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March 8, 2015
Stetson Memorial United Methodist Church
3rd Sunday of Lent
Final Words Sermon Series
“Behold your son…Behold your mother”
John 19:25-27 The Message Bible
Romans 8:15 (NIV)
Ephesians 1:3-14 NIV
Adapted from Adam Hamilton’s book “Final Words From the Cross”
“You Are Chosen…”
Let us pray…Pray for God’s word to be heard through me or in spite of me…
I remember growing up when we were choosing sides when we played games. We would all pick two captains and then we would wait to see who was going to be chosen for each team. It was nail biting as I waited to hear my name called. No one wanted to be the last called because that would mean no one really wanted us but had to pick us.
We all want to belong to something and we want to know that we are wanted. It is just human nature to want to be a part of something. Whether it is being chosen to play on a team or that job we interview for. We all want to know that someone wants us. It can be hard as we wait to see what the outcome will be… Belonging is a part of life. Sometimes belonging is what identifies who and what we are. We belong to a family…we belong to a lodge…we belong to a certain group. The list goes on.
Why is it that we, as humanity, need to belong to something…to feel that we belong? I think it is because we were created to have to be in relationship. When God created humanity, He didn’t just stop with Adam. God created someone to be with Him. He created Eve. God also had a relationship with Adam and Eve. He walked in the cool of the evening with them… But that relationship was severed because of Adam and Eve’s disobedience…their sin… But God still wanted that relationship…which is why He sent Jesus…
We have begun our Lenten journey to the Cross of Calvary. As we journey, we have been looking at the Final words…the seven last words or phrases…of Jesus from the cross. These were the last words of His ministry here on earth. Even from the cross, Jesus was still doing ministry. His anguish on the cross was leading up of the climax of His ministry and the reason He was sent from above. It is to this place that we will stop and ponder as we await the celebration of His victory.
We have talked about His words “Father forgive them for they know not what they are doing…” and realized that we are part of the “them” that Jesus was praying for and about. We heard His words “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” which are words of hope for us knowing that we will one day be with Him where He is…
Jesus’ next words are ones that changed the definition of family. They are the words that I read this morning from the Gospel of John “Woman here is your son…here is your mother.” Jesus wanted to make sure His mother was taken care of…even from the cross He was showing concern for those around Him. Even from the cross Jesus was redefining what family was in order to include all who believe…
But here is even more good news about that adoption that took place there. We have been chosen by God to be part of His adoptive family. You Are Chosen… How do we know we are chosen? Listen to the words of Paul in the book of Ephesians. We are not last in line but we are the first in line to be chosen…
Ephesians 1:3-14New International Version (NIV)
Praise for Spiritual Blessings in Christ
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, 9 he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.
We are chosen…you and I…before the beginning of time. We are dearly loved and adopted by the King of kings and Lord of lord. We are not only adopted but are redeemed through the blood of the One who has signed our adoption papers in His own blood. You and I are chosen… We are marked with the seal of the Holy Spirit. We belong…Now how is that for being first in line… Not only that but Romans 8:15 tells us that we can call God Abba Father…daddy…
There was an adoption at the cross. A new family was being formed…A family of Christ followers. We belong to a family that grows each passing day as more come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. We…the church of Jesus…grows ever stronger with each child of God tat joins us in ministry to one another and the world.
This morning, that is what is going to happen. Our church family is adopting…choosing first…being joined in ministry…by seven new children of God. I would like them to come forward as we ask them to join our family of believers…
(New Members come forward and are grafted in to our church family)