Messages from Pastor Raddatz
May 10, 2020 John 14:1-14, 1 Peter 2:2-10, Acts 6:1-9; 7:2a, 51-60 Mount Olive Lutheran Church Houston TX
DON’T ALLOW YOUR HEARTS TO BE TROUBLED
Grace, mercy, and peace from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
Dear People of God,
Happy Mother’s Day! All who had good Mom’s, give thanks. It is a day of honoring Mother’s, but it can also be a day of pain and hopes crushed and dreams unrealized. For those women who wanted to have children and could not and for those whose Mother’s left a lot to be desired God tells us today: DON’T ALLOW YOUR HEARTS TO BE TROUBLED.
HIS PREPARATION – “…I GO TO PREPARE…FOR YOU…”
Why was Jesus’ words so important for his followers? Because of what he just told them in John 13. This is after Jesus washes his disciple’s feet, he predicts his betrayal and Peter’s denial. Jesus tells them he is facing death on the cross. The one whom they loved and for whom they left everything was going to suffer a death that is only worthy of the worst criminals: dying on a cross, was going to leave them.Their hearts must have been terrified, but Jesus says, don’t let your hearts be troubled.
If you have ever lost someone you loved, know what this sorrow is like. No quarantine can come close to this separation death brings. The aggravation and the loss that you feel is almost insurmountable. So Jesus’ words are ultimate comfort. When he says, “don’t let your hearts be troubled” he is really saying “DON’T ALLOW your hearts to be troubled”. All of us can stop or block the worry that trouble brings. Even when difficulty and grief can seem to invade us, we have power! How can we respond to worry? Some suggest you thank God for his blessings. Another suggestion is to praise him and maybe even sing! One thing that has been missing during this time when we are “staying at home” during this pandemic is singing together. Therefore so many have gone to group singing on the computer. This is also, a big reason why we continue to repeat: ALLELUIA! CHRIST IS RISEN! HE IS RISEN INDEED! ALLELUIA! The risen Christ drives worry away. He will take care of us.
Martin Luther called this passage "the best and most comforting sermon that the Lord Christ delivered on earth, a treasure and a jewel not to be purchased with the world's goods." These verses become the foundation for comfort, not only for these disciples but also for us. If you ever get to the point in your life where you think you've run out of escapes and there aren't any more places where you can rest, you'll find a tremendously soft, downy pillow in John 14:1-6.
Jesus has prepared a place for you because he bore your sins and my sins on the cross. He descended into Hell to proclaim to the devil thathe and all his minions cannot alter what God has prepared for you! He has prepared for those who believe in Christ our savior! When you get down and begin the slippery slope of worry remember: “You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:90 ESV).
The preparation that Jesus has done and continues to do for you is about a place for you in his kingdom.
HIS PLACE – “…A PLACE FOR YOU…”
What is “the place” God has prepared for you? It is not only heaven or paradise, but it is also the blessed place of a forgiven servant in God’s kingdom. The specific word for “place” used here is also an opportunity, power, and an occasion for acting (blueletterbible.com).
God calls us to rejoice because he has cleansed us from all our sin! This is the blessed status or place because we have peace in him. This place or position gives us the fullness of the holy spirit’s power. This is what caused the disciples to speak the good news with boldness on the day of Pentecost (Acts 4:31).
Have you ever thought that this boldness is what strengthens us to serve?
Sometimes we are pushed into service, like many Moms (and Dads) during this pandemic.
Recently the New York Times (03/20/2020) published an article titled, ‘I Feel Like I Have Five Jobs’: Moms Navigate the Pandemic
By Jessica Bennett
March 20, 2020
Joy Sherrod, a lawyer in Oakland, Calif., has been home all week with her 7-year-old son, husband and 85-year-old mother. She is handling most of the household planning, she said, while her husband, a project manager at a construction company, does the cooking. “We have a chat room at work about home school that has basically devolved into jokes about how we suck at it,” Sherrod, 47, said.
This is the new reality for many parents who have the luxury of working from home. Amid coronavirus fears, school closures and shelter-in-place mandates — including a new one in Los Angeles on Thursday and in New York on Friday — many have added teacher, coach, germ police and round-the-clock caregiver to their résumés.
Thank God for Mom’s who followed God’s ways of obedience and compassion. As an unknown author wrote:
- A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie.
- There is only one pretty child in the world, and every mother has it.
- Sometimes the poorest woman leaves her children the richest inheritance.
- A mom forgives us all our faults, not to mention one or two we don’t even have.
- God could not be everywhere, so he created Mother’s.
Jesus directs us; don’t let your hearts be troubled for Jesus’ preparation for your journey and the place he has created for you is a place of blessing, Amen.
May this peace which passes all single human understanding keep you hearts in the one true faith in Christ Jesus, to life everlasting. To that we all say, AMEN!
John Raddatz, Vacancy Pastor
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