March 12 Sermon by Rory Martindale

Good morning!
I was going to try a little skit this morning, so it started with… Breathe

Teach, Instruct, Tutor, Train, Educate, to share the meaning of imparting information understanding or skill.
Well it’s an honor to be here and to be before you, let’s bow our heads in prayer to reflect, that the words that I say reach someone and maybe let them Connect and see the word… the essence of teaching.
Believe in yourself, believe in your faith and believe in your Family… Breathe everything …

When we first met with Ed Martin and Jennifer, at Ed Martin’s house, the leap volunteers sat around this amazing table and had this wonderful conversation with a meal, but then we got down to business, we moved into Ed’s living room and went through a theological discussion about… teaching….at points I was feeling Overwhelmed on the theological discussions , During that discussion we were sitting around on the furniture and Jennifer said; OK which one of you want to be first!
I raised my hand before I knew what she was going to ask for… and before my mind could catch up with my hand.
It went up….

So when she said; you’re going to be speaking from John 1 through 17 I quickly opened my Bible in reference and referenced John one through 17 the passages!

In the beginning was the word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God!

And I thought…Ummm holy smokes

I thought oh man this is not good! This is highly theological…and the then some! … this stuff is usually deciphered by the doctors and Ph.D’s… this is going to be a mountain… when I got home I started right to work and I made a rough draft of my sermon that weekend… I emailed it to Jennifer on Sunday to get her thoughts… and on Tuesday after she read it, she emailed me back her response and proceeded to let me know that,.. maybe…. she didn’t give me the right passage to decipher… and it then happened again she references John 13 where Jesus washing the Feet of the disciples … it ended up and again that was not the right passage … in the end… Jon three, one through 17

I thought to myself… oh thank you those were some pretty deep theological words to interpret…. But then I looked at the new passage um….

Teach, two weeks ago
I was able to sit here in this room and see this spectacular message begin and end up connecting our lives together … teaching us the meaning of love by connecting with just this small little touch…

In my original draft of the Sermon I wanted you to visualize this message as a movie trailer, you know those trailers we see on Facebook and the Internet and at the movie theaters to get it primed for a new great epic movie.

In this movie trailer we we’re going to see…. It starts in a dark screen and you hear footsteps walking swiftly through a dark cobblestone Village, you hear a knock at a door and then it slowly creeping open and then the person inside greets them by inviting them into a dimly lighted room, we hear and see this through a very dim lit space with a very we’ll todo gentleman as the humbled dressed person is greeting his stately guest, the Guest began to speak … Rabbi …which translated in English to…. Teacher…

In this conversation that we see in the faint light is, Jesus is speaking with Nicodemus, A very important well to do, Pharisee, part of the Jewish
Council, The one who writes the laws for the Jewish people to obey, The one who’s charged with enforcing the the interpretation of the word, the one who is the judge and to make sure that those laws are carried out. Nicodemus….Nicodemus knew that Jesus was special… and he knew that Jesus was healing the sick and performing miraculous things… And in this conversation inside this humble house where he and Jesus held this conversation , we see that Jesus was beginning to teach,… a Teacher… Nicodemus,… a teacher who was unsure of himself and his path on the council and in life… Doubt… Nicodemus… he is a doubter, Jesus let’s Nicodemus know the right path to believe…that no one can see The kingdom of God unless they are born again; but not born of the flesh… but Born of water and the spirit. Also in this conversation, Jesus spoke to the Nicodemus about spiritual things… yet Nicodemus did not fully believe in those things… “miracles” even though he knew Jesus performed them… he had doubts ..doubt… so how was he to realize about things of the Spirit with this doubt… so you see in this movie trailer, a small room lit by candles dark and smokey from the fire… is two people carrying on this conversation where one is skeptical, yet yearning to know the truth …

In my past I have identified with Nicodemus’s position and understanding (I’ve struggled… with this all my life… this connection… this leap to believe, it is where you’re fraught with doubts and it is where I’ve struggled with each small passage to understand … In full content and try to mold this faith into this information that I could believe …it’s more than one struggling to identifying the point of faith …the point of being… but … let’s imagine your in this position next to Jesus….

I focus on this conversation struggling with myself… to make sense of this; this Doubt… this is where the belief in faith and love come together, where you must believe… in yourself … in the spiritual being… In the knowledge of a higher power … the belief of the spirit… The belief of A Teacher being Taught… this is where we see that Jesus taught Nicodemus you must believe and be born again to receive the kingdom of heaven … For this is the key … faith… just to open the kingdom of heaven.

The struggle of those words based in your deep understanding belonging and holding stead fast that your faithfulness are core in your belief… that you believe truth … not doubt…

with believing in the kingdom of heaven as he taught Nicodemus to understand it… It is a Constant struggle… every day when we see injustice… It’s challenges our believe.. it taxes our souls… every day we see pain and suffering throughout the world whether it’s in our lives or it’s in the poor… or the homeless… it’s very real every day, we see the wars or the beginnings of war the struggle with our community and our country … terrible atrocities throughout foreign lands. And how are we to measure those word of faith. To believe in healing of our souls!

But that brings us back to the words Jesus told Nicodemus… at the end of the passage it reads: for God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son that fore whoever believes in him shall not Parrish but have a eternal life… for God did not send his only son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
Now back to the trailer, do you see this trailer is but a small snapshot of actual life, where we see two or maybe … a congregation of individuals having a discussion inside of a room about their faith, Teaching… Information about what it means for to them to … believe… about what we see in world… teaching justice from these injustices, what we see the strife in the pain and suffering of the poor and homeless or we see throughout the world in our own lives. Yes this movie trailer is but a metaphor for teaching us that we must believe in faith to see the kingdom of God… also that the power of justice will prevail… that if … we believe in the spiritual grounding that God did send his only son to save the world… that we shall see the kingdom of heaven… to see that this is life not a movie trailer.. By the way here is where it closes out and gives you the wanting to go see this epic movie…

This is our lesson… Jesus the Teacher… who taught a teacher, Nicodemus… Because if you believe in the spirit of God and are born in the spirit you will see the kingdom of heaven…

No we get to see these teaching lessons every Sunday where Jennifer or our other pastors of this church teach a message… a message that connects with us and rings true with this information… we can see the connection throughout our congregation the message of hope, understanding… Grounding… the message of caring but most of all the message of teachers teaching teachers… our family

In our discussion in the theological group one in the group had a phenomenal interpretation of being born again… Their amazing view is not singular … it’s not in or to a specific point in time where the birth or boring has occurred … my interpretation on this view begins in… its linear
It’s the ribbon of your life continually growing and transforming your faith to form in our ribbons journey to believe … our belief… my version of being born in the Spirit…

now breathe Amen…

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