St. James' Episcopal Church
Goshen, Indiana

Our 158th Year

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Sermon for June 22nd, 2008

Sermon for June 22, 2008
Proper 7 A
St. James’ Goshen IN
Arthur Hadley

In the portion of the Epistle from the Roman’s read moments ago, Paul is making the case that from the Fall of Adam all humanity lives in sin and death, but with the death, and resurrection of Jesus, the Son of God, all humanity lives in forgiveness and salvation. This is the beginning of the great theological shift from sinful humanity and a judgmental God dishing out damnation, to sinful humanity forgiven by a gracious loving God. Through out the Gospels we see Old Testament stories re-lived with a reversal. Two Sundays ago, we had the Gospel story of Jesus going to the dead daughter of the important man, a leader of the synagogue to raise her from the dead. In the Old Testament the story is Elijah going to the home of a widow to raise her only child, a son, from the dead. A reversal of gender, of importance. David and his band of rebellious soldiers ate holy bread from the altar when they were hungry and had no food. Jesus fed the thousands with five barley loaves and two small fish brought by a poor generous boy. Holy bread of offering reversed to humble bread of generosity.

Paul takes the reversal theology and applies it to Creation with Adam and Eve being tempted by Satan in the form of a snake to eat of the forbidden fruit of the tree of knowledge between good and evil, hence beginning the human trait of sinfulness. All people are descended from Adam and Eve and are guilty of the sin of knowledge between good and evil. We know what is right and wrong and choose to do Wrong. Through out the Old Testament we learn of more and more things that we should not or should do. The Ten Commandment was just a little start of all of the dos and don’ts, but we can not or do not keep the Ten commandments -- Keep holy the Sabbath day; God created all in six days and on the seventh day, the Sabbath, God rested and you shall keep the Sabbath day holy. Well, what did you do? Went shopping, Watched games on TV. That is not keeping the Sabbath holy. We come to Church on the first day of the week, a little Easter, the First day of a new Creation. The reversal of the old creation of sin, and damnation, is the new creation of forgiveness and salvation.

Through out the Gospel we are told to Fear not, do not be afraid, be not anxious. What makes you anxious, fearful? The growing costs of energy, $4.15 for a gallon of gas; I pay $4.85 for a gallon of diesel. It cost how much to heat you home last winter? Wait till this winter. Do you fear Medical bills going up 10% per year? Or is it the rise in food prices that get you going? National security, or lack of it, or the economy in general, or what is it that really worries you?

Jesus said, Fear not. God knows your needs, God knows the number of hairs on you head. God knows and cares for you; fear not.

God sent his only begotten son to be a sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. Sin has been over come. We have been given life ever lasting with the grace, the gift from God of Salvation. All humanity was guilty with the sin of Adam, and all of humanity is made righteous in the sight of God by the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.

Thanks be to God

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