Monday, February 7, 2022

God's Intention - Sermon from 2/6/22

 I have often enjoyed messing with people from church by saying, “Were you at church last week?”  And when they say no, I’ll say, “Oh man you really missed it. It was the best.”  Were you at church last week?  No?  You missed Anne Redding Holmes sermon?  Dang, that’s too bad.  She was talking about 1 Corinthians 13 being the love chapter and how often it is used in weddings and then talked about how the Corinthians had kind of lost their way in the few short years between their conversion experience at Paul’s first preaching and the time of his writing to them – her phrase that stuck with me was “the honeymoon had worn off.” And isn’t that an accurate description of how we can get excited and juiced about something, but without holding on to the memory and intention of the commitment, the feelings, the intensity will fade – sometimes sadly to the point that the relationship or the experience dissipates into the vapors of the past?  It is true that you can’t live in a perpetual intense honeymoon, but with intention and memory you can keep the juice or reality of the event vivid and alive.  So, as Paul alludes to in today’s epistle, I hope to remind you of that love, that first love you discovered when you became aware that Eternity has your name on it.

This morning we find ourselves on the shores of the Lake Gennesaret, just another local name for the Sea of Galilee.  There is a humble, simple man, far beyond the general population’s depths, who could mesmerize, entice, transform the self-concept of millions upon millions of human beings merely by his teaching.  He is early in his ministry, having only just come away from his first miracle at Cana, and he already has so many Seekers that they crowd him off the beach into a fishing boat of an anonymous fisherman, who – if we follow on in the story – we soon get to know intimately as Simon Peter. The simple man puts out just a little way in this boat; he sits down and teaches them what they don’t even begin to comprehend, but they know his words move them, change them, and they feel something shift in the way they view and understand themselves and even the whole world. It sort of rustled their bones in a hopeful way.

This man radically shifts people’s self-understanding of how they and the world are put together. The mere memory of him brings him back to life for so many – most of you I trust.  It’s crucially important for us to keep Jesus alive.  We need his tangible grasp on God’s abiding love more than ever. And to hang onto it we have to refresh our memory and our shared common experience of him regularly. The world is drifting horribly far from the life our Creator intended for us. Interestingly, physics – a science that was not even known at the time of Jesus – is helping to reveal the larger universe that Jesus grasped. The new physics, quantum physics, is all about how time, energy, and matter all flow together.  Everything exists as a particle or wave. The particle part is the physical presence, the wave form is the energetic form.  A wave/energy converts to a particle the instant there is an observer. Our brains are the observer. They act like radios that pick up the energy and convert it to something tangible. The thought: move your arm has no substance at all, until your brain converts that energy to muscle action.  My wife and I saw an eagle in the top of the tree yesterday and because our brains received the light transmission and converted it to action, we went out and excited half of our neighbors to the reality of the eagle – and the reality of the eagle vanished as soon as it flew off… but my brain’s memory of it continues to resonate in my feelings of it.  We’re here this morning because we wanted to (intended) to refresh our real experience that Jesus is alive.  In some real way everything we call “physical” is ultimately a figment of our minds’ creation. We create our realities by what we agree to together, including even the concept of time.  We observe. We agree to a set of rules.  We stamp it with authenticity and  it becomes “reality.”  I have come to think of God as the Great Initiator  - the Great Intender – who sends a thought into the dark vacuum – Let there be light and there was light.  Nothing is exactly the way it seems, even if we accept things the way they are.  Remember, first and foremost, we are eternal spiritual beings, brimming over with God’s intent and because of that intent we merely occupy a temporary physicality. So, what impact does that have on us?  What effect should it have? I think the first significant impact this awareness can have on us is to know that as beings molded in the image of God, we have the powers of intention and the alchemy power of memory.  We can remember and with our intention, we can manifest the reality.  We can change things as they are. 

Jesus, sitting in that boat teaching on the Sea of Galilee, is made incarnate – manifested here before us this morning as real as we choose to make him.  Therein lies our greatest decisions that have reverberating repercussions across universes.  Do we believe?  Will we act?  What kind of world do we want?  One filled with white supremacy, hate, war, environmental destruction…. Or Love?  It is my most sincere belief that the creating power of God resides solely in Love.  Love is God’s shaping intention for everything.  It is everything that humans (with our big brain receptors) everything that humans can be living for and everything that we SHOULD be reaching for.

Jesus says to Simon, put your net out there.  Simon says, “Woe is me. I’ve been out there all night there isn’t anything out there Dude.” But he puts his net in anyway.  The next thing they know, they’re overwhelmed with fish galore. And Simon Peter knows he has just witnessed something so far outside his paradigm that the only thing it could be was God in the flesh. So, how about we agree to do this.  Let’s shift our paradigm.  God is here in the flesh – we have the physical representation of that reality on the altar when we take the bread.  Your intention to make Jesus real and to manifest him in the flesh happens week in and week out when you put that thin wafer in your mouth.  I mean look at the story!  Simon Peter doubts. Jesus asks him to set it aside so Simon casts his net. And from that one act – repeated hundreds of thousands of times admittedly – we are sitting here this morning.  We can make those same impactful ripples in the universe that cut across time and space. All we need is the memory of Love and intent for it to manifest.  And from the lessons we’ve received… Love manifested results in access to ABUNDANCE. Jesus’ first act was the wedding at Cana with more wine than anyone could drink and here we have more fish than anyone could eat. Food and drink.  In abundance.  Enough for the whole world. We’ve been trained not to think that way.  We’ve had plenty of others intent on pushing a scarcity goal so they could have more.  But truthfully, scarcity is far and away not God’s reality.

We are the umpteenth generation of power-hoarding systems that have coaxed, educated, brain-washed, punished, executed, and bamboozled us out of our birthright as Beloved Ones of God. Do you hear how much energy is being directed against God’s intent?  Don’t buy into it.  Don’t fall for myopic destructive anti-Love tropes. In truth, God controls and we are God’s own, from the least to the greatest. What would our world be like if we, instead of worrying over the way the world appears to be going into the dumpster, we focused instead on the Love that created us billions of years ago in the beginning?

I say to you this day: God intended Love from the beginning.  God intends love from this day forward.  It was the spark of Love in God’s heart that physics today calls the “Big Bang.” We are the observers of God’s love intention.  Let’s go out and make it as manifest as all the fish that jumped into those nets long ago.  And to Christ be the praise. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.  

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