Sermon Talk

Finish the Work

Post by Helen P.

He showed us with his hands and a circle the work Jesus was sent to do. With one hand, Jesus “came down from heaven, was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and became truly human.” As his hand sweeps to the bottom of the circle, Jesus heals the sick, he preaches the Kingdom, he teaches his followers to continue his work after he is gone, then “for our sake… he suffered death and was buried.” The other hand sweeps up to the top of the circle. “On the third day he rose again…he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.” These aren’t specifically the words Pastor Stephen used, but words that we say each Sunday in the Creeds. We know the work Jesus was sent to do on earth, but part of his work was to go back and be seated at the right hand of the Father. That is our work, too. We too often think of the difficult work that is before us, but not the joy of serving God. The Prayer of the Day asks: “O God of glory…Unite us with Christ and each other in suffering and in joy, that all the world may be drawn into your bountiful presence. What more is there to say than “Amen!”

I have an advantage over most of you in that I attend all 3 services, so sometimes it will take some time and more than one hearing for a sacred moment to wake me up. This was the case with the sermon and the final upsweep of Pastor Stephen’s hand as Jesus “ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.” There was such joy in his voice as he said this. Then I started hearing it throughout the service: “seated at the right hand of the Father.” It was in the Creed, the Prayer of the Day, and alluded to in the First Reading. Each time I heard it, Jesus’ glory grew and with it, my joy!