Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Christian Life as a Life of Hope + Romans 12:12-21

For those who may be reading this material please know that these are my outlines...I preach more than 3 or 4 minutes at a time...Just ask my parishioners!!

As Faith and Love are intimately connected...So also are Love and Hope.

One gives way to the other.

Saint James speaks of the slippery slope – whereas sin is fully grown it gives birth to death. How often we struggle with the negative consequences of our fallenness.

However, there is a foundation on which we are being built upon – the foundation of Faith in Jesus Christ, revealed in love and expressed in Hope.

Hope in Christ does not disappoint.

Hope in Christ IS NOT as hope in and of the world.

The hope expressed in the world is nothing more that a fortuitous co-mingling of supposed luck and good timing.

Christian hope is no pipe dream or wish. Christian hope is a possession given by God, given to the believer by means of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Scripture proclaims that hope is in God and in Him alone. Saint Paul makes reference to the reality, the personage of our hope in...

Colossians 1:4-5 “…we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the HOPE laid up for you in heaven.”

That hope residing in heaven is confessed in some of the Christian questions and answers in the Small Catechism.

“Do you hope to be saved?” “Yes, that is my hope.”

And in the next question we find the answer to what is Christian hope.

“In whom then do you trust?” – the answer, “In my dear Lord Jesus Christ.”

From this hope we ought ever draw joy.

“…as it helps us bear the burden of the never ending claim on your love…your service to the Lord is the taking of His light and easy yoke.” (Franzmann)

Christian hope is always future directed.

Not as seeking “greener pastures” and decrying the present as irrelevant

But rather recognizing the victory that awaits us…and then being moved in this hope to joy and joy revealed in compassion, mercy and service.

Hope in Jesus Christ creates the heart that is open to share the love of God as He abundantly gives it.

In this hope the persecuted can pray for the persecutor.

The sorrow and joys of others can and are borne in us who share in their trials and celebrations; because you are no longer see your own sorrow or joy as being of ultimate significance – for you, having faith in Jesus Christ, have a loose hold on the blessings of this age.

Christian hope reveals Christ.

Saint Paul continues in Romans 12 with a litany of opportunities, options and examples of the expression of hope in Christ.

The call to overcome evil is product of the victory of Jesus Christ. For in service and fervent love, joyfully given are you recognized for who you rightly are – a man of God, a woman of God.

Christian hope is expressed in love given in faith this is the revealing of the victory you possess in Jesus Christ. Amen.

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