Eric's Sunday Sermon; And Our Connection to God and Others
Does Heaven open up because you spoke the right words.
Let your heart dial the number to God
I am sorry for the lateness of this Sermon. But I was enjoying my Sunday so much that fun got in the way. Make no mistake the sermon was written. Two in fact. But God joined me in my fun today and perhaps guided me to write a new Sermon.
Yesterday there was a birthday party. It was for a wonderful and beautiful souled 13 year old. My son and I were invited because her little brother and mine are best friends. Sorry for any confusion but in Christ I often speak of my seven year old son as a brother of mine. There resides in me a belief that we are all brothers and sisters and that includes pappy’s and baby’s. Why would it not. And so in thinking such things we here at DICK, (Dierker Institute of Conceptual Knowledge), explored the area of communication through concepts other than speech.
Around here we pray. Praying is really just so darned good for you. “Good for you” is normally thought of as something like money or physical health. And the strange thing is that prayer actually increases your likelihood of success in both regards. But we speak of it for the soul and spirit and increasing love.
When my wonderful wife gets in a car to go somewhere she prays out loud and my son and I haler Amen. Or sometimes either my boy or I say it and it is super cool to pray as a family for safety and the will of God be done. We dig it and it is cool doing it out loud with others. A real nice way to get in tune with each other and God. We happen to be Jesus freaks, if that is still a term, so we pray with Jesus and through him as the great advocate to our heavenly father that is the great I Am of love.
So we are all in our car and we communicate with God and each other using words and vocalizing them. I caution folks about who they pray to. Not a worry about who, but a worry that they have true love of who they pray for and it is not a ritual. I love rituals but family and self prayer needs to be intimate. And so you must feel good about who you pray to as a loved one.
We can do better than language - Music for example
I could not do this climb without support
Do words make a prayer?
But lately I have been noticing some quirks about our language and God. We are not opposed to attending a Vietnamese service or a Spanish speaking and honestly a Mexican service. We get it no matter the language. I do not even struggle with the language where I can pick up many of the words and it is easy because it is focused on love of fellow and God. And the liturgies are the same so we get most the prayers and readings. But the best is the big “Let Go”. Let go of the language. Go with the feeling and the love.
Perhaps you are aware about one of the things Martin Luther was so upset about. It wasn’t just no Bibles for the commoner but about the Masses, as in church services. They were in Latin that no one spoke or could understand accept the priests. And most of the Mass was done with the priest facing the Altar so the pew sitters could not hear. Those funny little bells were to tell the sheeple when to rise, sit and kneel. Millions attended Masses never understanding a single word that was said. And yet in my heart I believe those people were Christian, although they never read or understood a word from the Bible. At first we wag a finger and say how horrible = Dark Ages.
But lately I have been given a new insight into this notion. Perhaps a culmination of attending at least one hundred services in foreign lands in foreign speech. Hang on now. We can get it through a different source of communication. I hope that sounds crazy. It is in a way.
If you have never been to a rock and roll service where everyone busts out in tongues you need to go to one. Very uncomfortable for my old staunch ways. But wow how interesting. I find myself just going with the flow though. It is not all that weird. OK, it is weird but you still get a sense of prayer and invocation of Christ as the wonderful interceder. Of course this drives the theme here home.
Sometimes in distress I just hold a hand, my distress of theirs. Not a body language deal but more like a mind meld thing like Spock. I can explain it, but who cares, it need not be explained. Love is a language far beyond words. It flourishes in action but it transcends in communication.
Give this a shot. Breathe in and breathe out many times and then do some ritual of your own to begin to pray. And then just shut the voices down. Really work hard on prayer without words. You basically cannot do it. But the attempt is worth one thousand words. Don’t we say that about non verbal pictures?
Can God Communicate with Us Through a Dream?
I hope you feel a blessing and excuse that I communicate with words.
The best of these sermons is when my words loose their meaning. We do not mean that they are meaningless. We mean that the specifics, the intricate is no longer thought of but the gist is fully touching you. Perhaps a phrase is lost in your pondering but you pondered nevertheless. Perhaps I misspeak but you allow yourself to be away from the word content and into a thought that is important to you. Could it be that a great sermon is one where you do not hear the words but move into your own thoughts, the sermon somehow lets you be free to love.
But the sermon is so not important. The sermon you give to others without words is so much more important than my lazy use of language. We would hope that you read this and you get lost in your own connection to truth and love. The words start your commutation with your spiritual connection and the specifics be forgotten.
If a sentence of mine entraps you into my belief then I am a poor preacher man without the ability to set you free. That which is communicated through words must only be a stepping stone to your connection away and afar from my words. The Sermon must be a key to you unlocking your own connection, it must never be a mechanism for you to feel as my words direct. And yet it must be a mechanism for you to just click and be gone into your oneness with your God.
There is this really cool captured interchange with Jesus and the Lawyers of faith: Luke 17, 20When asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The kingdom of God will not come with observable signs. 21Nor will people say, ‘Look, here it is,’ or ‘There it is.’ For you see, the kingdom of God is in your midst.”
That is freaky cool. Certainly language and speech are observable signs. But that ain’t how it works. In my midst. Not my language oriented mind but my midst. May God be in your midst.