me even so, I send you.”

And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.

And #4: If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven. If you retain the sins of any–

Anyhow, as I was pointing out, when Jesus says, “As the Father has sent me, even so, I send you,” he’s telling the disciples, “Your ministry in this Easter season is going to be one of reruns. You’re going to go and do the same things we’ve already done. And if it’s a difficult day, you know it’ll get better. If it’s a wonderful day, you know it’ll be more wonderful …” because the disciples are literally asked to relive again and again and again the three years they spent with Jesus. As the Father has sent me, even so, I send you.

Verse 22, “And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them,” #3, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” And then #4, verse 23, “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven. If you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

And so the life of Jesus should be repeated for us … as reruns.

Think back to that time in your life where you heard his voice say to you, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” The mothers who love us unconditionally needed Jesus to take them up in his arms and love them first. The mothers who nurtured us were loved and nurtured by Jesus because – remember, Jesus said, “As the Father sent me, even so, I send you.”

Another high point in a rerun, Jesus says, Matthew 11:28, “Come to me–“ – by the way, that’s the same Greek word that’s used. Follow me –“come to me, all who labor and are heavy-laden” – have you felt like that recently?- “and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” When Jesus says to the disciples, “As the Father has sent me, even so, I send you,” He says to them that they will say these words to others who will learn from them just what they learned from Jesus. You see, it’s reruns.

Another loving memory: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came,” Jesus said, “that they may have life and have it abundantly.” And so you and I will be saying to other people, Jesus came so that you could have life and have it abundantly. So hang on and hope! And we’ll give that nurturing, hopeful, reassuring, unconditional love to people who are in desperate places. Jesus came to show them what it meant to have a shepherd as the Father has sent to Jesus. Even so, Jesus will send us to show people what it is like to be watched over by the Good Shepherd.

Another episode. How could we miss this one? In the Upper Room, Jesus washes the feet of the disciples. And then he says these words to them, “A new commandment I give to you that you love one another. Even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” Not love one another in what you think people need. But the commandment is that you love one another … the way I showed you to love … by the way that I loved you. And as we love people the way Jesus loved us, the truth is they will come to Jesus as well. They will find the same love. Because you see, it’s reruns. We go on to love people the way Jesus loved us.

Right on up to the last verse in the Book of Matthew. We call it the Great Commission. They’re completely prepared. Why? Because they’re going to go out and do with people what Jesus did with them. It’s like reruns. With some of these shows, have you gotten to the point yet to where you can say the dialogue along with the actors? Friends, if we’re that familiar with what Jesus said and did, Jesus can tell people about his love with our voice.

Look at verse 20 there in the red. What’s the main thing they are to do? Verse 20, teaching
them to observe all that I have commanded you.”
Jesus says, “Everything I told you to do, you go teach them how to do,” because they’re going to have a rerun of the life I had with you … and then we’re going to do it again … and then we’re going to teach it again … and then we’re going to do it again.

We sang these words last week. Don’t miss out, friends on the mothering, nurturing, affirming, loving, kindness, and affectionate love of Jesus.

Oh let the son of God unfold you with his spirit and his love.
Let him fill your heart and satisfy your soul.
Oh let him have those things that hold you
and his spirit like a dove
will descend upon your life and make you whole.

That’s the way mothers love. But I would plead with you to let Jesus love you in the same way.

Jesus, oh Jesus, come and fill your lambs.
Jesus, oh Jesus, come and fill your lambs.

Let Jesus love you.
And as we do we will find that we are reliving the story.

This image is the four steps of coaching. You’ve probably seen it before. The first phase is to where Jesus says to the disciples, “I’m going to do it and you can watch.” Then they gain an ability. And then there comes a point to where Jesus says, “I’m going to do it and you can help.” And then there comes a point in time where Jesus sends them out and he says, “You can do it and I will help.” And then there comes the time to where the disciples are ready and Jesus says, “Now you do it and I will watch and I will help.”

And, friends, that’s the season that we are in now … because if we are familiar with the story of Jesus, if we are familiar with what he said and what he did, then you and I know what to do when he says, “As the Father has sent me, even so I send you.”

You’ve heard me say it before, but it’s still true. It would be a great blessing to me if you would open your Bible to Matthew or Mark or Luke or John, one of the books that are about the life of Jesus. And as you read a chapter, say to yourself, “Okay, Lord Jesus, you said as the Father sent you, now you want to send me. How can we make this true today? How can I pray for people so that they get well? How can I explain what you explain so that someone’s life can become better so that they know what to do? Lord, how can I still the storm in people’s hearts the way you stilled the storm in the scripture? Lord, how can I love people the way that you love them?” Well, friends, I’ll be honest with you, if you become familiar with the story, you will be able to practice what Jesus preached!

Please pray with me: Lord Jesus, every one of us is born with this urgent need to be loved, to be loved unconditionally, to be loved even when we’re not at our best, to be loved when we don’t know what to do, when we’re confused, to be loved when we need love so desperately.

I thank you, Lord Jesus, for the way that mothers have demonstrated the virtue of loving this way for all of us. But, Lord, for some of us, our cup is half full. For some of us, we just didn’t quite get enough. For some of us, Lord, life can even feel hopeless and dangerous and fearful. And we don’t feel safe the way a baby feels held in the arms of its mother.

Lord Jesus, I pray that you would gather us into your arms and that you would give us the love that somehow life did not supply in abundance to us … so that we might be for others that kind of loving presence. And we ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION: Let’s have a conversation! Please reflect upon the questions below as you consider the material presented above. In a comment, share your thoughts and additional questions. What would you like to know?

What grabbed your attention?
What is the human need or problem?
What questions do you have about any quotes provided?
Does the Bible say anything about this?
What solutions do you see for the problem?
What specifically could we begin to do to make a change?

Additional Resources

Kinmundy United Methodist Church is located at 308 E. Third Street, Kinmundy, IL 62854. Worship begins at 9 am Sundays. The building is handicap accessible.
Wesley United Methodist Church is located at 3381 Kinoka Road, Patoka, IL 62875 in the country between Kinmundy and Patoka. Worship begins at 10.45 am Sundays.
VISION: We are a functional family of God, where Jesus is Lord and people grow.
MISSION: Every layperson is called to carry out the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20); every layperson is called to be missional. (¶126 of the 2016 Book of Discipline)
Paradigm: There are two kinds of people in this world: people who need to become disciples and disciples who need to become disciple makers.

(If you wish, you can listen to the Prayer of St. Francis being sung:
Sarah McLachlan – Prayer of St. Francis
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agPnMxp5Occ )
 

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