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Sermons Preached by the Rev. Raymond Shaheen, D. D. 

Year. 1977 SERMON TITLE 

January 2, 1977 
January 9, 1977 
January 16, 1977 
January 23, 1977 
January 30, 1977 
February 13, 1977 

//)?£*?**'& Februar y 20 ' 1977 


lT/t/6 February 27, 1977 
March 6, 1977 
March 13, 1977 
March 20, 1977 
March 27, 1977 
April 10, 1977 
May 1, 1977 

"This Holy Ground" 
"Don't Miss It!" 
"Something To Hold On To' 
"Where Do You Stand?" 

"A Christian As A Pioneer" 
""In All His Glory" 
"The Deadly Sins: Pride" 
"The Deadly Sins: Envy" 
"The Deadly Sins: Lust" 
"The Deadly Sins: Gluttony" 
"The Deadly Sins: Avarice" 
"To Live Triumphantly" 
"The Sharp Edge of Life" 

May 8, 1977 ^tS^WAThe Encouraging Word' 

May 15, 1977 
May 22, 1977 
June 10-11, 1977 
July 3, 1977 
July 10, 1977 

"A Drama of Ruined Hopes" 
Enough By Which To Share" 
"Christ_The Gift To Give" 
"To What End This Blessing?' 
"On God's Terms" 


Exodus 3: 5 

Matthew 2:11 

Isaiah 6: 1 

Joshua 24: 15 

II Corintians 13 

Luke 4:16 -19 

Mark 9: 2 

Luke 18: 10-ff 

I Peter 2: 1 

Romans 13: 11- 


I Timothy 1: 6 

Ephesians 1:20 

I Peter 2: 19-20 

Ephesians 6: 4 



John 6:1- 

Matthew 22: 42 

Psalm 67: 1-2 

Luke 9:62 

1977- continued 




July 17, 1977 
July 24, 1977 
July 31, 1977 
August 7, 1977 
August 14, 1977 
August 21, 1977 
August 28, 1977 
September 4, 1977 
October 9, 1977 
October 16, 1977 

3 October 23, 1977 

October 30, 1977 

December 4, 1977 

December 11, 1977 

December 18, 1977 

December 24, 1977 

"The Threat and The Promise 


"God's Kind of Person" 

"You have It -OK You Don't" 

"To Learn To Pray" 

"Beyond Success" 

"Amid The Robberies of Life" 

"To A Nobler Use" 

"On making The Most Of It" 

^'Festival Of Praise" 

*"On Being Impatient" 

"The Festival of Faith" 

"A Man Come From God" 

Key Words of Advent- "Repent" 

Key Words of Advent-"Be Patient" 

Key Words of Advent- 
" Emmanuel" 

Galatians 6: 7 
Luke 10: 37 
Psalm 37: 5 
Luke Ill- 
Luke 12: 20 
Judges 18: 24 
Exodus 38: 8 
Luke 5: 27-28 

Mark 10: 36- 


Matthew 3: 1 

James 5: 7 

Matthew 1:23 

John 1:14 

Sermon - 'Paster Kayaoad Shah.-: 

Second Sunday Af tar . Chtistjaa* mmmtm ,____ _,_^_„.,_„ . .-.■■ I?1JL 


GRACE, Mercy and Peace from God our q kti^M^ 

Father and fro© His Son Jesus Christ s 

V- 1 


It was in the beginning years of my ministry, as I served my first parish, 
when & knock cams at the door of the room where 1 happened to be* Iba persos 
who case to the door said, "There 'a a person £a llstresa at tin© baek of £■•-• 
church., Pastor. Would you cone and talk with her?'' naturally X left what I 
was doing, sad shea I veat to her I discovered she . parson I had never 

ssen befors, to the best of my knowledge.- But she was in distress, alright, 
there was no quaatioc. about it* sad she was sobbing. With word® that were 
scarcely audible — 1 was able to hear them with soma effort — this is what 
I heard her say amid her sobs - "It's all bo different.,.'s changed,,,. 

'_; .;:rfe-; ■'.-.'.■;; ••■ -■•:•'.;;.;' out. her, bat 1 don't think 1 did very wall beeauss whan 
X looted at her X discovered in har eyea traces of. hostility and bitterness, 
as though she were holding i&e personally responsible for the sadness of her 

How in essence this is what the story was - she belonged to thurch 

in fthe &&f® of her childhood and raseiwabls youth* than, a* life 

would have it for her, she left that cosnunity, and ?>,.•:.•' ;.^- ..'■,■ 

Bat 'shea she want away aha %■ I high hopes, which now were unfulfilled And 
ah® had dreataa which had vanished away, and in the meantime she had experienced 
a m <rou* breakdown. Hoping perhaps to regain something that *ould hold her ic 
good item the past, she had ee-tffacad iteps te ■..■:■■ ;;ku?. ■.".,. .-..■,•.■•' ..-.<.-. : -\. , 

smid the soba - •- "It's not the samel It's 3iff«rent! It's been changed." 

And she mis right. Therm had bs®a a renovation prc ; The whole front 
of the church had barn altered... new lighting fixtures had replaced the ones 
that had been there when she was there.,,, the color of the walls was not. the 
sane that she had known when she worshipped there as a youngster. She was 
right, is was no£ the sffls, and she ^as discovering a cardinal principle of 
life sad it was painful: nothing ever Is as was. 

when «:he Christmas greetings e^me to the Parsonage, ve glvte earnest heed 
to than, because like as not they'll open the flood Rate of precious memories. 
"Eha postal Ku&rk — we recognise the tswn from which it cm : sad immediately we 
see a face...., ..we s?sad the signature, we read the brief message if one's in- 
corporated, and we think of certain chapters in that; person's life of which 
we've bean part. 

One of then, cam this year, a* it had come before, mis vest her name 
v^as even changed, she had chosen another name for herself. And then it brought 
back that chapter in her life, I still haws in my files the latter that she 
wrote . . . trarcdy had struck her, she became a wia^v just like t! at! and 
the mother of four children. As I recall what she wrote it; that letter, it 
went southing like this: - - "ft swmad to U;J M tboat?h ^ hM ^ reachiag 
for she sears, ami tbay var* within srasp . . . then that terrible night ba 
was taken from me. I triad to put the pieces back together, Pastor, I've 
~one on a sentimental Journey, that's what I did.. ..I want back to visit the 
place where he proposed to me.... I want back and stayed overnight la the tow 

where we were married... . I mm* vi.-.t- ^-a —~ • . » , _ , 

w,MMl ***** oai - ! - a * 3rt ■'■' traced our has: -v. »on. ...I went back 

to the place where our fi^st i-h-jim im» k,,..- r . „ ., -, , , 

uwi u.b. cnixa wa^ &o t n. ...I want back end staved 

wiiere he was stationed . . . it ; a helped a Little biz, Pastor." 

.....but then the mournful lament* "But it s s not the same! I * changed." 

She 5:00 ^e di^,™^*, ? ai'.-'?;uUy, ^-.i- : .-, r j., an ;,,,,, Xt » s a cardivisI 
rule, of life. 

' : .. ' -,■-■■ ! ■.'-.■•■- 

The text for today's sermon n«as all the way back to the Old Testament, 
the second book in the Bible, no less 5 the Book of the Exodus, the 3rd chap- 
ter, the 5th versa. Cut before I rend the text I'll have to tell you a little 
bit about the person involved to whom the text is related. . .. .one of the most 
remarkable people to be found anywhere in the panes of the Old Testament, a 
man named Moses. 

As every Sunday School scholar knows, his life begins with his having 
been plucked from that little ark, that little boat, in the ''lie River. Arad 
tnan he is takes into the hone of the princess.... tie's Riven many advantages, 
he's looked upon with favor by Pharaoh himself, Riven a position of responsi- 
bility ^ But there's Jewish blood coursing through his veins, and Moses never 
forgot It. One clay with that uncontrollable temper oi : his, lie. found a task- 
master dealing cruelly with a slave , a Jewish slave. Hoses lays hold upon 
bin, you see, and has done with him. 

The deed is discovered... he has to rim for his life, be turns bis back 
unosi Egypt., And nov? a-'-- vw 7cr::;^ wpo-a this p-afra ■ s ■:: a jiib.-' -vu \.s' ; .:-; .■ flv. lsa< 
of Uidian, taking ears ;>"* bis father-in-law's abaep, 2 rather monotonous task 
for 'fossa.... strange contrast to the Ufa to which he !a»d been accustomed. 

And as hs stands there musing, no doubt, he looks back to other days, be thinks 
of the past as having beer; brighter and better, the days that be knew — presti- 
gious days in Egypt. And all of a sudden a voice la heard — now hear the words 
of the fcaxt; 

* 'Put; the shoes from off thy feat, for the 
place whereon thou standest i s holy ground. " 

It's the voice from Heaven coming to a man who seemingly has a b&ek*#srd look, i 

is thinking in terms of a brighter and batter day that has come and gone. You'll 

notice hew £h«s text puts it: "The place whereon you srand — " ...not whar i you 

-'■"•""•■ ■ '' '":!'■ .-#.■•-': ' 7) . . ■ -. 77i', 7 : ;.-r7'7' 77->:7 77~, v/X-M?. ■:: ■'::.■"; ■:;. 777- t; 7'77 ■:-,?■'.? 7 7r7 

years from not* 3ut 5'he place where you happen to be found right now *— this is 

holy ground. 'Oils is the place where you can have as. encounter with God. 
And no nan ever hae an encounter with God without finding all over again how 
God's purpose for his Ufa is meant to be* fulfilled in the hero and the now. 

Each of us runs tha risk, of course he does, of painting the paat with 
a gilded touch, It could wall he tlwst it's part of the obstacle course that 
some of us have to ran when we readh the udd-ooint of our years, let it's 
not all had., really, this thing of looking backward benignly - - but plsasa, 
1 hag you, don't do it at tha risk of taiaimislng the high value that's to be 
placed oa present possibilities. 

I don't know why it is, b*i£ there's always the tendency to .loo!: bach and 
to think that yesterday was better — all other thing? being equal. It's true 
sometimes When we (leal with the Slble. 1 thought during the other hour when 
we came 'here to worship at 9:45» the Sunday School roans wars considerably 
filled wish children in particular . ewen as Sunday School sessions are being 
hold right sow - - - that whan wa teach Bible, if we don't watch out we keep 
God in the past tense — we talk about the nod of Abrahams and Isaac, and 
Jacob - - - wa talk about tha day of ouK Lord, and we think in terras of Naza- 
reth, arid Judea, aad Galilee.... long, long ago. 

Wall, this la right and this is proper, of course it is, and you knot? vary 
well the premium that 1 place upon history. It's been ay favorite subject. 
Aad poor Indeed is that man who has no sense of history, who has no apprecia- 
tion of it. It* s meant to hold us in gecd stead. But w® have to be vary care- 
£-.:■! l.?5>.;. -¥-?.: XL'ix.v ourselves to baco-ata imprisoned in the paat! There is always 
the risk of thinking of God in the past tense — the God who did these things. 
And you and I always run tha risk of thinking they were giants in base days. 
Surely £her& were giants in those days, but they were giants with feet of clay, 
honestly they were* Ihey had haloes, of course, but they fell every now and 
than, and when they picked them up they were twisted and torn a bit, and as 


the years want em thay became somewhat tattered ~ ~ - be carefu l how you 
gild the past, my friend, because the people who were Chora in the past 
warn people as we are, with all of t*m fears sad the frustrations with 
which wa have to deal. It*a -a shameful thing to imprison God in tha past. 
But that's the thing with which Mo3es had to deal at '.".has very ctoMont in 
whieh God gives bin a jolt, a«d soya, ,,r £h« place where you're static! imp 
ri^lit now — this is holy ground. This is th© place of tha encounter* ••this 
is tha point ftsm vhich you move orswsrd --* not b ackwa r d *" 

Not? with all tha strength that E aan coensad I cone to tha Saint Luke 
pulpit on this day because 7. know very wall that for some of us as »e face 
1377 s we May do it with a measure of reluctance, because we keep thinking 
how wonderful, it was hack in the 50'a — tha tranquillity of tha Eisenhower 
years. If only we could go backs Bat nothing ever is as was. 

I was reading last night aa excellent little book ™ X. think it bears 
the title that go-as s awe thing Ilka this; "fcncl Then God Created Grandparents « n 
I think it raquirad reading for every set of grandparents that I may know, 
pointing out the joys arjd tha risks and the pedis of these of us who are 
grandparents. One of the chapters c au exceedingly precious ona, tails about 
a grandmother who was perceptive enough to think la terms of what tha years 
would bring to her granddaughter, and than as other children came along. 
And she said to her husband , tha grandfather now of about four or five young- 
StarSj "Why don*t you build each one of than it bos, and then put thair name 
es it — • it's their vary own box, And we'll p'it it op in the attic, and 
than as tha youngs tare come to visit us, we'll say to each, they can go np 
In the atfcic and ..-■'■. tever thay find thara that they especially like, they 
can put it ia thair own ad It can be theirs forever." 

The grandparents tall how, ,. the years continued to pass* thay want 
through adolescence 9 young adulthood and marriage, and thay cane back home. 

do, I ". 

And one of til© very first things that they'd Ilka Co do was to go up into 
the attic, to check on tteir very own box - - costing back so something* you 
see s that they honestly believed was still the earns i — this earnest desire 

on the pare of ©vary on* of us. And yet soberly they bed to admit that while 
the box looked the seas* the experience Itself was nut the same because the 
years bad done something to their grandparents -- their grandparent* had 
changed a bit. Could it be that oee mm in a Wheelchair?.... could it be 
that one could scarcely see ojt hear? And they themselves had changed — they 
were not the same. 

nothing ever ia s;a wee. But thanks be za Ood, He's the Sod sot only of 
the past, He's the Gov not only of the future, but Ha ''3 the God of the present. 
Whenever jmi think of God t you think in terms of Eternity) and as you think of 
Eternity, never minimise the Importance of the now past of Eternity. 

In corapany with f;oms of you I ata happy to tell you that by she grace of 
God I affi thrilled to anticipate 1977. I an* grateful for what 3od has allowed 
ia the past because I have lived long enough in rr? relationship with yon, the 
people of this parish, to discover that there are those of you who do not 
imprison God in the peat - - and who are absolutely coftmitted to the precious 
;::•=;::■ -:Mz ilod is ■-■■.■■■.-■■:. ■•■:. :.:■:■■--. ?■:/;■■;. is ■ :l-^ I:':. Ha r vfc .-::■.:•: p;i::5;m .>'■•;; liz' ■;:• V;-»7r" 
baen operating before' - - and that everything that's happened before in our 
relationship together has brought us to tfc recioua moment which i.M today! — 
built upon what's happened before aud a stepping-stone b what lies ahei 3. 
This X most certainly believe. Thank you for allowing share sh±s measure 

of excitement. 

* * 

his sermon transcribed as recorded) 


Sermon - Pastor Raymond Shaheen 

IkS^SSS£LJ^SMJSSS^i ^^J& __. Jaacary 9, 1977 

"DOH'T MISS IT!" » (I 





GRACE, Mercy and Peace from God our tC 

Father aad froia His Son Jesus Christ, 
our Blessed Lord. Ames. 

Of all the signs or billboards that one nay find along the highways, 

there's one that remains in a class all by itself as far as I'm concerned. 

X think, it to be a very clever one, although I didn't always think that way. 

It's the one that reads something like this — you'll ffiad it in a variety 

of adaptations: "OOPS - YOU MISSED IT! IT WAS HACK 

It could be a place *ere merchandise is sold.... it could be an antique 
shop.... it could be an eating establishment. But the fact remains as one 
»md along the highway he didn't make the turn in time. And now, as he's 
passed the place, he's told he's missed it. 

It'e in that spirit that I come to this sacred desk this morning, to re- 
mind you, in these Sundays past Christmas, we do well to take a moment or two 
to reflect upon the fact that Christmas is over. Could it be, however, that 
we could have missed something regarding Christmas? 

In all likeliho«d you've taken down your feres, you've packed away some 
of your trimmings for next year. You'va assessed Christmas - - it's come and 
it's gone. You've thought something about it, of course you have. 

You've thought about the fact that you were remembered. That's meant a 
great deal to each one of us, of course. We're always pleased when people 
say in advance, "What would you like to have?" I'm always grateful when 
Winifred drops some kind of a hint, because I do want to please her, and I'd 
like to have something for her that she'd like to have and that she'd welcome 

"Dor's Hiss ItT (2) 

receiving. As for myself , I'm always pleased when somebody is thoughtful 
enough to give me something that I especially want and otherwise might not 
have gotten. So as X look back over Christmas I'm thankful for what I did 

And in all likelihood you look back over Christmas past and you think 
in terms of those whom you remembered especially, and when the gifts were 
being opened,, the look of satisfaction on their face, to think that they were 
remembered by you, and that they got something very special because you cared 
enough to include them tm your list. Yes, we take some time now to think 
about Christmas. It's come and it's gone, &ad we reflect upon the things 
that we got, and the things that we gave to other people. 

But ±t just didn't happen, ray friend, that today when you come to Saint 
Luke Church that we'd be singing the hymns that we're singing, that you'd be 
hearing the music that you're hearing. The hymns and the anthems reflect the 
basic elements of the Christmas story J - - and you're saying to yourself , of 
course you are, well Christmas is over, isn't it? It 9 s past, Very wisely I 
suggest to you that we're doing what we're doing in this hour of divine worship, 
t hinki ng again of Christmas, because there's the possibility that having gone 
through it we may have missed something. 

I go back again and say, you got something for Christmas, didn't you?... I 
got something for Christmas . I go back again and say, you're pleased with the 
fact that you did remember certain people and they're happy that you dido But 
did you miss someone this past Christmas? It's a terrible thing, you know, to 
have Christmas come and Christmas go, and suddenly realise that you should have 
remembered this person or that person? We dread the thought that someone might 
have bean forgotten, We v re past - beyond it.'s over. And someone was 

With all the strength that I can command I come to the sacred desk to re- 


" Don't Kiss Iti" (3) 

ioittd you that there's Always the possibility that you may have missed Jesus 
Christ is Christmas. Christmas la the birthday of Jesus Christ! And we nay 
have given so much heed to other things that we forget Hfou And it's only 
as we get past Christmas that we look back and take ourselves to task. 

Before I became your Pastor, when I shepherded a congregation in Penn- 
sylvania, they had a very lovely chapel known as the Chapel of The Good 
Shepherd. It was beautifully done, and had a very special place in the 
hearts of children. In fact, every Sunday morning we had there a special 
children's service — we called it Children's Church. They had their own 
deacons, they had their own ushers, they had their own altar guild, they 
had their own worship leader, they had their own offering envelopes. It was 
a very precious place to children. 

And I remember the day after Christmas going into the Chapel of the 
Good Shepherd and finding there something that I think I still have in my 
files. As soon as I looked at it I thought to myself, why, that looks like 
a birthday card. And when I opened the envelope, that's exactly what it was„ 
and it salds "Happy Birthday, Dear Jesus" . . . . .and inside was a dollar bill, 

The Good Book says a child shall lead them, and that has left a mark indelibly 
upon the fabric of my heart — a childish remembrance that Christmas is the 
birthday of Jesus Christ. And while she may hsvs thought of the gifts that 
she received and while she may have thought of the gifts that she gave (X'm 
inclined to think it was a little girl. . . .why are we always quick to think 

that girls are more spiritually sensitive than boys?.... why are we inclined 

to think that women are more spiritually sensitive than men? It may be as 
error to think that, of course. No one sex has a monopoly upoa spiritual se».si" 
tivity) . . . . . . .but It did look like a little girl's writing. And God be thaake. 

for the fact that when she thought of Christmas she happened to remember 

And so as I come to the ea^red desk this morning I'm asking yo«» when 

:*t Hiss Itl" {4} 


you look back - - are you sure you didn't miss Him? It's over. Was He 

Preachers delight in telling this story, I'll share it with you — I 
may have told it to you before. They were making much of the production , the 
dramatic production on the night that marked the Holy Nativity. Some churches 
do that, you know, they put on a Christmas pageant, this one was to be a very 
special one. The director said, "This year we'll do something we have&*t done 
before - - all the lights in the auditorium will go off, and than in a very 
dramatic way we'll focus lights upon she Baby Jesus, and in this way we'll 
emphasize the fact that nothing is as important as the centrality of Jesus 
Christ." To make certain, that it would go off as he wanted it to go off, 
he told the person in charge of the lights, "You have that speelal light burn- 
ing as all the other lights are burning, but then you turn off ail the other 
lights and then that one special light will remain. Tou understand?" 

...of course he understood, and he had it. But for some reason 
when the night came he fouled himself up, and all the lights went off..... and 
a voice was heard from off-stage — a stage whisper that's loud so that all 
the people could hear its "Hey, you — you switched off that light on Jesus! 
- — get it back on!" And maybe that's what we have to do. We've got to get 
that light hack on Jesus Christ. ¥a f ve got to remember again and again and 
again that there can be no meaning regarding Christmas unless Jesus Christ is 
pre-eminent. The Apostle Paul, that great Christian., that ardent follower of 
Christ, looked back, and when he thought of Jesus Christ he said of Him - - "In 
him all the fulness of God was pleased to dwell." Isd the Creed writers say: 
"Very God of Very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the 
Father" - - this is God come to us. 

Mow on this Sunday, one of the Sundays after Christmas, Christmas past, 
are you sure you didn't miss Him? Are you sure you saw Him? 

People who travel to distant places come back and compare notes. They 

tell about what they saw and where they went. And in the presence of some of 

those people I've heard them lament and say, "Gee, we missed that!" Let me 

read for you the text for today's meditation: 

"And when they (the wise me n) were coma j lato the house 
they saw the young child with Mary his Mother, and fell 

treasures they presented him gifts, gold and frankincense 
and myrrh." 

The indictment remains - - at the end of a journey called Christmas, where 

did it end for you? With a measure of delight in what you got? In a measure 

of delight in what you gave somebody else? Is there anyone of us who can 

especially gave this year to Jesus Christ which I specifically labeled 

with his name, and said: "Jesus Christ, this is for you"? It could well be 

-'■'' : ■■■'■'- ■■^■.■■-■■-■^■■: '- v,-: ;, ;. '.■::.••. ::.....'■• '.'.;,;;, e^«yc;i<. ■■■:■.■ :, :„..v-:;v -::, Ic/x u^-k:^.-"- 
else would pass as a gift for Himself as long as it v.-aa done in Hie mind and 
in His spirit. But there again I'm constrained to ask you: the things that 
we've done for others — did we really do it according to the mind and spirit 
of Jesus Christ? Still as of old these words remain: "Inasmuch as you have 
done it unto one of the least of these, my brethren, and you've done it in 
my name, then you've done it in my spirit - - it's just as though you had 
done it for me". So draw some measure of comfort, if you don't mind, in the 
realisation that whenever a gift, was given in the spirit of Jesus Christ it 
might just as well have had the name of Jesus Christ upon it. Think about 

Now let me go back and read for you what you ordinarily associate with 
Christmas Eve, and yet you 8 ve got to remember that it was after the birth of 
the Baby, some time afterward that the wise men finally arrived, and then 

"Don't Miae it!" (6) 

"How whan Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of 
Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jeru- 
salem, sayings "Where is he who has been bora king of the 
Jews? ?or we have seen his star in the East, and have come 
to worship him." When Herod the king heard this, he was 
troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all 
the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of 
them where the Christ was to be bom. They told him, "in 
Bethlehem of Judea; for so it is written by the prophet: 
'And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, 
are by no means least among the rulers of 
Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who 
will govern my people Israel.'" 
Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from 
them what time the star appeared ; and he sent them to Bethle- 
hem, saying, "Go and search diligently for the child, and when 
you have found him bring me word, that I too may come and wor- 
ship him." When they had heard the king they went their way; 
and lo, the star which they had seen in the East went before 
them, till it eame to rest over the place where the child was. 
When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great 
joy; and going into the house they saw the child with Mary his 
mother, and they fall down and worshiped him. Then, opening 
their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense 
•-■■■ : - X ' ■'■.. e "' 

Che story doesn't end at that poiafc* Listen to this; 

"... And being warned in a dream not to i\ ■..-■;■;, ! ?oc 
they departed to their own country by another way . , " 

...a different way. They went back differently. They hadn't missed it. 

They found something that had touched their lives. And they were not tlw 

same. What difference has set in your life, because you made a journey 

called Christmas? You didn't miss it, did you? 

* * a 

(This sermon transcribed as recorded) 


lleditation - Pastor Raymond Shaheea 

The Second Sunday After the Epiphany January 16, 1977 


GRACE, Mercy and Peace from God k ' 

our Father and from His Son Jesus jjr 

Christ, our Blessed Lord. Amen. \r^ 

The sermon on this day of necessity is a brief one.. It bears the title: 

"Something To Hold On To." And the text is from the prophecy of Isaiah, the 

sixth chapter, the 1st verse: 

"I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne , 
high and lifted up . . . " 

How, that is not a fair thins that I've just done for you, I've read only a 
part of that great verse of Scripture that serves as the basis for this sermon 
on Anniversary Sunday. Let na go back for you now and read the seven intro- 
ductory words which ought never to be veparated from the remaining part of the 


"In the year that Rfc i g Uggiah died. I 
saw the I«ord t sitti t g_ upon a throne, 
high and lifted u p. _ 

A thine is never to be fully appreciated until it's seen against its back- 
ground. That's why this test can never fce read partially. If I read it for 
you partially this morning, I did it by cieliberate design, that you might 
understand, that the text must staad in i;s entirety - - "In the year that King 
Uzziah died I saw the Lord, sitting opoa a throne, high and lifted up." 

You see, that grand and good man, hat rare and remarkable spirit, Isaiah 
by name, had been pretty well bowled over sy the death of a great man. It was 
as though his own world had tumble in on him. The dead king, while he lived, 
had provided good and effective loadershi". His own people faried exceptionally 
well against the military and political .-rJLiaaces that had been arrayed against 
them from without. 2ven as he began to uane, in his declining years,., th«y still 
looked upon him as a beloved sovereign, &od no one said that his rule was inef- 

f active. But uow Uzziah was dead. 

In his stead came a weak one, a king named Ahab, who bartered the inde- 
pendence of his country, who sold out his people and opted for security and 
peace with the Assyrian emperor. All this was so debilitating* But against 
all this the prophet saw a vision. His king was dead. But high and lifted up 
he saw the Lord, seated upon a throne. 

On this Anniversary Sunday really now it's not too much to suggest 

that* 8 the way it was, or something like it, when that eccentric but totally 
committed Milton J. Bieber, a mission developer for the United Lutheran Church, 
loomed on the horizon and came upon the Silver Spring scene. It was back in 
the fall of 1939 ..... 1939 — some of us remember and remember it well* 
and our mood and our manner was caught up in the classic expression as Sir 
Edward Gray pot it» the Britisher who looked oat from where he was upon the 
European scene, and said ever so painfully J "Thm lights of Staropa are going 
out, one by one, and I do not think that I shall live to see them go on 
again." - - - it was at that time that Milton J. Bieber cam® and said, "Let 
there be established a group of people, let's form a brand sew congregation." 
Dreams ware being shattered. ...hopes were not easily kept alive. But Bieber 
said, "Let's establish an oasis of courage and confidence in the purposes of 
God - - let's do it? - - let's do it here I" 

And so I stand at this sacred desk this morning telling you la cryptlcal 
fashion that that is the way it was. That's the way it is. And by the grace 
of God, it may always be that way. 

From my vantage-point as your Pastor as I look out over this congregation 
each Lord's Day, I see some of you and I see you against the background from 
which you have come. Here and there, if X could make you privy to the things 
that I know, I could point out this person and that person, who has marked the 
path that leads to this place because his world has tumbled in — the dark 
night of the soul has coma upon him, the lights are going out., ose by one. 


And he wonders if they'll ever go on again. It's not simply the light of 
the world that's become dim, but it's the flickering, faltering light in hia 
own soul 

..Thirty-seven years have come and gone and people have marked the path 
that led to an altar — whether it be in the Silver Theatre, or in another 
borrowed place, the Masonic Temple — until they could come to this inter- 
section at Colesvill?n Road and Highland Drive, to a place that they could call 
home,,. ........ ^.always each Lord's Day to see anew ehe vision of the Eternal 

God, high and lifted up something to which they could hold on to and some- 
thing which would hold on to them, and nevsr releass them. 

That's what we are, you see, the people claimed by a vision — inspired — 
encouraged by that vision to be His obedient servants in a wicked world. 

The yaara have com® and £h® years pass — thirty-seven of thesa, and 
throughout this time to this present this congregation sadists in order to 
hold before the gathered company the vision of God high msd lifted up. And my 
debt is very great to those men of God who came on the scene before me. I 
know something of thjsir commitment, and their only purpose was -to exalt before 
you the Lord Jesus Christ, to lay His claim upon your soul. 

Well, this God with whom we must do business is the God of history and 

other things, the grim yet glorious realisation that God keeps His own grip 
on the world, no matter how hell-bent it may become. Soon Gr late the fact- 
of- facts is revealed — the pure... the true. ...the good and the beautiful re- 
main, they survive. And God's purposes will be fulfilled * 

To that end X come to this sacred desk today, X commit myself anew with you 
to whatever years God may give us together, that we may be claimed by that vision. 
He's high - - He's lifted up - - His claim remains upon as, May we live ssd labor 

in love as His ohed&snt servssats. 

* * 

(Transcribed as recorded) 

Samson - Pastor Eaymosd Shaheea 

The Third Sunday After lite Epiphany ^__«_ January 23, 1977 


GBACE, Mercy aod Peace from God fMF^' 

cur Father and frctai His Son Jesus '"H 

Christ, our Blessed Lord, iaa sn. 




A few years ago when the Sev* Dr. Robert Jams Marshall was elected by 
clear and decisive ballot to become the President of the Lutheran Church in 
Amerlca s a colleague of his on the Executive Council was seated nearby. He 
quickly, let it be said thoughtfully, wrote a message and placed it ia Br. 
Marshall's hands. As Dr. Marshall was called to the podium to acknowledge 
his election, he read that message. These were the words J "Just as you now 
are called to serve as the Chief Pastor and Shepherd of our souls, even so 
all of us are called to serve with you and to support you," Those words re~ 
main in my mind as 1 come to this sacred desk on this Sunday nearest the 
Inauguration of a national leader. 

You can understand why, that I set aside the sermon that 1 planned to 
preach today, for X with you watched the festivities of the Inaugural event, 
and I dare say with you I was deeply moved. As magnificent, as generous as 
anything, our new President acknowledged the debt that all of us owe to his 
predecessor, recognising him for the reconciling influence that he brought 
to bear upon us as a nation. In company with you I, too, was impressed when 
I saw him place his hand upon the Bible, exalted in front of us the Good Book, 
upon which he made his promise. 

As I reflected upon this it occurred to me that all of our eyes were 
focused upon one man, the eyes of the nation were turned on him. It was his 
day. We didn't want to lose a single glimpse of where he was, what he was 
doing. And very properly the focus remained on him. 


' Where Do You Stand?" (2) 

There is a text for today's meditation, a passage of Scripture that's 
sonde irresis cable claim upon the fabric of my thinking. For there was another 
moment, a great moment, in a great chapter that was being written by a great 
nation on the face of the earth. Their leader stood up in front of them. 
He said something, and his words were directed to them. Let me read the 
text for you now - - it's the 15th verse of the 24th chapter of the Book of 
Joshua, and the words are the words of Joshua. Said he: 

"Choose you, this day, whom you w ill serve." 

In that great moment in their history he had made it a matter of record 
as to where he stood, assd that's exactly whet w@ have been looking for in the 
man that we chose to be our President. Whether we voted for him or sot is be- 
side the point. But it is essential that he let us know the direction in which 
he is going to move. It may fee too much to ask him to spell out for us all of 
our programs, but we do want to know his basic philosophy. We are encouraged 
;':•.::■■■■:■ i-;.. :•;/ '^jcribos to ImmJ ! Morality, to ethics. Bat 2 My to you bow as : 
stand at this sacred desk, it is not enough that our eyes should turn on him 
and we should say, "We want to hear where you stand - - we want to know in 
what direction you're going to mova" .... because I'm willing to submit 
to you this morning that to all intents and purposes when you speak about 
ethics and morality, our leaders become pretty much what we want them to be- 
come, or what we allow them to become. You won't forget that, will you? 

There's a highly esteemed member of «tbis congregation with whom I used 
to speak a great deal about things on Capitol Hill, and as he surveyed that 
scene he used to say to me, "But Pastor, remember , the elected representative 
pretty much reflect the mentality and the morality of the area frcas which he 
comes." You may not like to think of that, but after all we do call them our 
elected representatives. We are the ones who do choose them. 

There are some encouraging things on the national scene, I arc happy to 

woere ug iou stand?" {J) 

tell you. We're beginning to think In terms of religion — > would you b*lieve 
it! We talk about healing , we talk about reconciling inf luences . . . .we talk 
about putting certain things behind us* ...we talk about the admission of 
guilt s we talk about pardon and amnesty, which is simply to suggest for glve- 
nags. We think about moving ahead. These are religious terms. That's a 
very salutary thing, I suggest to you. But no one person by himself can 
transform a national scene. 

We had for a time, and I succumbed to it briefly » until I remembered that 

I'm a believer ia the Lord Jesus Christ to a degree of cynicism and despair 

— ■ who's to be trusted? Who's to be believed? These past years have been 
a jolting experience for m& 9 as some of you know, and know very well. Some 
of us have watched with a great deal of pleasure and profits "Upstairs 9 Down- 
stairs" - - one British cousins have produced it for us..... the two levels, 
you see. The people who live upstairs .... the people, the serving class, who 
live downstairs. Their IM&s parallel to a degree, ksd then we discover one 
day, as we watched the series, that the sins that they commit are common sins 
....the folks upstairs and the folks downstairs, no matter what it is that 
separates them culturally or economically or socially, their sins are the 

How you and I need to remember that lest we succumb to a measure of cyni- 
cism and despair. When those in high places had their excesses of misbehavior, 
we began to cry out. And sometimes people cried out because they were infuria- 
ted that they could do it at our expense, and spend, our money for their wicked 
ways. But God help us if that's the only reason why we express a measure of 
moral outrage. 

Now let me tell you that when my eye was focused en the new national leader, 
it occurred to me, wouldn't it be something if when he stepped out of the pic- 
ture, every single one of us stepped into the picture. For it has to be a 

"I/here De You Stand?" (4) 

Batter of record now as to where we stand. Even as Joshua of old, as he was 
leading the children of Israel, that nation in formation, stood up and said 
exactly where he stood. Then he turned to them and he said, "And where do 

you stand?" this is what you and 1 have to remember, you see. You'll 

find this parody amusing, perhaps, amusing only to a degree. There was a man 
who once said to his pastor, W I wish that the Government would get its foot 
off my neck, its hand out of my pocket, its eytss off of my private Ufa, and 
stop interfering with me." Ha had been fed up with bureaucracy, Did it ever 
occur to you that to all inteats and purposes this becomes a necessary evil 
because there are those of us who just aren't honest enough. The Internal 
Revenue Service has to do what it does because some of us don't know how to 
count when it comes to filling out an Income Tax form - - they have to do what 
they do because some people would defraud us... as they have. When somebody 
dies, we have to get — what is it, a dozen now? of death certificates because 
there are people who will take advantage of those who are left alone after some- 
one dies. The evil is not perhaps in bureaucracy. The evil lies within us that 
such rules and regulations are necessitated. Said Joshia, "This is where I 
stand. This is the direction in which 1 am going to move. In the whole new 
climate that surrounds us, for which we give thanks to lod, a national leader 

has said, "This is where I stand this is the direction in which I am going 

to move." 

But that's not enough. I honestly believe that God holds* America responsible 
as a nation, just as He holds an individual responsible as a person. And I 
honestly believe, just as God has a purpose for your life, so God has a purpose 
for America. And I know something else. That unless we subscribe to God's way 
— of resolving our problems, as individuals we come upon hard and difficult times, 
and If America thinks she can rua her course by ignoring Gwd, then she too will 
coma upon a sad and difficult day. Said Joshua — now, you choose. * .now, you 



"Khar s Do You Standi" (5) 

Take ymss eyss aow } for the lfiesamSa off sf I?3B»fc;yIva&ia Avaaue. l-m 
loagey focus upas 1600 Pssnsylvaala Avaasua sr Capitxd Hill- Look! in the 
mirror. Wh&ra do you staad? Therein taay lis the augwsr. 

(Sfeiss susetboss tr&ass " ibcd as taeerdad) 



The Sisth S\ Agger the Epiphany February 13, 


GRA.CS, MK8C7 and Peace free God our . 4 ' 

Father and from Jesus Christ, our LA^^ 

Soaring some seven alias over the surf ace of the earth as our DC10 wisgiad 

us homeward, our Associates Pastes: turned toward sue sad placed la the pal's of 
.:" hood a little book. He said* "Baas' it — you can do it la less than half 
sa ho*2x%" With the high regard fee/- tbs iralue that he places upon suck things, 
I did act wafctss cay *$%■■■%,« X z??id It at cvica. 

The book has not bean off she pr<a3s very long, It had bean written by 
■-''*afc .t?,-\ .:,-' 0:. :-<•:• '.? «;-. --• c^Kv -^ ■;■:? .v; sllrVi'i ;.. Kb-:-;'.-.: fij:-.:cf.£ £?; "':--,'.te 
life of Pastor David < Ha is the Il&v. Dr., Alvia ftogness, recently retired as 
the President of Luther Theological Seattaary in St* Paul, Minnesota. Th<g 
book bears the Interesting title: '""Remember The Promises." Xt's a series of 
little gems, a page c-.c c, v ^ .■',-■? . - gen., 

One of" his sentences, pregnant it meaning, caught a*y aye and still claims 
it* It xesAa ilka thiat "4„1i§?2&£^M-^ 

of doing *?faat*s. never bean. done m before* " - - a vary simple statements bat 
profound in manning: "'■. remarkable thing about man is that he io capable of 
ds'i-V'.;-i;i; '-;• :,z hasn't bean done before!" 

It triggered all kinds of thoughts ia ay Bind . . . . . 

— Wilbur and OrviUa Wright... how readilj would v;hiak of 
Chan since I was where I waa. ...Wilbur and Orvills 

v-.r :•.>;;.. '. , rx-A-.y ";. •-:■:.;' fc<:.0 >'--;'.,:'•; '.;■ -■^■•■i- i i ;j.;v ;..>..< :;.:,{::-:; . y.b,«j; 
. . ' ; ':.." f»'i.£gr.- , . . » 

--"- ':hf. LI; .-, ; s.hvi; ■w.sss up^-s ;:-: : v:- bsok; that I could read it vers 

{.■;.i:iJ,y " " Il.'XiJ-as Ei.:f.;;>:£.s whv-zs g:t?.,::;. s ;>.-. :. ;<:,:•;:*; ^'/a ;>',•?, 
light where thers had I sen dark : :: : s.« ... , 


Ch ■. ... Pioneer" (2) 

— ilareoni* who transmlttec sound acrosi great distances, where 

otherwise there would have bean sileac© — who brought 
the distant near. 

— und in that cabin ia the sky, a veritable room with wings ~ 

Arasgine, we had every comfort and every convenience of 
bona. And ail because at this tine or that time, this 
person or that parson was able to do something chat had 
never been do&a before. 

And then my udad want back;, to the Holy Land, where we had taken the pil- 
grimage. And 2 tbouglxc particularly of that tows in Llasareth, where Jesus 
grew up as a boy. I/e walked where He had walked. 

Anyone who travels to the Holy Land needs, I thlak* at least two- things 
in his personal equipment: he should have a fund of Biblical knowledge, he 
should be aware of Biblical his-cory s what it was that took place* and where. 
aad. wham, aad the persoa&licias involved* •..•and in addition to t:mt he ought 
to have the gift of a sanctified imagination. ?©r what good Is it to say that 
you walked where Jeans walked if you're sot able to picture what it taight have 
bean whan He was there. Ton won't misunderstand me, will you, when I tell you 
that I asked Cod to give fee a sanctified imagination when we stood in ihis 
place, aad waat to that snot, and recalled this ev*ac or that incident? And 
aow, in that cabin in the sky,, a veritable room vith wings, with that thought 
so pregnant in my raind 9 - - - it's within the capability of im& to do what had 
■-'.;ve<; b :•>?. i ^viA h =■;•■: .:*;;,;.- 

I thought of Jesus in. Haas&rath*,. ,,J thought of Che time He a »t fco the 
synagogue. Well, why doc t you lei me read that page from fee Bible tier you. 
It's reco dad as the 4th chapter of the Gospel according to Luke, verses 2 6 

a. ., 1 <i - 
z*^J JL.t * 


Cfor, . .. aeer" (3) 

"«aad. he ;?-;T3;s to. ifezar&th». whara be had began brmv- ■ 
up; and he went to the synagogue, as his custom was, 

there was given to hla the book of the prophet 
Isaiah* He opened the book ami found the place 
where it was writ tan , 

' The Spirit of the Lord la upon mc, 

hea miam he has aaointed t.r.a to preach 

good ses?a to the poor. 
Ha hag seat aw to proclaim release 

to the captives 
and recovering of sight to the blind, 
to sat at liberty those who are op~ 

pr eased, 
to proclaim the accapta^la year of the 
'" "Logd-"^ . . "'"*""" " """"""" 

...i«8 fje.r#. there » where Shis is supposed to have taken place. 

We saw Haasreth, other things as vail. 

We saw the village wall, at least they pointed la the direction where It 
was,... .the spot vhare th« carpenter shop la supposed to have bees. • . . . .and ia 
ray jud&aeat the coat beautiful of all the churchas that we saw, recently eoa- 

v;ucted, the Church of the Ammaeiatloa, ln*ilt on eke site where presumably 
Cite angel came and . »3Ld Mary that she was to become the mother of our Blessed 


Bet when we turned our back on Hasareth and drove down the road a little 

bit, the 5>tas driver ■■ I lad eaough so stop* and then ^?e got out, some o£ us, 

and then we looked back to iteaareth, built on a hill* and t&aro on the edge 

town La the great hill, with its precipice. .... .and then ay imagination 

would take over...... 

• * I thought 1 heard a woman say: ng, Hary fey smae, 

"Joseph, where do ya?» suppose ias is now? 

(le^'s say He vas tea years iyY. ■ 
sklnaet , dark eyes, da?k~halred, one of a 

...Mary laying to ■;'&& father,, "waere £c you suppos h* ::-. now?" 
...and thes Mary answering her own stion; "I think ' know 


■-.'■' V" 

ceught him there oac^ myself, at the edge of toi king 
down oyer the precipice isto the great valley... and whei I 
looked at hia j$s was lying flat on his belly. . .ha had a blade 
of wheat Bed he was patting it back and forth between his 
lips .....but his eyes, they were seeing thiags far away* and 
he was. thinking deep thoughts*. Joseph. I thiok he's gone 
back there again , , . w 
what did He see? 
He ass? the camel caravans * that's whai; lis c&n ■■-*■ h\ iagacg aa;"<<;!;jivKli5& 

to the £narkst~place. . * » 
He saw the beggars by the side of the road, eh® disaesed, the hurt* the dis- 
advantaged » • • « 
He saw the prisoners being marched off so that they would rot in jail.... 
ihese ware the things that He saw. 

And as a child He had deep thoughts, honestly He did. Yon remsmbes- ., H® { s 
the ose who at the age o£ twelve west to the temple, pu£ £hs Learned nan ca 
the spot by asking them deep questions , £h* big iiu&ati** He :■;•'.:■,« k.~: 4;Lf :?;*;■ sal, 
She child bec&ffie a man* as as a men H© 2<s£t Hayas'sr?-.; ,■.-:.?■.;•£ m;x :. v;:v -;:&?. preach" 
iag aad teaching and performing miracles. And then He came back, as His custom 
was — that's the way the Bible says ~ to the synagogue,. How visualise It, 

■■■■'■'■■'•' v. y ■:■;■■:.? - ■&?, r-K.ix Ivi ,:--. i v-.'s:<H } the Eldar, spats Jesus in the congregation. 

>.-.« . •■ .-■■■:• . "wa what they had said about Jesus, the locnl-boy-'who-had~!asde~<;ood. 
His reputation, you -see, had c<k*s back and they'd heard all these grand sad 
good things about: their man from Hasarei-h, ■...---/.„< - ; ■■.;.;.-- u. vvwz si-as 
to read the Lessons, be suggested Jesus - - "If you don't mind* why don't yon 
honor us by reading the Lesson today? 1 ' And then Jesus verj reverently went 
over mhsjre the s&e?:<«3 writings were keps? unrolled the scroll, and He .:<sad 
:.■■..'■." £*ve ., seedy rssad for yew, 

and the* :lc sals? something - - because it's within tha capability of matt. 

to do something that's never been doaa before* this Jesus said: "Today this 
Scripture Is going to b® fulfilled — it's going to become alive — something's 
going to be dona movt fifes imprisoned, ... . something 'e going to bs dona about she 

diseased,. ..something's going to be done about the hurt of humanity. God's 
going to iuvade this world, The problems are going to bs resolved from God's 
poise of visM - - and I«ta going to be that parson, . . . " 

...It 8 a within ths capability of man, I tell you, the remarkable thing about 
man to be able to do what's never been doae before.... 

She world has never been the sane since Jesus Christ left Hasareth. There's 
been all kind of healing let loose is this world ... there's been ell kind of 
prison reform let loos© in this world.... there's been all kinds of meeting the 

need, of humanity, the like of which the world has never known before...... there's 

bean enlightsamentctaeire's bean education.... there's been healing, To put it 

is one sentence God has been let loose in the world that belongs to Sim, 

because one day on a hill outside of Hesareth someone dared to believe that He 
could do som et hin g that had nav<&r been done before. 

Said He, it's a brand new eommandssiairt X give you - - "Love one another," 
Shat is onique about the life of Jesus Christ? Tsis complete and perfect identi- 
fication with God, His willingness to become God's obedient servant, so much so 
that the Creed writer has put it in classic fashion: "very God of very God, 
begotten * not taada, being of ona substance with the Father . . . H She remark- 
able thing about the toman spirits Man is capable of doing what has never been 
done bsfora. 

Mow eould you sit idly down and watch the dramatisation called "Roots" with~ 
lut saying to yourself as you walked away - - it really was that way at one 
MS* " "*" *• ^'^ the way we treated human raluea? — is this sha way we denied 
the human spirit? Tba remarkable shiag about mmz ha ths capability of doing 
what has never been dona before! . . . sad we learn to exalt human rights, sad 
place a high value upon an individual. 

Our other 9< ?ij Jon* every now and then usad to send ne clippings from the 

&'s w Yorker or sotse other Etagaalna that he Jesses* that I didn't get. I told you 
about the one, didn't I, the clipping of the $edragglad kind of chap who stands 
outside the church door -sad reads what's on the church bulletin boards 

...and the bedraggled fellow scratches his heed ead says, n Isn't it a pity that 
the idfcss, nover realls^ caught oni" That carpenter's son triad to break through* 
to let God loose in this world as it had never been done bsfors, because it's 
within the capability of man to do whet* a never baea dose befcrs. 

And that is» 1 presume, wee the impression of impressions that was made upon 
the fabric of xttf heart as I atadu the pilgrimag® to the Holy Land, to realise that 
there and than s at ©&a time, there was on® person who did what had never bees 
does before - - willful* perfect obedience to a Heavenly Father. 

You know* don't you? that it's within your capability* too. You are unique. 
In God* a plan you're i&aaat to do what's never been done before. That's why Hs 
justifies your existence v whether you justify it that way or not. 

We stood in nany places, as ycu jr&gfet know, in th& Holy Land* I remember so 
wssli as the Gospel Lesson was being read this morning, of going with that little 
company, and Pastor Oavid *?as given tim privilege of reading for tha entire group 
the words that you heard read this naming — on ?:he npot presumably where these 
words were first spoken by Jesus Christ. We want to the "Our Father" Church — 
where presumably the spot ranalna to this day where Jesus first taught disciples 
to pray..,. ..we stood within Che shadow of the Mount of tba Ascension-, where 
this Man woo had done what had never been done before gave a parting command so 
a group of disciples* and as much as to say to them., "Mow yon go, and you do 
■•:■:'•.!£■-. a; •; ,'.• '-;,.".■■'..:-:■-; z? ;'-;-"x- ; : ■-.-. ..,.,.. ., ;;"-..-?? ;■:■- ■&: ■.:•:',:..--■. :<:■>.&. ■ ■.>;•' '--lev :•..;- ■'■■■■■ .-,h.z 
disadvantaged* body and soul, mind and spirit. 

X*reacoers love to tell this story* and 1 am no exception. There's supposed 
£o Rave bean the dream of St. Peter . He saw Je.»«s going away from £he worlds 


k Chz Lstiaa A s A - &eei (?) 

aad Pacer said, "You caa't go yet. You just began so do what you startad 

to doi Yoa ssta'f, gc ye.'L'P Aud -Jvx:ae £ulI;! B "?. ? m gci:.;g — I*a returning fco 
:ay Heavily fatxvie/ - ' A&d fihes Pa£fe>.\ m^f~2:p : r,l~;:. 'is }:?■. v-u?. : x ^a-ml-x^iky ,v.!'fcsid , 
'•Well £3j«a f vjaat's going £t> happen, to what you cEs-rteu?" 

.•.••sad Jesus- axjawsred > "X v ia counting ©a ay disciples." 
ana Peter said, "Suppose they fail you?" 

....sad Jesus answered, "I here no other pleas." 
It's as awesoiaa as all that., 

(This sermon fcr&nsgribad as records®) 


Sermon - Pastor Raymond Shaheea 

The Second Sunday in heat. March 6, 1977 


GRACE, Marcy and Peace from God a > '^ ' ' 

our Father and from His Son Jesus i f ^ 

.Christ, our Blessed Lord. Amen, « 

Practically every book that I've knows of has attention paid to it 
because it's a finished production. The writer was able to cotae to a con- 

There is an exceptional book, however, that is remembered because it was 
never finished. John Milton, is 1629, thought about the sacrificial life and 
death of Jesus Christ, aad save to himself ths assignment to write a book 
called "The Passion . 1 ' That book is remembered because it was never finished. 

It's remembered also because of what he wrote in regard to this unfinished 
work. Let me read his sentiment for you: "The writer, having undertaken this 
task, found it well beyond his understanding and his year. He lias left it un- 
finished . " 

So it is with many of us in our day, we contemplate the past — we even 
set aside, those of us who belong to s tradition such as ours, this particular 
season of the year when we meditate anew upon the sacrificial life and death 
of Jesus Christ. Th« more we think about it, the more we're bewildered by it. 

To begin with, why did he have to die? TTfay did God allow this to happen? 
How is it possible that His death could take away my_ sin? And what sin of mine 
in particular might it have been that drove the nails into the Tree? So you 
and I are baffled by it. 

I presume that was one of the grim realizations that came to the four of 
us as four short weeks ago we. walked where Jesus walked... we faced Jerusalem... 
c <»we meditated in the Garden of Gethsemane. . . .va stood within the shadow of 
Golgotha. And of course you know that I had deep thoughts. I saw people coming 

" (2) 

and going, many of them wearing perhaps ranch the same kind of sarb that the 
people wore in the day of Jesus. And presumably any number of them bent ©e 

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rounded the dlsciplea who were there in the day of Jesus. A&d I asked myself 
question after quest:Los «. . . 

...had I ba^ there then* what would I have been doing? 
...on whose side would I have been found? 

...and what sia of nine would have caused Him to be rejected? 
Yon can't possibly f.hink of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ without think- 
ing of the sins of mankind - ~ "Wwt God so loved tie world that He .gave His 
only begotten son . . . "...that we might have etenal life. 

- - "His name shal7 k be called Jesus, for He i hall save his people 
from t&elr elae" can't think cf t\* Saviour apart from your sins you can't think of 

your sins apart from the Saviour. It's right and proper, thee, that as I come 
to this sacred desk darij g those Sunday aornings of Lent I should ask you to 
think with me abous the > jo-called Deadly Sins. And that isn't to mean that 
we can ftak« any aia Ugatjiy. No s i a is ever to be i aken lightly. But Pops 
Gregory had a way ox cell .«g seven o£ than* deadly. So Sunday by Sunday we will 

the sin of rayy. And the text - of course there's a text for a sermon - the 
1st verse of the 2nd chapter of First Peter: 

"g°-E»L.flggt -lll malice y and all g uila insincerity. 
fi&JBK • - • " -...put it away. 
TJhat can I tell you iibout envy? All that you «ver wanted to know but you 
:hf,v '. ■■■;:, 

What do you really w nt to know about envy? Well, I can begin by telling 
you that perhaps it's the list sin that you and I will ever want to confess. 



Some people, without hesitation, will great interviews to magaslnes, and they'll 
talk about the fact that they've lusted.... some people will confess murder.. .some 
people will confess that they are robbers .... same people will admit that they 
have not always respected their parents and honored thera ( -...aoina people confess 
that they forget to keep the Lord's Day holy. But where is the man who is 
quick to confess tha*: his heart is filled with eavy? 

It may be the last sin that you and I are about feo confess, It's one of 
those things that we want to teosp from other people, and the only way that they 
may ever know that we're envious is when we turn green with envy — Ehe self- 
revelation situation, 

Th® second thing I can tell you about envy is this; that it's one of 
those sins that seems never to be satisfied. Anp number of sins that you and 
I commit have a way of granting us a measure of gratification along the line.,. 

— a man may lust after the flesh... and walk away somewhat 


— a man may be gluttonous — but now honestly, won't he 

reiaeh the point when he will say, I can't ©at another bite 
. ■ . satisfied . . . . 
...not so the sin of envy, As long as somebody has what you and I do not have, 
and something that we waat very, very much, we'll never be satisfied. I can 
tall you that abcsst envy, you can tell me that about envy. 

I can also tell you this about envy, and perhaps it comes to you as a bit 

of a surprise that when you and I talk about the sins that nailed Jesus 

Christ to the cross, this is the only sin that's mentioned by a Gospel writer 
by name. In the 27th chapter of the Gospel according to Matthew it's recorded: 
"gor It was for envy that they delivered him to be crucified. " 
- Now let's dwell on that for a moment. It's very, very important. Ha 

imagined the entrance to the Holy City, we thought we could hear th© people 

say "Hossnna to the sou of David" and "Blessed is lie that comes in the name of 
the Lord"..... we relived Palm Sunday, even though we weren't there on 'Bain 
Sunday — we triad to imagin® how it took place..,.. and then in mid-week we 
tried to figure out why it was that they turned, and now you have them bringing 

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around is his head and he's; trying to figure it out too: "Uhy, a short while 
ago they acclaimed him - - a while ago they talked about him no matter where 
you went in Galilee and Judea ~ ~ & great preacher! — the miracle-worker S — 
why they even said something about his being Che Messiah!" ..... Pontius pilate 

'-•-•■■-Si ::'J:--;.. . ar-y.\ .vy., 

and he came ft© the conclusion, I dare say, that it was for envy that they 
turned him over to the author itier. Because, you see, those leaders of the 
Jewish church recognised him for i.ha threat that he was. His success could be 
their undoing. And they couldn't tolerate it. fhey couldn't stand that kind 
of competition. Look at it that wayl — realistically, now. Fee that's the 
way the Gospel writer puts it do^j : It was for envy that they delivered him up 
.-■',j:-^. ,'•;;..•'•-:;.■ "-4:-, 

Oh, I kn«w? there are tirass tfiea you and I say, because we want to be 
polite and courteous, "I assvy you -.his" and "I envy you that" - - "Why, if I 
were in your positr.oa, How I wish : were — ys*a have so mueltl'" - - - w® really 
don't mean that! Itut when I find i omeone who is my equal, or my near-equal, who 
may be as gifted and skilled as I i a — anyone can talk like this — then a 

threat, you see, looms upon the hove icon someone else is a little bit better 

than I am! And of course one begins to pale by way of comparison and contrast. 

Soma of %is can't quite afford it. You know tbafc, of course you do. And 
it creates all kinc.s of ill-will within our hearts, and ail kinds of unkind 
thoughts about the other persoa. ';" u see, it: for Sags us down to their level, 
their competition. We have to deal with our feairs. Ho one envies a man who is 


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above tay leveX — - just s bit beyond me, you see, it's that person I begin to envy. 

So it was with the authorities * He became uncomfortably close to their 
vantage-point. It was for envy that they delivered him up to be crucified . 

Did I ever tell you the story — it's only a story, of course it is, at 
least that's the way it came to is® — of the Somas Catholic priest who is said 
to have been a veritable saint? The people who knew him could not fault him 
on any score — one of those ss isedingly rare persons .... ao ose seessed to talk 
of his feet of clay. . , .no ©ae seemed to talk about a twist ed or a torn halo. 
He seemed to be wellnlgfe perfg it,, . . „ 

««*but according to the story as I heard it, there was a 
man who lived in a distant city and he said, "It just can't 
be! Surely he h s a Achilles heel somewhere t Surely he 
will be vulnerable. And I'll be tha man to find it out!" 
So he came and established residence in the village where 
the priest lived and worked out his vocation for his Lord. 

. . ,h& observed him. And after a while he was almost 
forced to come to a conclusion, they must be right — I 
find no fault In \tim. . . »but yet the visitor to the town 
persisted — somewhere, somewhere — he's vulnerable. And 
to achisive his ©wt.>. end he did something downright diabolical: 
he concocted a li* , . . . 

. «..and he came to the village priest 
one day — whose brother was also a priest, in a distant 
community* perhaps in another country,.... and as he met the 
priest coming from Mass one day he sar,d to his?: "Have you 
heard tfce news? - -•■ I have just learned that your brother 
has bees, named a!" And that did it! He turned green 


with envy. It was his brother — it was his contemporary, 
V_ it was his near-equal whs suddenly now becomes a bit better. 

It "a the obstacle course that every single ©a© of as runs. How strange that 
we could not rejole® la someone else f s good. But va regret it, and reseat it. 
Says the Apostle Peter: "Pat is m?&y - - lay it aside." But you see, the 
tragedy is that many of us don't call it by name. Did I tell you about Bernard 
Shawe's play, in one of them the line goes like this: "If we say wa are well 
it* 8 only because we do not know that we are siek." And that's why I for one 
am eternally grateful to one of ths great Psalms — Psalm 139 is among my favo- 
rites. Ask me to name five favorite Psalms, and Psalm 139 will always be there 
- - that ends in such a bold and daring way: 

"Search me, God, and know my heart ; 
Try raes, and know my thought. And if 
there be any evil way in ma, lead ma 
in the. way ever lasting »' : 

_ my heart, God, for that sin of eavy. The sin that the Gospel writer 

said was so terribly responsible for Your death It can blind me - - it can 

cause me to commit any number of other sins. 

Have you heard the legend of the man who was walking the road and eame upon 

a parting blessing. My parting blessing will be this: I will give a blessing 
to one of you who expresses his wish first — surely there is something that 
you would like to hav? . . . . .and to the second of you t who does not first express 
his wish, you'll get double the blessing of the man who expresses his wish first" 
- - a very unusual situation, of course — said the traveler 
to his two companions: ''To the man who expresses Ms wish 
first, he gets a blessing ■- - the other man will get a double 

. . .You can imagine what this did between the tec of then! For surely envy was 
about to take over, and neither one spoke. Each was waiting for the other.... 

...until the one of than could no longer constrain himself, and he grabbed 
the other by the throat and he MriUh "If you don't express your wish first, 
1*11 choke you to deatht" So he t oread hist to wish first. Aad what was his 
wish? - - "I wish to go feiisd is one eye." 
-^.Immediately he. went blind ia one aye. 

And the other man? - - a double portion: blied in both eyes. 
That's the feistd of thing that envy brings down upon sas — a double curse. 

"Se arch aa« God. and lasow my heart. ...try m®, and know my thoughts: and 
if there be any evil way is ma, lead ma in the right way" And what Is the 
right way? You get rid of the bad and you replace it by the good» 

and a story that I nmr tire of telling is the story of th& m&u %rh,& said; 
"Do you see that bright sew automobile aaross the street? That man's brother 
gave it to him." and like as not the natural reaction is, in envy — "I 
wish I had a brother like that!" 

. . .hat not so this man, who said , 
"I wish I could be a brother like that!" 

(This sermon transcribed as recorded) 

Sermon - Pastor Raymond Shaheen 

The Third Sunday in Lent Hareh 13, 1977 


GSACE, Marcy and Peace from God our D/W^' 1 ^ 

Father and from His Son Jesus Christ, 
our Blessed Lsrd „ Apen. 



Some six years ago a prolific Scottish writer wrote a book and. called 
i£ " Ethics Xa A Permis si ve Society .,-'' I have it on my reading desk. I 
reach for it frequently, as wall anyone should who is trying to keep his 
finger on the pulsebea£ of contemporary society. The author dedicated his book 
to two people 9 presumably his granddaughters, to whom he referred as those who 
are the modern generation. 

He didn't gat wry far in his first chapter, a couple of sentences or 
so, until he wrot« 

"■ • ■■ - ; • 

"I-Jhen X was young and first entered the ministry, the threat battle- 
cry was 'Don't bother about theology — just stick to ethics.' 
People would say, stop talking about the Trinity, the two natures 
of Jesus and all that sort of thing. ...just stick to ethics S 
...never mind theology - - just stick to the Sermon on the Mount, 
and let the abstractions and abstruseness, the philosophy, the 

mysticism, go. People said, 'Take theology away l" can't 

understand it anyway!' " ! 

"But thirty years ago, no one ever really questioned the Christian 
ethic. Thirty ago, no one, so it seemed, ever doubted that 
divorce was disgraceful, that illegitimate babies were a disaster, 
that chastity was a good thins, that an honest day's work was part 
of the duty of say respectable and responsible man, that honesty 
ought to be a psrt of life. But today " 

now listen to this, the author went on to conclude 

t o 

today, for the first time in history, the whole Christian 
ethic is under attack. It is not only theology that people want 
to abandon, it is ethics as well . . . " 

It's against that background that I come to the sacrsd desk this morning, 
because this is an age of permissiveness . Is there a reason for it? Is there 

The Deadly Sins - "LUS'. •' (2) 

a rationale, now, with which we have so deal that no other age before had to 
consider? Could it be that that world is changing so fast that we've lost our 
sense of moorings , that nothing ssems any longer to be stable? That we ? re 
inclined to say, no matter who we way be, come what my, "I'll do what 1 want 
to do — don't inhibit me! Let rae write my own ticket,' 5 

In J. B. Priestley's play u The Linden Tree" one of his characters speaks 
like this: "If you ask ae, we've had it! We just can't last. Oh, I'll take 
what is cotaiag s but before then I propose to enjoy myself, I tell you, there 
isn't much time. But, in the meantime, we'll subscribe to the old notion — - 
eat, drink, be merry — tomorrow we dlel" 

Well, you and X wno come to this place repeatedly may have our moments 
when we say the world is going to Hell faster then it's going to Heaven. Or 
if we don't wax that cynical* we may say, the world will pass away* But in 
the meantime, we don't say, Christians that we want to be, "Eat, drink and be 
merry — j!8i.2X yourself — find what measure of pleasure you can and grasp it 
at any price, and don't let anybody stand in your way. To that end, be your- 

S®X£ • 

When I stop, as you must stsp 3 at the intersection of Colesvilia Road and 

Fenfcoa for the traffic light to change, and if I find myself directly opposite 
the Hecht Store, on occasion ray eye goes to the window, and there somebody has 
scrawled in contemporary fashion, as the shop is directly inside the window, 
these words: I'VE GQT ?A BE ME. I get impatient with that, because I know hew 
some people interpret i :...., ."Don't get in my way — I want to express myself 
- - I xmnt to be me" 

Well that's alright if a person would ask himself what kind of person he's 
meant to be. I suggest to you, my friend, that as far as life is concerned, we 
can either be ape or a, al. But you see, we are followers of Jesus Christ, 

The Deadly Sins - "L OST" (3) 

and Jesus Christ is always reminding us that we're meant for Heaven. Jesus 
Christ is always reminding us in one way or another that we're meant to wear 
a halo — that people who subscribe to His teachings snd wrote those Marvelous 
pages that constitute the other part of the Hew Testaments in letter after 
letter we're told that we're meant to be the sons of God, the c hildren of God 
— meant to live and to behave in this wicked world as His sons. Ile're not 
meant to be apish. We're meant to be angelic. 

Oh, I have no qusrrel With "I've gotta be we" if the person will take 
time enough to ask himself , this me that I*ve got to be 5 will it be the bes£ 
possible me? Did I ever Sell you about that grand old Jewish rabbi who on 
occasion used to wish that he were somebody else ?...„ and then one night in a 
dream it occurred to him that in the time of Judgment, he would be asked, not, 
■Shy weren't you like Moses?... but he would be asked, Why weren't you like 
Zusya? — and that happened to be his name — just simply to suggest, why 
weren't you yourself? — your bast possible self? 

You know, don't you, why some of us keep coming back to this place Sunday 
after Sunday — simply to be reminded of who we are, simply to be reminded of 
what our potential can be, simply to reeeive that inspiration, that encourage- 
ment, to live as the soes of God. Honestly now, it can be as simple as all 
that 1 You've come in vein if that isn't what happens here each Lord's Day, 
among other wonderful things that take place. 1 did say it, you remember? we 
can be ape-ish... .or ve can fcu angelic. We are the ones who say we know we're 
meant to set our affections upon spiritual things, upon Heavenly things. 

Today's sermon Is another in the series on the Deadly Sins the Deadly 

Sin of L ust. I touch hi sa ©vary now and then with our other pastor, as you 
might well know that I ^ould. Sometimes I have to seise the moment when it 
__ possible to do it. Last night around 11:00 o'clock I called him on the phone... 
we talked about today. He apprized me of the fact that he wouldn't be here, 

reminding iaa he Had told sue before ~ fee's gone with our youag people oa their 

Itinerary. . . .but then ha said, r *fthafc are you going to preach ©a tomorrow? — 

which sin this time?" And I aald, "David, it's the sin ©£ Lust." He icsaediately 

replied, "Weil, you shouldn't have any trouble holding their interest I" 

...and I Immediately said to myself* and what did fee mean by that? Could 

he xasaa that evcsry single one of us in on® way or another has dose 

battle en this acoref ...that ©very single one of us is fully informed 

as to the meaning of lust? Jhtd if 1 as a preaehssr should hold your 

interest it's only because I would be reviewing something for you 

with which you're already familiar? that what he meant when 

he ssid I shouldn't have any troubl© holding your interest? 

Or could it he that among you there are those who have seen the damage 

that has been done to i-eople who have allowed their appetite to b® uncurbed, 

who have gone through life simply with a desire to satisfy all that is sessual? 

Could it be that some cf you, <sven as has been true for me, have tried, &m.£ you 

hsva tried, to put together some of the damaged pieces? -- where lust has had 

full sway? 

There's a text for today's sermon, of course there is* and you can have 

your choice. I'll rear, it in two translations. The first is the old one in 

which some ®£ us grew up, the Xing Jasasss interpretation. That man Paul, who 

got around 1 , you know, who really knew what life was like, as ha wrote to a 

group of Christians who livsd In the imperial city of Borne, he said something 

like this, in the 13tti clapter: 

"Let ttg . • hots sstly as in the dayy not ia rioting 
ajadjh; -.-^gss , not in chambering and wan tonne ss, 
not in Str ife >m& envying; but put ye on the Lor d 
Jesus C't ■si st, a ad make. not provision for the flash , 
to fu! the lust thereof." 

, a Deadly Sins - u LU i t (5 

if that has not made the irapaes; that it's meaat to make, 1 sa 

•eascnably certain that you won't miss it in thia translation, for this is 

the way J. B, Phillips puts the same words: 

"Let tig live cleanly, as is .the daylig ht; no t in 
the d alights of getting drunk, or playing with 
sex, nor yet in quarreling or jealousies . . " 

(liat«s to this) 

" ... Let us be Christ's men from head to foo t, 
and give no ehasee to the flesh to have its fling." 

Now i 1 know quite a bit about lust. Sot ©sly on personal experience, but 
also on what I'v© gathered from you. You sa®, I who ststsd in front of you a® 
also the same person who has sat with you in the confessional booth which is 
my study. Nowj, what eaa I tell yon about lust? 

Well, first off, it's usually referred to as the sin of the flesh, more so 
perhaps than any of the — the sin of the flesh. The sin that's committed 
T *hea people permit itej:s«: : ,v®s to be more animal-like than angelic, And anybody 
who has been a farm hard knows exactly what I mean. As animal seeks to have 
its appetites satisfied. It thinks only in terms of its physical gratification. 
An animal has so conscience. Lust is a sia of those who live animal-like, who 
crave, who desire , atad atop at nothing until it's satisfied, from a purely 

It's s sin that's usually referred to as the sis, of sexual abuse. Now 
let me say to you without any hesitation, from the Christian perspective, sex 

is meant to b® perfectly l-e-awtifwl. It's that exceedingly precious thing that 
God has allowed human beings, in the most Intimate of relations, by which two 
people can know each other as otherwise they would not know each other. I 
don't have to remind yen, do I, that repeatedly in the Old Testament that was 
the reference for the sexual act: " . * and this man knew her . . " — idssati- 
lied fully and completely Asad is that relationship, a sense of responsibility 
was established. Frotu 'atlas, perspective „ let it be said again, sex is 

meant to be perfectly beautiful. 

But when a man or woman gives way to lust 9 it is abused, it's cheapened. 
That's why J. B, Phillips Is absolutely right when h© spells It out so clearly: 
"Let us live cleanly, as in the daylight, not in the delights of petting drunk, 
©r playing., with s aa ..." 

The other thing I can tall you about the sin of lust is that it's the 
sia that begins la a a*as*s mind. It's related to fanticisiag. I ray look at you 
and you may look at m<* and you may know by the results of what's around es® what 
I have been up to — the evidence is there, I did something. But when I look 
you in the eye and you look me In the eye* you can't always tell what we're 
thinking. Oh, sometia-jss we can tall, when we look at somebody, just what they 
have been thinking. ..,,. but not always. And that's one of the things that needs 
to be said about the sin ©f lust. It begins down deep inside a mas, and it's 
possible for a person to shield it from somebody els®, It's soaatisaas referred 
to as the sin of Imagination. That's why you and I have & right to gat up-tight 
about pornography. A bosk becomes according to the things that claim his thought. 
It's Scriptural, I tell yea — - "Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of 
it are the issues of liffe.'* — - as a m&n thinks • — according to the things on 
which is mind will dwell tha:*s what he eventually becoises. It's as terrible 
as all that I 

And that's why a person has to be careful of what he reads, that's why 
a person has to be very careful of what he sees. That's why a man has to be 
wry careful of what he t'hinkfi, He may allow himself to believe that he's 
getting away with it - - he may draw the shutters as far as the rest of the 
world is concerned, and than retire to the recesses of his own mind and think. 
Esekiei, lostg before fct.e time of Jesus Christ , used to tell about those charac- 
ters who had enviable reputation in the streets of the city in which they 
lived, but Esekiel say*, when night came, under eover of darkness thay would 

hie themselves away, even to the rap la, and they had a secret passage.... and 

they'd close their door behind tfeasa and then in their little quarter they'd 
commit all kinds of indulgences, and orgies — as though not even God could 
detect what they were up to....... and then they'd turn their back and go back 

before the dawn to where they lived, and allow themselves to believe that as 
they lived and labored in the streets in the town in which they lived, that 
no one would ever know. So you and 1, lay friend, we may not hie ourselves 
away to some secret pl*c«, but we do have the secret recesses in our hearts 
where we indulge such things. Out Blessed Lord, you know, catno down very hi&av- 

of the eye. That's whsr-v it begins. 

I should also t* il you £his about the sin of lust: it's a very ugly thins 
because it's the sis of <me '.citation. It uses people, for selfish gratification, 
satisfaction. That's what makes it so ugly. 

Is that all I csa sav to yout — time has run out, There's an antidote, 
of course. Each of tha translations puts it magnificently. Says J. B. Phillips, 
"Let us then be Christ's w$& from head to foot, and don't give a chance to the 
flesh, to have its fliig." I am convinced, the lossger I live, that most of the 
sins you sad I comodt -ire somewhat premeditated. Really now, we have thought 
something about thmn- We don't just turn the eoraar and then all of a sudden 
do something wrong. Well, ".et a man guard his thoughts — that's the way to 
conquer lust. Because we're human we'll ha -ye such thoughts* but because we're 
made in the divine Image, we don't have to stay oa the animal level. And every 
now and then, beforehand, s man ought to think of where he's going. Md when a 
man starts taking daws fences, he ought to ask himself occasionally why they were 
put up in the first pi a-se. 

Some months ago I sav Archie Bunker on televisions and he was referring to 
that time of indiscretion -vd he. was confessing to his wife, and he fumbled along 
and he said: ,; It all happen &d because I didn't know where I was going, and before 
■k -c l :.-.: (transcribed as recorded) 

Sermon - Pastor Raymond Shaheea 

The_ fourth Sunday in Lan* ~^--.— ...___ Hareh 20, 1077 


GRACE, lierey and Peace from <3od our tffK*^ 

Father and from His Sou, Jesus Christ, f^ 

our Blessed Lord. JSSS ^^. 

Let rae tell you what I presuue you know, that these Sunday mornings 
durln* Lent *e have been thinking about the Seven Deadly Sins. It occurred 
to me last nioht that I ton't named all of the Save* Daaaly Sins for you 
so far fa £ his series Let m® do it ao^ According to Pope Gregory the Great, 
here's the classic list of the so-called Seven Deadly Sins: .Pride; E MX ; Anger ; 
^SlSStion, or Sloth; Avarice, Glutto^:. Lust. Blesa his soul, he wasn't content 
to stop at that point fey simply auaberiu" deadly sins, he *reat on to settle over 
against them a corresponding ltat of Christian virtues. As an example, you 
could correct the sir« by practicing a virtue. ., . . 

- - if you're guilty of the sin of Pride von just practice 

at becoming hjsoble. . . . 

- - if you £££ oeople.,...vou make up yonv mind that you're golag 

to l°y8 then, , , . 

- - if you g,st mttxr * you practice patience. 

- - if you'ro subject to sloth and dejection , . . . . then you school 

yourself i o kee p, your soul on the alar*. 

- -- if you're guilty of a va rice, then you make it a business to 

i ■>':• ";KV y:. : i 

- - if you succumb to the sin of glut ,tony.. . .. . then you try to do 

something "1th a bstinenc e. 

- - If you're guilty of the sin of lust.... then you place an 

exceptional ly high value upon chastity . , . . 
For the good man of 3od It was quite simple: you overcome each of the sins by 

practicing the opposite virtue* 

Today we come to the next~to-the-last sermon in this series. Already 
we've dealt with Prida* Envy and Lust. Today and test Sunday remain — - we 

have four sins to go. Today it's GUJTTOHY next Sunday it will be AVAUXCE. 

ANGER and SLOTH will have fco wait for another seascn. 

Now, it's been said regarding gluttony, that it's the simplest of the 
Seven Deadly Sins. Who doesn't understand what it is to have an appetite^ or 
a thirst, that doesn't quite seen to be satisfied? Who doesn't know what it 
is to want to eat and to eat and to eat, . .and to drink and to drink? But before 
anything else is said* let vm suggest this to you, that you just can't equate tha 
sin of Gluttony with obesity, any more than you can declare virtuous every trim- 
figured person that you nest* You just can't do that sort of thing. You'll 
keep that in mind, won't you? 

Paul Tournier, in one >f his writings, maintains that there are natty 
kinds of gluttony, and this t. so we need to recognize - - 

...there is such a thing as the gluttot y of praise . You and I know 
people — • on occasion iiaybe we have been such people — who crave to 
hear the compliment! we »ay even fish for it. We need to hear some- 
thing nice said about vs, and we're not satisfied until we tear it. 
There can be such a thing as the gluttony of praise which is vanity,. *.. 
...there is such a thir.g as the gluttony for money , where some people. 
just aren't satisfied - - they keep after it and after it and after it, 
the more they can grasp — and it's the sis of avarice, of course it is.,. 
...there's such a thing and who doesn't know this in this day and age, 
as the glutto ny for pow^r? - - and by anybody in a position where he 
might become important , and he doss his best to make himself secure in 
that position, so much no that he's almost tytansieal in his behavior. 
Is fact, the gluttony alter power can lead to the sin of tyranny..,. 

...there's such a thing as the gluttony fop sexual experience , the 

vhattiag of the appetite, the insistence for gratification. And 

that, of course, la the sin of lust*..... 
But quite fr&akly, the sense in which we refer to gluttony as a deadly sin is 
simply to be understood as the excessive indulgence in food and drink. And 
that* s fhat we will be dealing with in this sermon today. 

Then 1 announced to some of my friends last week or so that the sin to 

be cons dared today would be the sin of Gluttony, one of therr, immediately 

countered me by saying, "How are ym going to justify that Scripturally?" Well, 

little c Id I realize that that person presumably ksssw more about the Bible at 

this poiat than I did, because as X continued to prepare for the sermon i 

checked the concordance, and in £h« concordance that I have on my shelf, there 

are only four references to glutted? in the entire Bible ttm of them are 

found in the Old Testament, two ar<> found in the Hew Testament. And I don't 

know wha . you'll mate of this when I tell you that the two that are found in 

the New "'astament are references male to Jesus Christ, when His enemies tried 

to lower the boom on Him, and they said something like this, which serves as 

the text !:or today s sermon, the 11 "h verse of the 11th chapter of the Gospel 

according to Matthew: 

"For John came neithe r eating nor d rin king:, and 
they s ay, 'He has a i amq a '.; the Son of roan came 
eati sg and drinking, and they say, ' Behold, & 
glut ton and a drunka cd, a friend of tax col- 
lect -ars and sinners I ' . . . " 

When some- :se tried :o find one of thi worst possible things that they could say 

about Jesi a Christ, they said He's g '.uttoncus.. ..He's a drunkard. 

But now that first reference o it in the Old Testament, you aught to 

pay some sUtention to it. Its* imputation will make us quite uncomfortable, 

I dare say. It's it zh& 21st chaptes of the Book of Dcufceronomy, and the 20th 
verse, wha re the People ©f Israel ara being given to understand that Jehovah God 

"Deadly Sins: Gv .. 

Is going to he vary stringent with thesi, and if they're to be His people, there 
er© certain rules aad regulations that will have to be adhered to. Well now, 

let me read this for you is a modern translation i 

"Supj osia a nan has a son who is stubborn and rebellious . . " 

(I'm reading Scripture for you asw) 

" i « a son who will not obey his parents, even though 
they punish him. His parents are to take him before 
the leaders of the town vthere he lives and ma ke him 
stas d trial. They are t^rsay to them, "our son is" " 
stubborn, ie's rebellion;;, he refuses to obey us - he 
is & glutton aad a drunk; xd' 

3 C <S 

. a ,now you notice what they're doing is this ease they're really equating 

his disobedience, his rebelliousness, with his being a glutton and a drunkard, 
because he's never known "hat it is to discipline himself s and to curb himself..., 

original *©e who says, "1 want to be myself — I want to do my 

own thing « <. • " Ho curb, no restrains - - - 

" Oke son i* stubborn aad rebellious, and refuses to 
obey us. Ee is a glutton a nd a drunkard . . . " 

Thmy say that all in the tame breathe 

Mtm brae© yourself for thi I - - this is h«s? seriously they took this: 

" ?h*tt the mm of the city are to stone him to death ; 
Israel wil . hear what has »appened and be afraid." 
Alright, what is tfe- >. sin of glut tor. ?? It's the sin of those who are 
excessively indulgent in lt:suriant eating and drinking. Now before anything 
else is said, we have to clearly understate the fact that the Christian faith 
has never embraced the ethie of asceticism, To be a Christian one ought not 
have to give up eating and irinkiag. When I went out to India on that special 
assignment some years back, one of the firss thirgs that I learned was that 
there was such a thing as ei ting and drinkiag to the glary of God, because when 
you ate and drank ia their hoses you did it: at some risk to your own health. 

But it was the kind of thins; that had to be done the little that they had, 

they were offended if you d.da't break breat'. with them. Aad so you ate and 

iltts: GL - r" (5) 

drank, at the risk of your own health, but: to the glory of God! 

And when I remember whss our Blessed Lord was here on earth » He spent 
so much of His time eating and drinking with people. In fact, they made much 
of that and lowered the boom on Him because of it. Osee when He talked about 
Heaven - - what did He do? He likened it to a banquet feast. In the Gospel 
Lesson that Mr. Underwood read for us today — how doss It end? - -• there's 
merriment, there's rejoicing, they kill the fatted calf. They can't possibly 
think of a celebration without eating and drinking! 

- - when we were last in Jeriehc a&d we stood underneath 
• sycamore tr«.s s I went back and thought of Zacchaeus ~ it 
wasn't beyond our Blessed Lord to invite H imself to supper! 
He placed that kind of value upon it..., so He says £o 
Zacchaeus — 'You get yourself down out of that tree, 
brother - - E*m going to go to your house and you're 
going to get ■ - meal for me... .we* re going to eat together . , »." 
. . .and as thee ate together they had that tremesdous encounter 
whereby his whole life was changed, just because of the kind 
of thing that happened when they brake bread together.. -and 
Jesus inltiattd it.... He placed a high value upon it. 
And you and 1 need to ressem't sr it . 

Well then, what is wt rag? The Christian ethic never forbids the simple 
and healthy pleasure which o 'it lag and drinking and talking together bring. 
But here as everywhere else That is important is the spirit in which the thing 
is done. The old Jaws, blest ; their souls, had a saying that two men could sit 
at the same Passover meal... "or the one it was an act of worship., .and for the 
other, it was an act of glut 1 ony. fthen the food begins to surpass the fellow- 
ship in importance, then the limitation of propriety is being reached. 

Now for those of us £<s whom this is important, esd to all of us to whom 

"Deadly Sins: CIOTTPHT" (6) 

it should be important, what kind of a test can we apply? How certain can you 
be of committing the sin of gluttony or not committing it? Well, let me sug- 
gest several tests. 

First, thera is the test of health . All excess is wrong, and excess in 
this matter is •areas ais©. it is perfectly right and essential to eat to live. 
It is quite wrong to live in order to ©at* And there are some people for whom 
the only big event in their day is the next meal — honestly! The kind of luxury 
which injures health and renders a man physically unfit, and which makes him less 
and not more fit for Ms work, is something which i® obviously wrong. The enjoy- 
ment which makes a man less healthy and less able to cope with life is an enjoy- 
ment which costs too :mch. The test of health is as good as any. The enjoyment 
which produces health is legitimate enjoyment. The enjoyment which damages 

Chris stans place a high value on the body — you know that, don't you? 
It's from the New Testament that we learn such an expression as "The body is 
the temple of the Holy Ghost. " We can't serve our Lord in this world as dis- 
embodied spirits. Did it ever occur to you that that's one reason why we 
encourage people to have a church funeral? We bring the body into the church — 
this body which comes to us as a gift, this body which is sacred in God's sight — 
this body whieh is of so great value while we live here in this present world... we 
place a high value upon it. It is precious in God's sight. Now, therefore, we 
have to pay attention to the sin of gluttony because overeating can be injurious 

:fo«r relax & bin, I'm perfectly aware of the fast that according to certain 
charts I ought to be fifteen pounds less than I an - - aud I thoroughly enjoy 
eating Having gotten ur> at five o'clock this morning, I can't wait until one 
o'clock today when we're iuvited out for dinner. But mv problem will be not 
how fast I can get there my problem is going to be how long I stay, lest 


■ :-; . . : 

it besoms Injurious to say health by consuming wore than ray body needs. It's 
as serious as all that! 

I had a friend, a doctor, who took first cognizance of the bulse, and he 
said, "Do you realise that's the equivalent, perhaps, of your carrying around a 
cinder block all day — of the excessive weight and the drain and the strata 
upon your heart." So one begins at that point and says one can be gluttonous 
if the amount of food that he consumes is injurious to his health. It's bees 
said that there are some people who eat their way into a «,rave — they di£ their 
grave by eatinp. 

The, second test is the test of extravagance , It's a known fact, ai 
you could be iixhibit A in this ease, that some people frequently spend ©a on© 
meal, for one person, more than an old-afte pensioner will spend for himself or 
herself for food for a week. For the nersoa who wants very much to be a Chris- 
tian, there is no justification for the extravagance of a luxury like this, 

I shudder when I think how much food goes into the r*arba?*e bin. Did I 
not notice on a television program the other day, in the food program for 
youngsters in the public schools, how rauch they don't eat. -tor I know that you 
can build a case and say that it's not well r>repared, sal I f m numbered among 
those who think that it's a very shameful thia<r not to prepare foot! well, to 
make it attractive a&d well seasoned. But this sinful thin^ of throwing it 
aside lightly, especially when you realize that we live in a world where here 
in the United States we are the only country on the face of the earth where 
over-eating constitutes a major problem for many people. But at the same 
time we happen to live in a world where half of the people in the world go 
to bed at night hungry, and where for some people the most important single 
thins for them in their day is a handful of rice! He live in a world like that. 
And yet we so on eating and eating, as x?ell we should, but when we do it extra- 
vagantly . . . 

The acid test, I presume, is the sin of selfishness, and this is the 

: * 

best test of all. There is something wrenf? with the Christian conscience of 

any man who can enjoy hawing so much wh<sa others have so little* Some of yov. 
have been kind enough on occasion to ask me to suggest prayers that you can 
use for table grace. I remeraber one that I have submitted for your use: 

"Let not the abundance of this food placed before 
us, no flatter the amount, keep us from heinp: 
mindful of those who do not 'have.,'" 
We cossnit the sin of gluttony every time we sit down to eat and become in- 
sensitive to the fact that there are those who do rot have. Let me give you 
a very simple home-spun illustration, if you don't mind. 'Grosstsutter* lives 
with us -— she'll be 92 nest month •— she's invalided, confined to a wheel- 
chair. I can raid the refr iterator ■ ... she can't. And every now and then I 
find my conscience being pricked when I so very aasilv r*o to that refrigerator 
and eat» without much thinking about the fact that I'm not taking any to her. 

...any time any man. sits down to eat and becomes 

J l s, : ^.i:'?.'-by7 !;;;: £b-£ fact i^y.xt sther;' i..:.>; :eo'; wv-'.:v./, . 

he, really now, is commit tin?: the sit. of gluttony.... 
...and you never thought of it that way,, did yc 

V^'i " 

i.-i-a t<:p:,,:j::"5 \--;i :■'.'■: o:w-.a :':..■ '.'. ; 

SerasGa - Pastor Raymond Shaheen 

The Fifth Sunday la Lent _____„_ . March 27 , 197 7 


GRACE, Mercy sand Peace from God our / \ ^ 
Father and from His Son Jssus Christ, > 

We eorae today to the last in the series of sermons being preached this 
Lenten-tide on the general theme of the "Deadly Sing/ 7 Permit ma to say a 
thing or two by way of Reneral observation in this, the final serpen of the 

It may fee of some interest to yen to know that at an© time Pastor David 
and I thought it could be a very salutary exercise for us if in the course of 
a given week we could follow some of yo« arousd, sad go to your place of work, 
where you invest your time and your energy. We came to Che conclusion that 
we'd be delightfully surprised afc the kind of thing that's being done la this 
world by members of this parish, iad particularly now for the moment, those 
of you who are engaged in scientific and technological work, 

Sow if it were possible for us to do this kind of thing, I'm reasonably 
certain that after we would be sufficiently impressed, and both of us would 
be driven back. to Saint Isake Church, and we'd find ourselves falling upon our 
knees within the shadow of this altar , asking God to empower us in order to 
proclaim to you the tr«th~©f -truths that remains, that no matter how much we 
may be advanced scientifically and technologically, we have sot been advanced 
spiritually. The fact remains, we are still sinners. We haven't made much 
progress, honestly now. 

That's why I, for one, can fully appreciate the way Professor Langdoa 
Gilke (?) puts it in his book entitled "Religion In The Scientific Future" - - 
listen to these words : "Tha scientific am? which has added immensely £© cur 
understanding and to osr powers, has not made us virtuous, nor has ■■"•■ w a 

:.; . ily Sins: isvarias; 

the meanings of our life any more secure. Our control over our selves, and our 
consequent control over our own destiny, ssesa in no wise to be more within our 
grasp than before. The old -theological problems of eh® us@ man makes ©f his 
freedom, of his bandage to self -interest, and of the ultimate meaning of the 
human story, have been dissolved neither by the physical nor by the life scien- 
ce*. Sather," - - and then ha concludes with this alarming observation, "they 
have be©a precisely increased by them." 

I go sss to shudder at the realization of what the Apostle Paul said centu- 
ries and centuries ago: ''The good that I want to do ? I don't do, asd th.®. evil 
that I don't want to do, X do." Who doesn't understand that? As over against 
that the words of Edwin Markham come quickly to mind; "%y build these cities 
glorious if man unbuild sd goes? In vain we build the work unless the builder 
also grows." despite ail the advances that we've made scientifically, man is 
still driven to his knees and brands himself a sinner, That's why, Sunday by 
Sunday I've am® back to this sacred desk during this seaaon-of -all-seasons , 
to talk to you about sin. 

One or two of you have been made bold enough to say that you've found ma 
a bit more sober than usual during the preaching of these sermons. And if that 
should be your observation, undoubtedly you're quite correct. Because no mesa 
can take sin lightly, and the more one recognises the love of Cod, the more 
he sees himself the unworthy one. 

In this final presentation there are several things now that ought to be 
said. Ctee s we have been talking about the so-called Deadly Sins - - but don't 
for a minute allow yourself to think that there are only certain sins that 
have to be taken seriously, and say number of other alas we can take lightly. 
I think I knot* what Pope Gregory the Great bad ixt mind when he catalogued 
certain sins as "Deadly." X think I have some appreciation for the Roman 
Catholic doctrine that labels sins as "venial" and "mortal." Bat having said 

■ - ' . 


that, I most say to you very quickly asd earnestly, sin is sin. Jfcad every 
single sia that you sad 1 eomsait has to be take® seriously. You can never 
Indulge in tho luxury of allowing yetsrsslf to believe tbafc only a limits 
number of alas ar<s deadly. I suggest to you that aay sia that y©« and I com- 
mit* so siatter hew iasignif leant it way -seem to us, is always something that 
takes -as ia the direction of Hall! Agg, siss moves yon in the way of Hell and 
away from Meavma . For sia basically is always separation from Ood, creating 
and establishing a gap. 

I should, also say to you with all the strength that my soul can command, 
that even though some of wis get to the place where we thiak we can handle our 
sins, and keep them pretty much a private matter, share is so such thing as a 
priest© sin* Sia is always corporate by natur®. Sooner or later It always 
involves somebody else. And you asd I do feav<s our moments when we think w^ 
can screen ourselves aad. behind our screes indulge in our sin. But it just 
can't be, my friend. For every man easts a lengthened shadow on somebody els®, 
and there is always the possibility that my sin could cans© somebody els© to 

That's the frightening thing, you &sow<, it does work that way. Aad that*® 
why sin can never be taken lightly. For my sin, even though I may learn fee 
handle it., even though I may have the benefit of the grace of Sod. and know 
myself forgiven sod cleansed — the result remains, It eaa have a dastardly 
effect upon somebody else. So that's why I*ve coma ever so seriously to fcfea 
sasrsd desk these Sundays during Leat to talk to you about Sin. 

there's another observation that stay hold us in good stead, if you don't 
mind. William F 9 May has written a very valuable 'ftook called "The Catalogue 
Of Sias" which to ell intents and purposes is a confcssp&r-ary m:soMmJM:z o£ 
the Christian conscience* He comes up with this interesting paragraph — you 

■'.....,. ■ as rig i 

different mashers or conditions of she human bcdy is often partly functional 
and partly Taetaphoriccl." How listen - - 

55 ~ ™ IXiSSL — it*s associated with the tongue.... 

" ~ sfiYy . ~"~ with the intense gag© of the ©ya« 

~ " jw, t — • with the genitals ...... 

" " $luktotiy — with the throat ssd the stomach.,... 

-- ~ anger — with boiling blood...... 

" "* pyide — with the puffed chest. 

" "* avarice (the sin we're going to talk about nmt)_ 
— with anas and bands.*... 
• ••for mSiS'la® is always to b^ sees as the sia of the greedy grasp. 

Moller baa a play, doesn't he, in which the avaricious bar© is called 
Parthegon, & name. that comes from the Gzmik which sasans, like a sickle, or & 
hook - - £or that's the sfc of avarice.. .. to reach <.?.<> to grasp greedily, 
keep for ©nessif. 

The sermon hae & text, of course it does, ^ad it's a text that comes readily 
to your salad as you recall the Sing James translation, : "Far the love of money la 
the root of all evil*" Ordinarily when we think of avarice we think of greed 
for geld. It may benefit you to hear the translations of two other pesple of 
this sssse text. J. B. Phillips is very enlightening as he gives us his under- 
standing of I Timothy 1.6 — "For lovj money leads to all kinds of evil, and 
gome men in their, .strug gle to be rich have lost their faith and. caused them- 
selves untold a gonies of mind." The translator of Today's English Version of the 
Good Hews Bible puts it in this way: "For the love of money ig source of all 
kiads of evil, Soaa have bees ■ to aager have it that they have wande rs i away^ 

Sow 1 want to say to you vary quickly that while we roaj the text 
and then when we corns hack t© an appreciation for the t :t a t c the 


"Deadly ■ (! ) 

evil which is the misuse of money. . „ . . . I mtst very quickly tall yoa that money 
can else be the cause o£ great good. You oust sever forget that.. It can be- 
come oar opportunity by which we can witness effectively in the earns of Jesus 
Christ. Little known to some of you may be the fact that 1 have a benefactor 
here in Saint bake who occasionally writes out a check in a generous amount of 
money, and 1 am permitted to be that person's agent to use that money in bri&g- 
iag & blessing to people who otherwise might not receive a blessing. I can't 
begin to tall you what a tremendous satisfaction it is to s@© the lot of certain 
peopi.® improved just because there was ©am© money made available by which fchair 
lot could be improved. I thank God that I can be an agent in behalf ©f someone , 
to brighten somebody else's life here and there, Just because there's a fund 
upon which I can draw. 

Bos? don f t misunderstand me, X can't possibly think of Saint Luke Church 
aside from money. Every Lord's Day that you and I com© sad worship in this 
place, ws channel through this altar $2,000 a week in order to prove ourselves 
as God's obedient servants — to see that £te hungry are fed, the ill-clad are 
clothed, the destitute &r© cared for with compassion, and the people are 
trained and prepared for the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ, that the Gospel 
is taken to places near and far away. You Just don't d© it by disembodied 
spirits,, You need a certain amount of money by which to equip the massenger, 
and they have to come bearing something in their hand. For it could well be 
that in s certain situation that's the only thing that's going to be ameliora- 
ting — because there is something to offer in a tangible way. 

I can't think of Saiat Lnkm Church aside from its use of money sad its 
consecration of money. There is a great deal of good that can coma through 
money. Will you Indulge me for a moment? - - I don't want t© be a pssniless 
preacher, and i£ I had my life to live over again, 1 would have placed a greater 
value upon setting aslcle a certain amount of menev for investment, that there 

";Jsml;v >*;iU: ::;.: j'y }U>i' »'-/ 

might came a greater yield so that I could have mora money by which to do she 
things that Winifred sad I thoroughly enjoy doing in behalf of ether people, 
3oa't misunderstand sse — to be able to use money is an opportunity which Ood 
gives us to better the situation in which seme people find themselves. It 
may be the only tool that we may be able to use. 

.... indulge ma for another minute* will you? I went to 

college during the Depression — 1 got seven years of education beyond 
high school. S?sn though I worked hard myself to ears sea© money » I 
sv'Ti'M fc-'y- '•■;',:■: L^s u^ : ~-& -A'^ r ^^ ^-v':J.^.);:i\ sc:s' ';i'.:v.^xr :-,i %t b-W; &.M:', teas 
that somewhere along the line there were certain peesls who provided 
scholarships; endowed this chair and that chair in as institution of 
higher learning. . . . . . 

There's no end to the good that sen come in this world because people use money 
wisely and well. It becomes our opportunity. 

But there is such a thing as th® sin of avarice, the sia-of-the-graedy- 
grasp s which is the inordinate desire to have mere than we need. And that's 
why it's so bad. 

Let me read something for you that I gleaned in my reading the other 
day* A few years before World War I, a man who was statistically Inclined 
calculated that 100 years before that time the average ms in Britain wanted 
72 things and actually needed only 16... .and then he calculated a hundred years 

later. He estimated that the average man wasted 434 things , and really needed 
oaly 94. The sin of avarice raises its ugly head every time you and X spend 
far msse time than we ought to on the things that we could get along without. 
It's the sin-of-tha-greedy-grasp to want to have more and taore and more. 
John Wesley » bless his soul — do you remember I used to tell you about him — 
he discovered one time when he was preaching that he was earning 30 pounds .a 
year — I suppose that might fee abcut SO U.S. dollars sow. And the© it occurred 
to him that the y>sar before he was able to live on 28 pounds a year . . , and right 

■ ■ . ■ 

. ■ 

■■..-.-_■ -. ...... {7} 


there aad then made up his mind that no matter hew much mere h© would ©a?s, he'd 
try to live en 28 pounds a year*, It's a matter of record that he west ©a to 
earn 40 pfeuods...68 pounds. ...30 pounds.,.. 120 pounds.......... .and he still 

lived on 28 pounds a year, lest he allow himself to succumb to the greedy grasp. 
That sis cȣ avarice raises its head is ugly ways. 

Paul TflfJetore, «y s'riead ad neighbor and highly esteemed member of this 
congregation, is the only man that I know of who with marked ret . :y s «T«y 
eSias tha go^erssssst oi'ferad as increase is salary, wrote thesi a lsv:ter sad owes- 
feicasd i.:ha ^isfe-s ot' «■■ sch «> ite^:;?&s:8. Ho ^s a psads^s raca, **;.« -plisi;^ a Mgh 
value on tha ibllar. But hm also remembered how people lived in South Dakota — • 
hm remembered how people lived in other parts of the country and didn't have 
nearly the advantage that people have whose salaries are paid by the Federal 
Government* He recognised it as the subtle sia of avarice, that's what he did, 
to relish tha themgkix of mx iaareas® shaft in bis own mind couldn't be justified. 
But there aren't very many Paul Wiekres, you see, and some of us squirm a bit 
and are reluctant to think in such terms. Stained by original sin, we all want 
snore. . .and more. . *and more. 

I don't know wheth&r they do it any more, but I'm glad they did it when I 
was growing up and they mads much of it, to teach us certain values by saj 
reciting fables and legends. I am srofouadly grateful for those who taught me 
about Kissg Hides, the king whose wish was granted that whatever he would touch 
would turn to gold. Els was tha greedy grasp for geld. Oh* it w&&; wonderful 
for a while. But then cna day h® touched the fragile petal of a flower — a 
man's soul was meant t© be fed on beauty «— - the petal Massed to gold. One 
morning, was it — he sat down to eat his porridg •.., aad to® torched it — it 
turned to gold. You can't eat geld I ,„„.,« •.... ■■.■--■■ , 
of all things happened - - his daughte d joy, came, and he 



to gold, This Is the tragedy of the greedy grasp . Of all the sins perhaps, 
isona is quite as self-das eruetive s end what is more, causes untold misery 
to tfeosa we love and those who love us. 

Is it in the Brothers Esraarazoff that the story is told about the onion, 
the woman who in Judgment is confined e© a fiery pit - - ate cries out for 
rescue. The angels hover over her tm& say s Search the record of her life. 
Could she at one time have dons one good deed that would now held her i» good 
stead by which she could he freed £r©s this miserable pit??.. ..and the recorder 
of deeds discovered that once in her life a beggar cams her way and she pluefcsd 
from har own garden an onion and gave it to hist. The angel issues ehe order: 
"take that €aiss, sni let an angel hover over her" - - and as the angel cooes 
with the onion she grasps for the ossioa, in order to be made free ,aad to be 
rescusa fro© the fiery pit.*. but tSisrs are others im sfea fiery pi£„ and they 
reach for feer . . , Ciaeomplets as tape is turned over) 

It's so important, 1 wonder if you'll bear with m® as I read it for you 
because I don't want you to aiss a single detail. Aad ©nee I've raad it for 
you eh® sermon will conclude without any further consent.... 

Tolstoy has a bfsautiful tale of a young Russian who fell heir to his 
father's fmall farts* Be was no sooner in possession of this laad than he 
began to dream ®®g©r.'ly of how he eould add to it. Ose usorairtg a stranger, 
evidently a person of power and authority, easae to him md told hita, as they 
were standing near the ©Id homestead, that he could have, for nothing, all 
the land he could walk ever in oa@ day. But at sundown he must be back at 
the vary place where he had started. Pointing to the grave of the young man's 
father s the stranger said, "This is the peiat to which you must return." 

The youth looked eagerly over the rich field?; In the distance, sad throw- 
ing off his coat and without waiting to say a word to his wife sad to his 
children, h® started off aeress the fields, lis first plan was to cover a 

r E . AH 8 Las 2 avarice. 


tract &£ ground six milss square. » . .bat when he had walked the sls s he decided 
to make it nine f .....and then twelve.. ...and then fifteen •- - - which would gis 
him sixty adles to walk before sundown. 

By a©sa hs had cohered two sides of the aquas'© » or thirty miles. Bat 
sages to gat on sad eneoapass £h« whole distance, he did acst stop for food 3 
and sm hour later fea saw ©a @M asaa drinking at a spring, but in his hunger 
for lassd ha brashed aside the cup which the ©Id man had ©ff^sd him, aad fee 
rushed on in his eager quest £sr the possession of eh® land. When he was a 
few miles from his goal he was % 7 ors down with fatigue..... a few hundred yards 
&sm ^ae liiwK- hs ssr ch& *rs;a spprsseldag Gfe lieri&sa ««ss is kmm E.'-*:.y5 !«» had 
te£ a few miautas left* lurrying ©a and ready to faint, ha summoned all of Ms 
energies for a last effort, asd managed to stagger across the line just as ah® 

But as he crossed the line he saw a cruel cynics! ssaile on the face ©f 
the stranger who had prosis^d him the land, and who was waiting ther® for him 
at Ms father's gravs, Just as he crossad the line, £ka master sad the posses- 
sor, he thought, of fifteen square miles off rich land, the youth fell &®s.d epos 
the ground which he had coveted. Th® stranger then said to the servants, "I 
offered hiia all the iaad that he could cover. Bow, you see what: it is — six 
feet loag fey two feet wide ■ — and I thought fee would lis© to have this lead 
clos® to his father's gs;?s?s» rather than to have it anywhere else." And with 
that the strangsr B ?jto was Deaths vanished, sftyisg s "I e,s"'& hsp'c •&■■; ylsug*." 

(This sermon transcribed as recorded) 



Sermon - Pastor Raymond Shaheen 

Easter Day April 10. 1977 


GRACE, Mercy and Peace from God our a-^° 

Father and from Kia Son Jesus Christ, f k ,, aA ,^ I ' * 

our Blessed Lord. Amen. j ^/yU^^ 

The first funeral that our Associate Pastor and I m"BT shared occurred 
before he was graduated from divinity school. Both of us had been asked to 
participate in the burial of a grand, good and great man who® together we 
had some to love and to respect. He was the only member /non-member of this 
parish, I dare say, to be named by formal action of the congregation an asso- 
ciate member of Sain* Luke Church. His name was Ellwead F. B<sLong 9 the octo- 
genarian who left hie mark upon this church as the designer of the Chapel of 
The Grateful Heart, «sad he also master-minded the re-furbishing of this chan- 
cel eons© few years hack. 

Those of you who are equally privileged to know him will remember him for 
the rare and precious soul that he was. As for myself, I personally am very 
much indebted to him, because 1 dare say of all the people that I've ever 

known, he was the one above all others who taught me how to live and when 

£h<s time comes I should add — how to die. 

I went to see him when he was on his death-bed in that hospital not far 
from Philadelphia. The dread cancer had taken its toll. H® eould not see, 
h® csuld only hear and recognise the voice ©f a friend. And as he put hi® 
hand out searchingly for mine — I grasped it — and then he spoke magnifi- 
cently of what life had come to mean to him. Aad again as before whan we had 
talked, often , he repeated himself as old people can do, and calling me by 
name, he said, "Raymond, never just live somehow - - lesra to live triumphantly!" 
That was the key-note ©f his life, A grand and good man taught ss@ how to live — 
and 1 should add, how £4 

"To Live Triumphantly" (2) 

There's a title for this brief sermon today: " To Live Triumphantly." And 

the text, a little-recognized verse, perhaps you've never come upon it, Really 

now, some cf you may be hearing it for the first time. The Apostle Paul wrote 

in his letter to the Christians who lived in Ephasue these words: 

"And how tremendous is the power available 
to us who believe in God. That power, the 
same divine energy which was demonstrated 
in Christ when he raised him from the dead." 

, ..a free translation would be: 

"Just as God was able to do for Christ what 
He did — trl'jsmplaantly He raised him frcra 
the dead — so that same power could be 
made effective in your life" 

Ellwood Dt&oag said it ■ "Don't just live somehow — ■ live triumphantly!" 

The young fellow went to the wise-old-maa-of-the-raouataln and lis said 
"Old-man-of-ehe-Kountain, tell sae, what is the lesson of life?" The old man 
said to his young frierd, "I will tell you the lesson of life in three words: 
'Life goes on." 2 flow that's not a distinctively Christian philosophy. Any- 
body could say that. For life has a way of proving its point. But the distinc- 
tively Christian philosophy is that life is meant to go on triumphantly, come 
wind or weather, defeat and despair, For the Christian life ia meant to be 
lived triumphantly, 

Charles Dickens had a novel, the character is Miss Haver sham. She was 
engaged to be married . At twenty minutes to nine on the wedding day the groom 
sent word he had changed his mind, he wasn't going through with it. Unable to 
cop® with the blow, Miss Havershaa issued an order to her servants that all 
the clocks should stop at twenty minutes to nine and never again tick. . .not a 
single piece of food was to be taken, from the banquet table spread for the 
festive day. She even decided she'd never again take from her body the dress 
that she had chosen for her wedding day. For her, life stopped once the blow 
had bean struck. It did not go ©a. She never knew that life -was meant to go on 

A young stan had written a book, Be came to J. M. Barrie and said, "Help 
me — for me tha moat difficult thing remains. I can't choose a titla for 
what X have written. Hera's tha manuscript — read it — suggest a title." 

J. >L Barrie said, "I won't have to read it. You can keep it in your 
hand, but I'll ask you too questions and when you answer me those two ques- 
tions I'll give you a title for your book: the first question — Are there 
any firums in your book?" «... and the young man shook his head and said, "No 
drums." He said, "Taen are there say trumpets in this book that you have 
written?" ....and the :roung man shook his head and said, "No trumpets." And 
Barrie said, "There's the title: c Without Drums and Trumpets. 1 " There are 
people like that, who live out the days of their years without drums and trum- 
pets — never knowing what it is to live and to forever live triumphantly. 

Thia is the me a nin g of Easter, my friend. Jesus Christ is not just & 
man who lived life soiiehsw. He lived and died triumphantly. He took the blows 
that were given and laid His hand upon them and by the power of God transformed 
them into strength, «raJ beauty. And we too are meant to do the same thing. 
Says the Apostle ?awi, "This same power that raised up Christ from the dead 
is meant to be made effective in your life as well." 

I ©nee mat Bob Ceoa&line. I have a high appreciation for his spiritual 
perception. He once wr<ate this little piece — I'll read you only a part Of 
It, The story begin i e;fc?ly is 195© is the Taylors' small apartment in W&ltham, 
Massachusetts. Edit! Terrier was sure that she was the luckiest woman on the 
block. She and Carl had. been married 23 years, and her heart still skipped a 
beat when he walked £«tc> the room. As for Carl, he gave every appearance of 
a man in love with bis w: fe. If his job as government warehouse worker took 
aim out of town, he wouls write Edith each night and send small gifts from 
cai;../ y'izvi---:: :w:\\: %.;;, '•■: d'J ;::•;;, February, 1950, Carl was sent to Okinawa for a few months to 

work in a new government warehouse. It was a long time to be away, and 


; " 4 

so far, This time no little gift* came. Edith understood. ^ was mlsg 
his meaey for the house they had loag dreamed of owning ^^ft^nrnt a few 

pannlaa for a postage stamp? Then after weeks of silence came a letter: 
"Dear Edith.... I wish there were a kinder way to tell you — we 

no longer are married . . . * 
Edith talked to the sofa and sat down. Be had written to Mexico for a mail- 
order divorce.. .he had married Aika B a Japanese sa&id-of-all-work assigned to 
his quarters. Aika was 19... Edith was 48. How, says Considine, if I were making 
up this story the rejected wife would fight that quick!® paper diver e© — she 
would have hated her husband and that other woman... she would want vengeance 
for her own shattered life. But, says Considine, I am describing hare simply 
wha ( ; did happen. 

Edith Taylor did not hate Carl. Perhaps she had loved him s© long that 
she was unable to stop. She could picture the situation, charitable that she 
was - - a lonely man... constant closeness. But even s© D Carl had not d©a@ the 
eas>, shameful thing. He had chosen divorce rather than taking advantage of a 
yotuig servant girl. The only thing Edith could not believe was that hs had 
stopped loving hsr. S&m.® d&y, somehow* Carl, she thought, would come home. 
And Mita now built hat life around this thoughts 

....she wrote Carl, asking him to keep her in touch with his life. 
Xa 6:. me km wrote thafc he and Aika were expecting a baby. Maria was bora in 
1951. ...Helen was born in 1953. Edith sent gifts to the little girls. She 
sti.'il wrote to Carl and he wrote back. And then one day a terrible letter 

amuh h© was dying ©f lung cancer. His last letters were filled with fear, 

not for himself but for Aika and the two little girls. H® had been saving to 
sss.d them to school in America, but his hospital bills were taking everything. 
Wu-Z woald beccme of them? 

Th@n Editl knew that her last gift to Carl could be peace of mind. And 
what would she dof She wrote him and she said, ''Send the girls to me. 1 will 

• "To Live Triumphantly ;' (5) 

taka care of them, I will w that they get schooling." And then after a 
while Aik* co «ld act be grated from the girls that she had bronght Into 
this world and she wrote of eh® pai ffi of her •aparatioa. and Edith said. 
"Alright, Aika, you com and l 9 ll «ke a home for yota as wall." 

Edith was as extraordinary wna - who ted learned £0 live not just 

somehow, but to live triumphal ?v I Said *fc* «*t -~„~,- 3 « «„, 

A-fftSfc^JS^SLidL^ 11 a »s.« sue, I g^ayusti ires' Carl to come 

back, wan, he did - ia his two little daughters, sad is this gentle gtei 
that he loved. I asked God to gfe 7 s me the strength fes low ete too." 

Could you have dona the same? 

Could you have loved as much? 

So. Not hj yourself . But by the power of the triumphant Christ you 
and 1 can d&sl vith life I 

This I isast certainly believe* 

* ft 

(This s§< 

ermoa transcribed as recorded) 



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Saraon. - Pastor Bsynosd Shah««a 

Ths Fourth Sunday of gaatsr . May 1. 1977 

003 a ??a ai&ka so little tiism to do i jr£- 3- ' 

fels scree; of thing, r.e> giv* sons <f i * 

»&assss£a of ««divi<i«8d .att&atioa to fcb$! •"*" 

preaching ®£ 'four word. Grast that 
sjov, ia Shis tins asd isa thia place, 
wei may listen attentively, by th® help 
of ths , Holy Sp irit <■ , fossa ». 

Ee mm ths He?- of suaa, hed he see g©aa into ths ministry s »b© %*onld by 
this fcix&e have boaa a millionaire -oaae or awic<$ tftter. It was quite a atrnggl© 
fox? him fc<2 asske the dselalon, bat th& Lord J«e*ss Christ wosi m?f:, Bs bocsas a 
Edaistsr of ths Chnrsh. 

Ba h&d STttusoa to believe, of eooras, that he he3 nads the right dseisloa* 
For severs! yaaras everything wseat a!o*ug swi&raingiy - - he eoald $e<& the soils 
of God 5 s rave? <xt «r^sr5' head. Xbtn — rass it ths fifth ysar s 1 ! « forgotten 
just what y«6K? £t wa» — thay bad eh* birth of their first child, a child th© 
toother was aaver able to sradle In. baa- arsae, for aha diisd shortly th&?r®si:t«r<. 

The tsan who had giv.§& his life to th® Lord as s sinister » thinking per- 
haps that hs bad suad* a. sacrifice in ord«r to do it, fetntd himself walking to 
th« garden os© aight Mains' ths 5j&m»«, with clenched fiat rsilsd against the 
h«av«K»s» sayfa&g, "God J — 1 don't das«rve this? How could you have dons this 
to est" 

. •.;. U yon listen carsfslly s^nf while X road this for v©»« ©*«? «he.jife«sr 
«as written hofors ths day when we fe&d disposabla faypodsrmie aa®31«'S» Xt'a 
a p«g«» out of ths rssl fe^ajia whi4Eh is lif* itsslf *.»•.«*. 

"A dist J^ttlohsd doctor %'ca a?: -work ia ?;la@ t/at'd «?j? a . hgtsyii-'^.1U 

^^1SBS?_-S^S^^S^^l5Sll;^.A,JSC£S^!' ■ i« oointiag 

it upwatgd. She hold it hy ths bsrral, forgattiag to hold ths 
naadls also. As ahs saargstically werkad the pietoa, th@ 

needle flew off and passed Into the doctor "a eye. 

It is i the eye he used for h is specialised work 
with. a glercscope^ Tha .sight m is .irrev ocably l oss." 

That co-aid be at the other end of the spectrum. And la between, how, you could 
write your own pages - - of incidents that have occurred in the lives of people 
whom you know. .....pages in your own life, of the untoward, the ugly, the un- 
expected, And in ycur judgment, and perhaps in the judgment of other people, 
the undeserved blow, What do you make of it? 

The title for today's sermon is "The Shar p Edjra of Ll f e ,? ~ - the text, from 
First Peter, thu second chapter, verses 19 and 20 , I'll read two different trans- 
lations for you. First, the old King James version t 

,: - • • ESSL fchls is thankworthy, if a man for consci ence 
t^ard God endure ..grief , suffer ing wrongfully. For what 
glory is It,, if when ye b e buffeted for your faults, ye 
shall take it patiently? bu t if, wfof-sn ye do well, and 
suffer for it, ye take i t patiently, this ia acceptable 
with God _r\„ ..." " " "" 

. . . ,now aa dran&tlc as say interpretation of these words is the way the Living 

Bible puts it: 

" ■ • * ^g^isg t he Lard if you ar e punished for doing 
right t Of ...course, you get no cred it for being patient 
if you are beaten for doing wrong^Jmt .JLf^ jfou. do right 
and auffer f or it, an d are patient b eneath the blows, 
God is well pleased . . . " 

Who in fcha world likes a text like that? None of us, 

fliers are certain passages of Scripture to which we respond very favorably, 

without any reluctance - •- 

"Hiaa that comes un to ate 1 will in no wise cast out . . _ .__' ' 

....that strikes favor with all of us. We're even 

wicked enough to think that it gives us a bit of leeway. Bat 

la the meantime we can sow any amount of wild oats, and then 

perhaps in a jaesaent of tvjB remorse we'll turn to Elm and He 

will tsk.® us in - - - small wonder that a test Ilk© that has 

appeal I 


"The Sharp Edge of L ±fe r ' (3) 

... or this one ; 

"Cas t thy burden upon the Lo rd and *fe ah ull susta in thee , . " 
...who doesn't get tired - - who doesn't get 
weary - - who doesn't respond willing:. y to a passage of 
Scripture that premises a burden-bearing God? It's wonderful? 
...or haw about this one — maybe soma of you may be hearing it for the first 
time, but it's Scripture, alright: 

"I have fr^e a young, and I have been old. Never have 
I seen the righteou s forsaken, or his s eed going 
hungry. " 

.., great day! to respond with enthusiasm to a text 
like that! - - to believe that no mat :er what happens, God 
will always take care of you! 
Well, such passages, you see, have their appeal. But to read a passage like 
this in the Bible — expect to get punished if you do wrong — ■ expect to be 
praised for being punished, because you've done the right thing! 

Wall j let me tell you something. You've got to recognize the historical 
setting for this text* The Apostle Peter was living at • time when Christians, 
because they believed in Jesus Christ and because they thought they were doing 
the right thing* were dragged through the streets behind the chariots until 
their bones ware broken. ... -that's how they ended up because they were doing 
the right thlag. The Apostle Peter was speaking to Christians who, because 
they were doing the right thing by having complete faith and trust in their 
Lord and Saviour, would be taken and thrown before th-.s lioas in the arena 
until they were torn to bits, and the ground was bloodied. 

The Apostle Peter was speaking to Christians who, because they were firs 
in their faith, because they were doing the right thing, had their bodies* dipped 
in oil r made secure to a post, and then Ignited, to srsrve as torches in the 

' nm fcfaarp adge or Lite w 

garden of tha emperor . And Peter says to such people : "When this happens to 
you, praise God!* 1 

I suppose some of us ought to sit back and evaluate our whole Christian 
education thrust again. You know what we're doing with bovs and girls, don't 
you? As a Christian parent you do it with your child in the home — you talk 

about reward and punishment do the right thing and God will take care 

of you. .... .obey tha *? iMifii IimiiI ■ and you will be blessed - - disobey them, 

and you'll be punished. That's what we teach them. So it's a great Jolt to 
son people to discover that they've tried to please God, theyve trie d to do 
the right thing , but life deals them a terrible blow. 

By this time you've come to understand, of course, that tha thrust of 
this sermon deals with Jgain and suffering, the undeserved kind. .... 

• . .any kid knows if his mother told hisa not to eat those 
green apples and ha went on ®8§i«g those green apples, 
the price that he pays by way of punishment, with a 
severe stomach-ache. . . . 

» . ..any kid used to know that if his father told him not 
to smoke, and one day he would get himself a nice big 
cigar and went to town on it, the price that he paid* 
the price that he paid sometimes so well that he never 
again reached for a cigar — his first and oaly one. 
Anyone knows that kind of thing. But the kind of suffering that you a&d I are 
called upon to endure, to which we ourselves have not contributed, in order to 
be a recipient of pain — that's the baffling thing. 

And I suppose I could hasten to tall you that while I'm talking about 
suffering new, the undeserved kind, I'm not talking simply in terms of physics! 
pain. There is the anguish of the mind, and there is the burden of the soul 
that you sad I have to carry, that we say is undeserved. We have not contrlbu-* 
!':. !:. ■■, .;> ;.■,.': „ .-■..-.,r.- ,/.. ■ ••"■• : L:. ■::■■■■• ■ .' ■' 



Well aow, what can I say to you? 

I think there are several things as a isinister of the Gospel of the Lord 
Jesus Christ th&e I can tell you, sad one is: We happen to live in a world 
where anything can happen, and frequently it doss. As if anything that can 
happen can be either jgood or bad, and you and I are parr, of the world and we 
get caught cp with it.. That's the first thing. We don't live is a world where 
we're under a giant-like umbrella that keeps us Immune to the untoward blows of 

'.Che second thing that I can tell you is this: don't waste your energy 
trying to figure out why JWW have to endure a pain that you kaov full wall you 
don't deserve.. You jjuat can't figure it out. There is such a thing as mystery 
in this world , and you and I have to deal with it. There is the mystery of un- 
deserved pain........... but I hasten to tell you, on the other side of the eaia 

there's the aystery of undeserved good? 1 was fairly ecstatic yesterday when 
1 realised that you and I could live in a world as perfectly beautiful as yester- 
day. And to think that upon us has come today, a perfectly beautiful d^„ when 
the whole created world s urr o u n d s as with beauty. There is such & thing as the 
asyat&ry of the goodness that surrounds us. 

Save you ever thought to think that when a child is brought into this 
world, ha comes into a world that's waiting to receive him — upon which he 
can draw oa the bounty that's baen set up in his behalf. Md it aver occur to 
you that when you md I ease iuto this world there wasn't a single fchiug that 
we could do for ourselves by way of having our needs met? God has raised up 
those who were waiting to car® for us. 

I have not been hesitant to share with you pages of ay owa life. I raarvel 
at times when I think of those- whoa God has raised up to lov® a*e, to be good to 
me. My life is just one chapter after another of blessings thae have been 
channeled into it from other people. And when I have mj saomeat© that X spend 
with some of ay colleagues in die ninistry, ::' ..... rained t i all ape my 

"The Sharp Edge of Life" (6) 

knee3 anc thank God that I am the one who is privileged to be your Pastor. When 
X think of trie s: that they say about their congregations, when I think of 
some of the things that they say about their people! But for two decades I have 
bean the fortunate one to know year love and your respect ~ undeserved i — the 
blessing that you bring into my life, This i3 the kinc. of thing that every 
single one of us could, write for himself. There is the; mystery of the good 
that coses to us. 

And if that isn't enough to Stagger your mind •— think of the goodness of 
God! - - that while we were yet sinners, Jesus Christ came to uvt to reconcile us 
to God ..... think of that precious word that's in the vocabulary of the Christian: 
grac e — undeserved favor. Asm of us could ever be good enough to get to Heaven. 
We have at the hand of God what we have because Kls hand is outstretched, and al- 
ways kindly disposed toward us. Talk about a mystery, you try to figure that out! 

Ant. the third thing that I can tell you is this. Jesus Christ endured pain, 
Jesus Christ sacrificed His life — endured it, said, thf.t's why we love Him. That's 
why we believe in the Resurrection — because Ke died triumphantly. What is the 
acid test of life? — not by what you avoid. The acid test of life is what you're 
able to itndure. What is our purpose in beiag hare, except to develop characters 
And no one ever develops character the easy way out, Character is always developed 
by what we can endure. Because fed wants us to be the beat possible of all char- 
acters He's always saying to ua, ,C I will help you I will never leave you - - 

1 will never forsake you." He put us ia a world where anything c«n happen, and 
frequently it does, and He say*, "My grace snail be sufficient." 

Well, you pay your money and you take your choice, my friend. You casket 
doubt. You can try to avoid it, you can t-y to escape it. You won't succeed 
for vary long. There just isn't any detour arcund the thing that you may have 
to face. But by the grace of God you can endure. 

.1. ;::.-; o ....".,: ;j .'.».. ;:c- wv- j..,;. .. \/y 

If yew don't w.v:;/.;f". Co 'ac;ll^ ,; "e:! ±K because ~"X2 telliu^ :";"; So yaw* i;v yew 
have your moments whsa yoa think that God Ims done mottling wt nolle benignly 
wpca ae all tha days of :sy life aad I doa^fc kaow what hardship arid strwggla 
is - - -ell, if yor?. vast tc< discradlr: lay word on that scat's-; thee for heaven's 
sake i believe the Apostle Pat«r1 It's the teatisony out of his owi life. He 
knew! Sake thai?; word ?or it* That's rtiat I'bj trying; to do. 

(This ■ei'Bon trenoetlked aa recorded) 

Serraosa - Pastor David Shaheen 

1?^ .fifth Sunday of East-^ - ...Festival of ,.,the Christian Hoae - May 3, 1977 

- ;vV 

"THE EWCOIffA GIHS WOBB" /• fi^^*'* 

His ess;* was B^aj^stia West. That may cot b© a name that yoa reeogalxe. 
In fact It ensile be that you walk by soma of the tilings that he's doaa and 
hardly pa-M any attention to the sign.. ..plaque. s .,or that which designated 
to whom the credit ought to be given. But soaa of hie works hang is. the 
National Gallery of Art. He's one of the greatest painters that the 13th 
Century aver produced. 

He became famous because of the work that he did in painting portraits. 
8ov do you suppose it i* that B/sujasdu Heat get his start? or how any painter 
could have gotten the feel that he did for artistic talent? Well, in Benjamin 
West's case ifc happened oae day while he was taking car«$ of his little sis tar 
Sa.lly while hia mothtr went out on szj errand. 

In hie toother's absence he found sosae bottle© of <.:olorad ink, and so ha 
decided to paint his sister's portrait. .... .and in the. process?,, as yoy. night 

surmise, ha oado quite a zeess of the kitchen. And when his tsother returned 
she said nothing about the droppings of ink that were on the floor, m& she 
didn't mention anything about the sissss that was on the table. Sot she walked 
o^«r tojt hag son SeesJe*iA, aa& *h» pieksd up the pspar ©& whish ha was working, 
asd aha aald, Ifcgr, it's Sally S" - - aad than aha beat ©tot and fcisaad Mss en 
the forehead. And in later yeare Baajastia Heat sraseliad, "My Tuot&sr — say 
stother'a kiss, that day, made so a painter.*' 

Saab of «• no doubt fete had a constat or fcw© la ©asr life, for «• ere 
shaped „ w& «r« faahioaed by those ,«h«» we love and ehaae aha lov* us. But 
scsaetinaa th« roauite are wt alwaye the $&m. For Sgasjeain West turnad oat 
the way that ho did basause oi' Me Bother' a reacting the i»»y that aha did. 
Xt could ba that aha ca&sld fern© roasted differently. And what do yau suppose. 

■'.'. ... .; ...... 

the*, would have happened to the teleat that me atone to uafeld in the w 
who hecaas known &» su of the greeceat Delators cnti 18th Century aver pro- 

■■ . 

1 honestly confess to you that there «?« certiJa times Chat a pastor's 
heart break*. hzA I confess that to you on a Suaeiy that is sat aside in 
ttho Christian church oa a national holiday to mar?; she Festival of s"a« 
Christian Hoae, because there are mm things tha; 1 deal with that se&e 
as vary sad. For I kaov that not every hoae is * place that's a happy piss®. 
And I know that there are bosses ufesrs children miA p&rwiZe d© not live to- 
gether la natneuy.....ead I fcnov thai thare ara hones whenrs people live uador 
tha same roof but there is little respect i'or em aether. And yet we profess 
a rtligioR that places a great deal of emphasis m she f sally, tod we concern 
ourselves a great deal about tha responsibility that fella to psraats shout 
the way they raise their ehlMrea...,.nad m spjid s great deal of time con- 
cerning ourselves about tha reasons why some children have e harder f aally 
life than others. For we have cone to value life dearly, and particularly 
the life ftf a little child. 

But that's not the way st» always been. T*a&ra was & perlsd la tha 
history of tho world, in feet during the Roma Itaslre, when there existed 
what was referred to as the Pstria Petes tee — the pow«?? s^ the t'etfee? — 
which had certain features that you and I wuld find quite repnlolv*. The 
father had the absolute power ov«r hie f aally, and that poser wee so streag 
*ad s® great that he eould sell hU ehlldrea ee slaves.... ha could aefee thea 
work in tha fields bound together by ehelas. . . . .sad if be rss&ly vented m, 
ha could lafllet puaisfemt as eevera as capital paaiehaent! tod believe it 
or act, th® power of a Keoea father ewer hie family extended over the child 
as leag as the father lived! The child really never «s^ ef age vmtU h « 
father died. 

These also agisted in that tint* of the tostm; re the custo® of child 

_ disposal - - that, when a child was bora it vm plaeett hafora its £&thsr 8 8 feet, 

child to be fesps.<,.».bu£ if the father turned sad walked sway, it meant — 
literally — the child cculd be throws sway. It mm ivito this kind of a world 
that the Apostle Paul triad to Introduce Chris tiaal&y. 

If ever it was asked what good Christianity has doate to the world , we 
only have to point to the kind of change that was made in thos status of women 
and children, through the high priority that it places on family life. And £h« 
Apostle Paul spoke very directly every auw sad then about the kisd of relation- 
ship that should exist between parents and their children, sad about els.® w&y 
©ambers of a family should treat one another. 

So, en this day as we celebrate the Festival of the Christian Horn®, 1 
find this verse of Scripture claiming my heart — not xn easy one, 1 have to 
adsait, when I first looked at it, to think about. But la a letter that Paul 
wrote to certain Christians living in his day, he wrote these words > 

"Parents, never drive your gfey^JSSlJEg 

resentment or you will aa ke them feel 
frustrat& d,^.^ - " 

...that's the way it's written in the Jerusalem Bible. 

X Icofcad it up in a couple of other transl&tioas &s well. Jf, B. Phillips 
translates it this way: 

"Paren ts, don't over-correct your children. 
or yo u will take all the heart out of than." 

And in the T oday's English Version it's put like this: 

"Parents, don't irritate your children 
or they will become discouraged." 

Now I've admitted tc yon that there are setae things that 1 immediately 

wanted to £atoe issue with when I read these words of Paul, But then I thought 

about the background to which they were written. And I know hi© motivation was 

to encourage parentis to think about thai? responsibilities and the relation- 
ships they bed with their children. And X was r@ad.nded about the young boy 
in school who was «sk«d to fill out a questionnaire, and the first line asked 
for his father '» ©r bis guardian's aaas msd be filled it out sed put la his 
father's nam©,, But the second line asked for 'Relation&hlp' and the little 
boy wrote "Vary Good." lad that's exactly what the Apostle Paul was talking 
about * He was concerned about tempering the relationships of parents and 
their children In his day so that it would be "vary good." 

. . . than meant urging parents to set 30ns limitations 
.-.thai: meant urging parents to be patient, persistent — 
exercising a ssaasure of self-control. 
ot.f or the Apostle Paul knew in his day, as some people keep telling us today, 
that a child if he's constantly berated will develop no solf-confidence at, all, 
and gain no measure of self-esteem. 

Do you know it's a fact that some children never hear a compliment I In 
a survey recently conducted fey tha American Institute of Family Relations, 
mothers were asked to record th* number of tinges they made negative and posi- 
tive comments to their children. They found that they criticized ten times 
more than they gave a favorable ettMftt* And m»s conclusion of the study was 
that it takes four positive comments to offset the effects of one negative*. 
statement to a ehlld. To paraphrase an eld saying,, "An ousce of prates esn 
accomplish more than a ton of fault-finding." And Martin Luther said, '"Spare 
the rod and spoil tl»e child' is true - - but beelde the rod keep an apple to 

I'd like to think that it's a true story, at least I presume that it is, 
about the little girl who always cams to school dirty every day. And her teacher 

recognised that It was the same dirt day after day. Being kind and understand- 
ing as she was, uhe didn't want to hurt the littls girl ®r sssbarrass her in 

*«m ■~ti&* T *\rf£ l Jk,<Bl?J f *i».U,& t **CJ?.=,14 %•*/ 

front of her friends. She knes** ah* w*sa'e getting ths kind of attention she 
should st home — maybe the parents didn't ears, but the taacher knew that 
ah* did. So ah© pulled tha little girl aside asad ©aid to her, "lorn fcaow, 
you have very pretty hands - - why don't you go sad wash them so people can 
see how really beautiful they are." The little girl ran off to do the 
teacher's bidding, and she came back gleaming and delighted aad she held 
up her hands so very proudly for the teacher to see. And the teacher said, 
"They're beautiful! You see what a little soap and water can do!" And then 
she tsok the little girl up in her anas and she hugged her. 

-..and it 'is reported that every day after that the little girl 

cssse to school a bit cleaner, and eventually she was one of 

the neatest students in the school... . . 

And why did she make such a change? because the teacher complimented her 

by praising the good points she improved. 

People seldom change because we point out their faults - - nor will they 
lov* us for doing so. If we want to help others become beautiful people , 
then we ought to work at it with sincere praise and encouragement . If we 
think back, it was probably the kind words of a parent or a taacher or a friend 
which gave us the self-confidence that we have. If we think back to those 
moments la our life we went through some kind of identity crisis aad it was 
easy to point vhtm we were severely criticized. True, everything has its 
place, aad there are times when a balance has to be maintained, but contrary 
to soasss people's thinking, praising a child doesn't spoil a child. It's the 
child that doesn't receive praise, especially when h© deserves it, who will 
seek attention in other ways. 

What then ess X feell you, how to keep this thing is proper focus, on a 
day that celebrates the Festival of the Christian Home - - what kissd of guide- 
lines might I suggest for parents in praise of praise? 

Well, for on.® thing, you alight find it h«lpfi?l to keep ia mied to praise 
a child for what he's responsible for rath©? than that which ha e&raaot help* 
A child can't help it if he b&ss dark wsvey hair... a girl can't help it if 
she has beaut if «tl browss ©yes. And to praise a child for such things could 
bring «ra a pride asd conceit. But to praise a child for acta of kindness — 
to praise a child for acts of generosity - « - the child begins to feel that 
his life counts j it has trorth sad meaning- 

A second Utiag - - to recognise the praise that is especially nasdisd 
from fch« people who are important to a child. And what cms b<s nor» Saaportant 
to a child than his parents'/ When a parent praises a child, a child knows 
love, a child foels secure. X heard a yoisng Ma tell sss one time that it 
didn't make any difference to him what other people said about the kind of 
things that he did, but h» said, "Khan my dad talked to me one time and said 
'It's a job well done' - - my wholg world changed 9 p I've sees it happen to 
teenagers — they blossom — they come out when people wacourage them, and 
shyness disappears, and they begin to develop a measure of independence. They, 
too, become generous, and cooperative* 

T&at else can I tell you about praising children? Well the third thing 
I c®n say to you is to praise them sincerely. For children cannot be fooled I 
Asad praise dare aot bs phoney, and flattery will fall flat. For as Mark 
twain, I think it was, said, "X can live two months on a good, sincere compli- 

The fourth thing - - praise m child for what he does on his own. to do 
something without being told definitely deserves soma special encouragement. 

But to balance that v& ought to keep in misd that parents should be quiek to 
praise those who don't always accomplish what they sat out to accomplish . You 
know in every race, everyone's the loser but ©is*. And to compliment somebody 
who's tried, and yet lost, encourages sham to km? trying. Provide for them 

the kind of enacaragexBsstt that they seed whan later on they face those kiads 
of difficult situ-acioas that coma to every one of us,. 

There Is one last thing X would tall you - - so remember that e parent's 

attitudes are just as important as their words. The way a parent stops what' 
fe« ? e doing to lis tea, the way a parent shares in the sueesss or the failure 
of their child, the fcme of a parent's voice - - all fchssta h&lp to create am. 
atmosphere. If. «ny©a<a sa«ds to hear this sermon this* morning, 1 do, because X 
know I*m guilty of everything that X*v« meuti*m©d. Evsa last sight when 
Chrifc- tophex Into the hona a, and he was late, and his mothsr and 1 waited 
hiss to get upstairs and g«£ fcis bath aed get into bed,. ...fee wanted to stop and 
tell me something about a squirrel taat he'd found out In the parking lot yester- 
day that got hurt, and ho put it ia a box on the porch aod wanted to £&ke c&r« 
of it. X didn't know that's what he wanted to tall me, and X berst@d hi® for 
fooling around and waiting £isaa trying to get upstairs. ... 

....and th&n I could hear him crying....*!. w<snt after him, 
I knew fchttt he >?as rosily hurt because not only she tone of my voice but 
because I didn't take the tis»& to hear what was important to hits. So it is with 

Someone occ* said that no one, pxeat or obscure 9 is untouched by genuine 
appreciation . Ws have a double necessity to be commended and to knew hew to 
commend. When opsone's deprived of salf-esse&ss, ha' a deprived ef the one thing 
that makes a percsras -seorth loving. For one's own benefits if for no other reason, 
the effort should be made to build the self -esteem 1st the other. And that's 
achieved not by fa.atti.sry, not by a generous appreciation of the otter's strength 
- - it's achieved by speaking ef the person's good points .«.«> and de-emphasising 
eh?, weaknesses as much as possible. 

I read a quot® one time that I hope 1*1.1 ts^var forget. It went something 
like this; "People who are good to each other make each other good.'' 

a * a 
(Transcribed as recorded) 

Semes® - Pastor Raymond Shaheen 

The Sixth Sunday of Easter - ,,-,, , ,**** 15 » 1977 


; ■■■■:.<,'!■■.■: ■■•;,;;;■*■-.;■ .*•';;£': 

CMOS, Mercy and Peace from Gr^ Jk ^ ' 

our Father and from His Son J®sks ^^ 

Christ , our Blessed Lor d, Amea. 

Let ma begin by reading for the extract £©'<? today's sermon as it appeared 

©a the frost page of £he current issue of the MESSENGER J 


f. o c 


00ms no&, let the question be put again: does life 
«#<£3* wo&k cut exactly as we had hoped* as we had planmds 
as we had dreamed? Does not one hear again and ever* bo 
often the sad ery of those who had it all s so it would 
seem, within grasp only to have it &lip from beyond their 
reach? What now shall w® make of the shadows that fall 
so easily and with alarming frequency upon our way? . , , " 

This is the extract from a sermon "A Dr ama of Rained Hopes " that's about to be 


Bo you really waat to hear the sermon? What now was your immediate reac- 
tion? Does the extract smack of cynicism, and despair? frustration? Would 

mind upon Scripture » $f. my friend Jay McCoy? You would ha^a liked Jay very 
much. He was a rare spirit. He's the kind of person £hat anybody '*?®uld list 
in Ms catalogue of "Unforgettable Charact*'<rs." 

Jay was in the printing business, He had four sons. Be moved from place 
to place, always having she dream that s©a® d&j he could buy a plot of ground 
and on that plot of ground he'd build an ideal print shop. Year after year 
passed, but the dream remained in his heart, and then when he reached 60 years 
of age they had that plot of ground and they built that ideal print shop. 

They had some of the finest machinery that's been produced — some pi 
chased here, some purchased from abroad. The plant was all set to g®« Th< 
moved in. Jay was tha last to leave the building. He locked the door. He went 

heme. Knowing Jay as I remember him, I'm reasonably certain that tk&t might 

h* said "Thank you, God - - I've lived for this day s and now the dresss is 
there. Thank you!" 

But Jay McCoy died of a heart attack in his sleeps He sever went back 
to the shop. Ha neve;: fesard the presses operate • H® never sm& his sons 
firmly established in the business as his successes',.,,: 

• i .do you ©"ant me to tall you about life in that fashion! 
••.do you want me to keep repeating to you that life is 
*>"■■ "•»- /wv. t ;3 ,r jSsgb of ;-:vii^&5 m]}Q.yf tfi Z:l\,:: -Ay- -ozy l\: *a? 

Well, that F s the title for today's sermon, and maybe it's sot an apt one. 
But hear now the test. But before I read the text you 1 re given to understand? 
honestly a©**, that according t© good Lutheran preaching* a© sess©n ought aver 
to be preached without a text, and no text ought ever to be dealt with in its 
isolation. It asset always be considered within its context. And maybe that's 
why 9 if you don't mine;, before I read the text I'd likes to read yen. something 
that's part of the context. 

The chief character in today's sermon is a man named Moses, and Moses, 
as you may r&taembsr, tras the leader of the Children of Israel. This is the 
way his life ended - - it's recorded in the final chapter in the Book of Beutero- 
nomy, and there is a verse that goes like this: 

'7:nd.>fo8a8_.ff;ac .one hundred and twenty ye ars old 

■.'■v;?.v fe-," : --.-;-J ; -. .3 ; -' ;; . J ^ : — v ^>--X:;,,.'pK :.V~' r :;; .■:>:;■ v ...;-:r: 

h is natural strength was n ot abated . . . n 
...a free translation of that verse would be this: he died in full possession 
of all his faculties. He we® virile.... he was vigorous = He had perfect vision, 
he was in perfect health, flfeat now caused his death! T#ty did he die! — if he 
was in such excellent physical shapef 

Wall now I have to read for you the text, the 4th verse of the 34th chapter 
of the Book of Deuteronomy - - get the setting: God has the leader of the people 

now, and He has him in a place where h&'s looking out over tha promised 
the land toward which he had led his people-. AM God says so hiss; "Look, 
Moses, I have called v-aa to sea it wish your eyas, but you will not go oyeg c " 
e = 00 .afflw that's the text for today's sermon* 

See it properly, I beg you. 

At eighty y®&zm of age he leads the Children of Israel wandering through 
the wilders.ssa„ He had a rough time of It. They had their moments when they 
criticised him severely, they even told him they would ha^re been far better off 
if he would never hav& taken them out of bondage.-. 

...well that's understandable. Any people who ^et a weasure 

of freedom find how difficult the emerging preeess is as they have to assume 

responsibility fcr themselves - - wish for the day whssa they were ia bondage, 

when somebody else had all the worries, when somebody else could make all 

the decisions. . ... 
Well they gave Moses a mighty rough tisae. 

And it wasn't © very easy task that he had to fashion them into a people, 
and to keep them cohesive, t© deal with all thair troublesome elements , but he 
did. Asid tha grand and glorious thing is that he ne^r lost sight ©f the vision 
that he was the leader of a people who wore heading for the promised land - - he 
never lost sight of that. 

And now God brings him to the promised laud and He says, "Here it is, 
Hoses - - look at it J But, Moses, this ie as far as you go. As far as you're 
concerned - - M (a frea translation would be) - - ' I'foses, tha game is called sa 
account of darkness.... the curtain is goirag to be lowered. As *ar as your p&ft 
in the drama is concerned, it's finished. This is it! There's the Promised Land, 
but for you, I'foses, I'-a putting up a sign that reads 'HO ABMXrfAMCE T - - " How 
that's the way it was. 

The same chapter from which this test is taken says that Moses was 120 years 


old when he died. ../'sad his vision did not grow di£i s and his natural strength 
was not abated . * , " ; Jfow, why did he die? Tlhat caused his death? 

E^/en chough you may not hm trained is the aedical profession, you might 
quickly say., well, he died of a heart s&esek — that's the only explanation you 
emu give if he was in such perfect health. Weil, suppose that's true s £h@n 
what caused the heart ssts&ekf 

....veil ycsis can pay your money aad you em take ycur choice, my 

friend. ... .you am. have twe» choices*.... 

- - from a purely hutsaa perspective, i« e s not to© ®ueh t© mggast 
that h® was disappointed. Th® work w&b too much for hira s and he 
suddenly found himself taking issue with God and saying, "Ged, 
you* re unfair? How could y©» do this to rae? ¥©u fcgpt si® believ- 
ing that the promised land would Is© *vur.<£ - - you hstpt si® to the 
tasks ®ad 1 didn't fail you, 6©d s because here I ami I've brought 
than to the very edge of the Promised Lasd* God«. feow could you 
deal such a frustrating blow to sfcs?" ....... it may be all of a 

sudden Moses; may have said to himself, it wasn't worth is - - "You're 
unfair, God - - "...and lis died because the shock was so great! 
She cynicism at© out the very core of his being. 
....well, you esm read It that way, my friend, honestly yon can, because some 

people d© c And when life easts a shadow upon them and a frustrating blow, they 
cry out and say, "God s you're unfair! You had no right to do this to tael" And 
fcUfei.? l.lVv-s pvngta ft;,, c mt^xl.stxA^C: m.6. *«; h^ss : ~m ■• ;:":'■■■., ;"•;-,.•,= 

Well, you can read it that way. Bat I wouldn't if I w<sr® you. I wouldn't 
buy it. To the contrary I'm going to suggest to you something drastically dif- 
arent, because X 4 m igclined to give it to yoia and in duty bound to give it so 
you from the Chria£i@s. perspective. 

ilosag if* brought to th% adge of the Promised Land, and G®£ says,. "Tabs a Is^k 

at It, Moses" - - and I-Ioses ©an hardly believe what ha s«*@s<, Xt ? a far greater 
than anything Is® had ever Imagined - - a land ficrwi&g r aith milk aad honey S A 
measure of ecstasy possesses him - - "Ged, 1 gave you credit for many good 
things, and I always believed that what yoss said 'sras true. But, God.-, this 
far surpasses anything that say salsd saver envisioned ™ - God, you've cess® 
through 3 - - God b it's bean worth it! F©r this we've striven. Thank you, God - 
" c. . . and } God, what is sore, I look back over the days of ay 
year® and I remained faithful to you- And whes& they clamored 
against me I. did my best to contain ebea? for you, I'm glad^ssow, 
God, that the reesrd is as It was? 1 can hardly believe that you 
allowed this to happen in and through ma! Of all the people ea the 
face of the ©ssrtfe yea chose ass! Asd, God a ysss sad I together — 
we've pulled it off I" 

(I dare you t® read it that way I) 
?? . . . And a©w, Q@d, Skat; 1 eass see it., it's ner© than I can totes 
My soul sas&ofc sextain the gr&adeur mad the glory 1" 
...that's why» I say, he had the Heasrt stt&sfc - - ^^ - , - j 
as all that j and he sss able fee ®a*s it. Stick wish it that way, won't youfl 

-, : ,>:::mi isi ■\i\&lt.iAi& tv s-X'l '&vaZ 'im was £jl,C; 'is ssiy, ' ; ««m s IH'ss daiia 
ay part, and I've trained a mms to come after me. I w&ss willing to 
believe you, and I agreed with your choice ©f Joshua, and I 'a pleased 
to kmm? now that I've come this fax, but yem. and 'your work go e>n! — 
and Joshua takes over. Thank you, God!" it that way, ay friend. Th@ risk is far too great to read It any other 
way, so why don't you r«~ title the senses for m@? Uon't call it, "E'rama of 
Ruined Hopes." Put it this ways "Life is More Than a Drama of Ruined Hopes." 
Robert Frost was only partly right when he ssid, with a measure of resignation 
that may leave some people s?ith & measure of despair, "You must always think of 

life in terms of unfinished business ." But it's not & fair thing to think that 
God ia always saying to ua, "Your record ie ineoaplets, sad I'm not going to 
give you a chance to finish it,.. 5 ' God is the Gsd of perfection, and His work 
goes ©a „ Think of it that way. 

rlbaes was & part of it, a certain chapter, and he did what had to be dene. 
You've got to read the* life of Jesus Christ that way. Don't say at thirty-three 
years of age His was an untimely death. J©sus Christ, from a divine perspective, 
was able to say, "The work that I was given to do — this chapter — is finished." 
But the work of Jesus Christ was nat eosaplettg then. Tns deed of redemption was 
dene in our behalf, but the work of Jesus Christ pass 01a. That's why we're here 
today - - "■ in a far greater sense than when the work was goieg on When Ha 
walked around in Jad®s and Galilee. 

Be patient with me when I share this personal tastizaoRj. Both of nj parents 
are now in glory. Th«y lived to & ripe old age, of course they did, and had 
they been in possession of their faculties I would have been very happy if they 
could have continued to stay en. But (Sod translated ehasa to His nearer presence. 
Sue I can honestly tell you this, sot that I didn't appreciate them when I h&d 
thes . . . but in a very goal sense, thair l&fluanee @n my life is even greater 
now, today, than when I could sit down and talk with them. What Vm simply @&y~ 
ing to f©a m - (g^en though they finished their e&rthly pilgrimage It. doe© not 
say that their life was incomplete. Every goed and noble thing that titey did 
when they lived fchsy continue to do in Heaven above o 

I have to tell you. this c the measure of a man's life is not by what he's 
able to achieve. And that doesn't mean that I minimise the necessity for 
having a goal. But many a man who has achieved what ha set out to achieve began 
to rest on his laurels, and Ms sweetness turned sour. For some people, they 


think life would be a euee«ss if they had a certain hank balance. Howard Hughes 
had a tremendous bank balance, but what kind of a character was he? Th@ measure 
of life ia God's sight, fyons & Christian perspective, is sot the goal that*& 
achieved . . . it's the kind ©f a pass©?!, jmi become ia £h® process. And eh&t'a 
%-m Skisy %i:i'ik yw& hi-; 1 *® ■?■>• r. os;ss%on' , ; . 

One final thought, if yess d@n c £ salad. Moses d£@d - - facing the promised 
l«ffid» M&sas died with a forward look. • . • 

!J . . let ae die working, 

still tacklissg plans unfinished, tssks undone, 

clean t@ its ©ad; 

Swift Easy ray rases b@ run, nor lagging steps 9 

®,®z faltering, nor shirking - - 
Let rae die working. 
Lmt m® die thinking, 

Let asa far© forth still with an ©pen mind, 
the fresh secrets to unfold; 
New truths to find - - xuj soul undimm@d s 

alert, tun quae 
Let as di* thinking. 1 

* * 

(This sermon transcribes &s recorded) 


Sermon - Pastor Raymond Shaheen 

The Seventh Sunday of Easter May 22, 1977 


, \-- 
GRACE, Mercy and Peace from God our i\ L ' 

Father and from His Son, Jesus Christ, Cu^X> v 

our Blessed Lord. Amen. 

Winifred and I happen to live in a neighborhood where there are a number 
of youngsters, and I dare say that some of them are sheer joy to have around. 
With two of them we are also fortunate to have a very special relationship. 
And occasionally, thanks to the gracious quality of their parents, we're 
permitted to have some part in their spiritual growth and development. 

Among other things there are those moments when I can tell them a Bible 
story. And I've discovered something . . . that telling a Bible story just 
as it is in the Good Book doesn't always satisfy. One of them especially 
wants a little embellishment, a little enhancement, and by that I mean he 
wants me to read between the lines and not read it just us the Bible has it, 
but to give it to him in a story fashion. 

Now that's quite an assignment, because I know that one has to be true to 
the text. But one can't allow himself too much liberty with the Biblical 
statement as it happens to be on the printed page. So I find myself in that 
very difficult position sometimes of praying to God for the gift of a sancti- 
fied imagination, that I may satisfy a desire to hear about Bible stories, 
that I can read these stories for him but giving him a bit of filler between 
the lines. It's not easy, but it's a challenge. 

And in light of that I want to share today's sermon with you. Let me read 
it for you just as it is - - it's from the 6th chapter of the Gospel according 
to John: 


" . . After this Jesus went to the other side of the 
Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. And a 
multitude followed him, because they saw the signs 
which he did on those who were diseased. Jesus went 
up into the hills, and there sat down with his disciples. 
Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand . 
Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a multitude 
was coming to him, Jesus said to Philip, "How are we to 
buy bread, so that these people may eat?" This he said 

to test him, for he himself knew what he would do. 

Philip answered him, "Two hundred denarii would not buy 
enough bread for each of them to get a little." One of 
his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said to 
him, "There is a lad here who has five barley loaves 
and two fish; but what are they among so many?" 
Jesus said, "Make the people sit down. " Now there was 
much grass in the place; so the men sat down, in number 
about five thousand. Jesus then took the loaves, and 
when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those 
who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they 
wanted. And when they had eaten their fill, he told 
his disciples, "Gather up the fragments left over, that 
nothing may be lost. " So they gathered them up and 
filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley 
loaves, left by those who had eaten. When the people saw 
the sign which he had done, they said, "This is indeed the 
prophet who is to come into the world!" 

Now, he'll listen fairly well when I read it to him just as I've read it 
for you. But he wants more. He just isn't satisfied at this stage for me 
to say to him, "Well, that's the way Jesus did it. That was a miracle." 

Oh, of course he's fascinated that five thousand people could be fed, 
and I suppose as long as God gives him memory he'll remember this miracle, and 
if he's asked to name miracles at any time, it will always be in the top four 
or five - - the fascination, the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand — 
just the number itself appeals to a youngster. But he wants more than that, 
and he just isn't satisfied when I say to him, "Well, that's the way Jesus did 
it - - it was a miracle." 

Well maybe you're that way too, and maybe that's one reason why you don't 
pay too much attention to miracles - - you'ee not satisfied to have somebody 
say, well it was a miracle! Human as we are, we want something more. Now will 
you indulge me this morning as I deal, I hope not too recklessly, with an inter- 

pretation of this passage, because in your presence I am going to read between 
the lines, and I want to emphasize as strongly as I can that even God may have 
His moments when He can't work a miracle without the assistance of human instru- 

Now there are times, of course there are, when God can do things all by 
Himself, like a convulsion of nature - - the earthquake, the wind and the fire. 
But the miracle that has meaning for us like as not always involves human instru- 
mentality. And you and I need to keep that in mind. 

Even that great miracle, when God was able to come to earth and take on 
human form - - you and I have no hope of salvation if it weren't for Jesus Christ. 
But even in order to have Jesus Christ, when God works the miracle of the Incar- 
nation, He reaches for a man and a woman - - and Mary and Joseph become human 
instruments. You've got to remember this. 

Now having said that, let me focus here and there upon the human instrumen- 
tality used by God in the performance of this miracle.... 

...1 like to think about those people who came out to hear Jesus 
preach. He was a great preacher. He held people in the hollow of 
his hand as He gave them unforgettable pictures of God. No one has 
ever preached as He did. What did He tell them about God? 

— that God loved them 

— that God was great, that God was good — He was great 

in His goodness and good in His greatness 

— whenever He would exercise power He'd exercise it 

because of His love for people! 
....this is the kind of thing He talked about when He talked about God to 

these people and of how their lot in life could be improved if only they'd 

remember that they were here to live out the days of their years in a way that 
would please Him. And they weren't meant to ignore the God-factor or to have 
disrespect for the eternal dimension. Well, I'd like to think that as He was 

preaching there were some people who were moved. He struck a responsive chord, 
and like as not there were some people who said, Now as soon as I can I'm going 
to do something about this - - I'm not going to be content to be a person who 
just listens and nods his head and says that's great — bravo! I'll demonstrate 
my belief by my behavior, and put my creed into practice! 

....I'd like to think that that was happening when He was 
preaching, and that His preaching was so effective that it 
had this kind of results.... this is part of the human instrument that I'm talking about. People 
were moved. They said, we've got to be part of the picture if this better, 
brighter world that He's talking about is ever to become a reality then some 
of us have to do something about it ! . . . don't ignore that aspect of it. 
But I'd like to believe that when that mother packed that little boy's 
lunch that day, she may have said to him, "Now I can't go with you. But I 
know you're going to like Him. I heard Him not so long ago, and He's changed 
my life. Listen for me, will you? I'm glad you can go. Now I'm packing your 
lunch - - you know we don't have much ..." 

(90% of the people in that day didn't have 
much — that's why the situation was so 
critical, most of them were suffering from 
malnutrition anyway, and they'd listen to Him 
preach and then they had a great distance to 
travel, and they'd faint by the wayside. .. .you 
remember it, this related data to this miracle) 
....well anyway, the little boy's mother said, "We don't have much, but I'm 
going to pack your lunch for you. But I want you to remember one thing - - - 
while you may not have much, you have enough that you can share with somebody 

else. And if you come across somebody who needs something, remember to give 
him a little bit of what you have. You don't have much, but you have enough 
that you can share." 

. . . I'd like to believe that this was part of this human 

instrumentality that Jesus Christ was able to depend upon, to draw upon, 

when this miracle became effective. So remember her and her kind — the 

mother who motivated the youngster to share. 

And as part of this human instrumentality picture, pay attention now to 
Jesus . . as He stood there and looked around these people and His eye fell 
upon this youngster. And He didn't ignore him. This, too, is part of the 
picture. He didn't allow Himself to believe that this youngster was incapable 
of helping out. There was potential, there was a resource that could be 
tapped, right now. 

And I can't help but tell you, and I hope you've discovered every now and 
then in your conversation with me - - I thrill to high heaven to be the pastor 
of a congregation where young people are demonstrating their faith — now. 
And we tell this to them when we meet with them in different ways; You don't 
have to wait to be forty years of age until you can be a Christian, the full- 
fledged Christian. We try to impress upon their minds as they're being con- 
firmed next Sunday: You can practice your Christian faith now - - you have 
something to offer — today! 

If you come to the Baccalaureate this afternoon you'll sense that dynamic. 
Some of you know that we have a program called "Care-Ring" around Saint Luke 
now, which was initiated by Youth Ministry with a concern for older people 
being carried on to some degree by younger people. When you think of the 
human instrumentality as part of the picture, part of the performance of that 
miracle, remember - - Jesus did not discourage the man who said, "Here is a 
boy - - " But Jesus being pleased, immediately said, "Have him come! Let's 

"Enough By Which To Share " (6) 

begin with him.!" 

And then you have got to remember as part of the human scene, how the 
little boy, motivated and encouraged, gave up his lunch. It's not easily 
done - - and it's harder yet for adults to give up what they grasp. But it 
happened . 

And then as part of the human scene, look at it this way. I can see 
it now . . . how here and there other people, with the little that they had, 
begin to release their grasp - - they give it up. And the whole scene was one 
of sharing. Now Jesus had all this in mind from the beginning. The Bible says, 
"Jesus himself knew what he would do." But He couldn't do it until they began 
to make themselves available and cooperative. Miracles always begin to happen 
when people release the little that they have into God's hands. 

Two weeks from today we'll have ceremonial groundbreaking. .. .and I go 
back now and I think of the time when your leadership, representing you, gath- 
ered in the Luther Room, and the decision had to be made then: shall we encour- 
age our fellow members - - shall we support this concept of this enlarged 
facility? - - shall we ask them to participate financially in an undertaking 
the like of which they have never undertaken before? It was an awesome moment, 
for your leadership recognizes the responsibility that rests upon them. Then 
I began to see a miracle take form and substance. One man said something, the 
like of which I dare say no one else in that group had been thinking, and he 
indicated the very generous amount that he was willing to pledge, far above the 
amount that anyone else in that room had contemplated. It was almost like 
magic - - you could feel the electricity happen as others began to think in 

terms of the same possibility so much so that by the time the appeal was 

being launched there were others who exceeded that figure, here and there. When 
you talk about miracles, don't shy away from them. Begin by recognizing the 
fact that they're possible because God lets them happen - - but - - concentrate 

" Enough By Which To Share" (7) 

strongly every now and then on the human assistance upon which He draws. 
Remember - - God doesn't ever perform a miracle by Himself and by Himself 
alone . Miracles happen when you and I respond to the power of God and allow 
compassion to rule our hearts as we give ourselves to something bigger and 
nobler than our little world envisions. It's a willingness to believe in the 
power of God and to respond in faith. 

I want to close by sharing with you something that comes out of Hebrew 
legend - - now mind you, this is legend. Hebrews used to enjoy telling one 
another that when God brought the Children of Israel to the banks of the Red 
Sea and they almost began to panic - - - or did they panic when they realized 
the Egyptians were coming against them? There were those who believed God 
miraculously would part the Red Sea for them. But the old legend has it — 
the Red Sea never parted until the first Hebrew got his feet wet in the water. 

(This sermon transcribed as recorded) 


ITotes on R.S. Presentation to the 

Western Pennsylvania - West Virginia Synod Convention 

June 10 - 11, 1977 

IMSIJ^gJ^SSSa^^^BSJilAa «.. .Pennsylvania 

Two Addresses on the General Theme; 



Presentation Ho. 1 

We are known by the questions that we ask or are asked. "lot all 
questions are of tfMl value, Some answers are easily given. Presumably 
it is far greater to ask one hard -question than to give • hundred easy 
answers r no matter hsw correct each answer may be. 

Jesus had a way of asking questions. Jesus had. a way of evoking ques- 
tions . 

The first of Ebil a presentations deals with the question that Jesus 
asked. The second presentation de*.±s with the question that was raised 
regarding Jesus, Both questions CM as important fti any that are considered 
in the entire New Testament. 

Question Number One: WHAT THDIK YE GF gggXSTf (Matthew 22:42) 

It is essential, no matter few* much we know about Jesus Christ , that we 
keep Him in clear and proper focus. 

There comes to mind the recollection of a friend who saved his money 
for the trip of a life-time. It was to be a trip around the world to see and 
to visit places to which he had never been and to which he would never again 
return. It was in the days when cameras were not as sophisticated as they 
are now and the manual focusing was very important. Upon his return from his 
trip, and after he had taken his filns to the processing laboratory, he was 
distressed to learn that every picture was faulty. The laboratory technician 
advised him that he had not mastered the art of proper focus adjustment. And 

'Christ - The Gift To Give" (2) 

that, too, could be the tragedy for us -- - to come to journey's end and 

never to have had Christ in clear and proper focus never to be able to 

give the clear and perfect answer to the question: Who is Jesus Chr ist? 

So again and again we do well to deal with the question — the question 
that Jesus Christ himself put to certain people. 
Here are some answers, now as then; 

— "Jssus^. you a re a ^raat prsacjier" and that is about as far as 

some folks ever get. We remember Him as one who had a way with 
words. He could preach well — no question about that. How as to 
what He said, and to what end — they gave little consideration to 
this. To hear, you sea, is not necessarily to heed. As in Thornton 
Wilder' s ''Our Town" there was that scene when the folks who inhabited 
the graveyard got their turn to observe the living, they MM unhap- 
pily to the conclusion that while they lockai at one another , they 
never really saw one another! To think of Jesus as a great preacher 
is never enough unless we give heed to His words and become His 
obedient followers. Fascinated by His preaching? Yes - - but more 
ky .fro** -* e sai " it than why He said it. They never pot beyond the 
preaching to the person of the preacher himself, and this is never 
to see Him in clear focus. 
Another answer given historically - - now as then - - 

""" "J^SaJAJESSLJSa a miracle-worker" and that's about it with some 

folks. Whether they believe in miracles or not may be beside the 
point. It is enough that they, when asked about Him, would first 
relate Him to wonder-works. They shall not ask why or how such 
things happen. They settle all too easily for the reputation He 
has established for Himself as a one-man rescue team of a bunch of 
bewildered folk in a storm- tossed craft or a one-man supermarket 

T! Chri3t - The Gift To Give" (3) 

for an angry multitude. TTho are you, Jesus? A miracle-worker. Yet the 
question remains, what difference would it make to them or in 
them? Were they changed for the better? Md they »ae beyond the 
miracle to the man himself? Fascinated? Yes. But more by what 
He did 5 and how, than why He did what Kg did. 
The question remains. Can we answer as some did, as we put our fingers 
to our lips and reverently whisker the name of God - -- "Je sus, You are Go d — 
God' s Gi ft to uq." In John Silt it la si asyTtatflOf ouoerbly. 

And that's why the observation «Ht fee aade that John said what he did 
regarding Chriot tape* reflection. It Vtl aal? after Starlet bad been away 
from them that John could look back and assess it properly. 

It is tfeat way »4tl oil fcho.t Better* BOSt. It 1* the reflection upon 
the experience that pr*?ld«a the appreelatiaa for the reality ( and that is 
why it is Important that BB should do Bfeat B* ore doisg now. 

When John thought of Jesus he could not separata 81a from God. There 
was this perfect, complete and immediate identification with God. Jesus was 
not just another man — no matter how extraordinary. la cms Very God of Very 
God .... 

But God, stooping to our level, to find us where we are, to meet their 

need . 

And all this happens because He loves. It is the nature of love to give, 
it is the nature of love to share, it is the nature of love to meet a need. 

So God in Christ meets our need, and Himself supplies the Saviour, vie 
never really see Jesus Christ until we see Hira as God - -- God's gift. And 
this is the point at which we must begin when we talk to people about God. 
It is what He offers to us by which we face the peril and the problems of a 
wicked world. 

i; Christ - The Gift To Give'' (4) 

Who was it who said. ''There is a degree of justice in the charge that 
Christians, and especially Christian preachers, have grown too fond of analyzing 
the problems and diagnosing the maladies of the modern world. Their finger is 
too often upon the pulse of our age. Quite certainly it is our Christian busi- 
ness to know what is ailing. Only as we understand the sickness of our civi- 
lization are we able to bring the Gospel with convincing and converting power 
to bear upon contemporary life. But the danger of diagnosing too much and 
too often is that we may be mesmerized by the sheer mass of evil that is in 
the world. When we view the Christian task in all its paralyzing bigness, and 
then consider the seemingly pitiful resources of which the church disposes, we 
begin to wonder whether very much can be done to remedy matters. It is only 
one step farther to a mood of secret or open hopelessness. 

!f It is therefore good for us Christians, not once but often, to reverse 
the common order of our thinking: to start not with our Christian responsibi- 
lities but with our Christian assets .... to begin not with the situation and 
what it demands of us but what Christianity gives to us that enables the 
church to face any situation; and therefore the present situation." 

So now at this point what is it in Christianity that gives the church 

the power to look at an unredeemed world with all the disturbing elements of 
evil in it without losing faith and hope? 

You and I both know that the thing of transcendental importance is the 
Gospel — • the Christian message — the astounding good news that God so loved 

the world that He gave His only begotten Son it is that God cares. It 

is that He cares for each of us. He cares for all of us, and He will go on 
caring forever. Again and again this is the point at which we must begin, 
with the fact of God. And for us Christians, who reveals Himself fully and 
completely in Jesus Christ. 

"Christ - The Gift To Give" (5) 

James Stewart, one of Scotland's great preachers, in his book "The Strong 
Name' r deals with this very theme. Let me quote him directly: 

" Who is this Je sus? Let us begi n o ur inquii ; bv s etting right 
in the centre of our minds one fundamental fact ; t he Christian 
religion is first and foremo st and ess entially a mes sage about 
God, It is n ot primarily a new ethic. It is not just a gos pel 
of brothattjlin aga and lovin g our ne ighbor and gg cggt ing the 
Colder:. Rale. It is not in the main a philosophy of life or a 
soci al pro^rgr.-rv?.. lo'^c "" gs_-; _J t_ i'. ■■.dados a 11 t! > ££_' it in volves 

an ef-~ i c , iy •:■- If - ■- a , V1'~ | /VT,''~7 -,, , -}'--- l ,' c ' r :"' : '-^"- 5 programme _fpr 

society, ?--jt basically it is none cf_ these th ing s. It is not 

a me ssage rS . y, *_ ■< ■ -■. -,i \~'-.~> : ~:\ : ! •' i '">; 1 ,g ~t 't.\j , It is a message 

about God. 

' Ibat meggaga is •- tl;at th- a living god - a tergal , invisible, 
^■Jo at one cuite dc.f irtitg ~ci.' ■: V'"' :■'- rough -r^-tory in an un- 
p recedent ed way. Cg.ce and f or all, in an _ actual life lived out 
upon this earth, god has spoke n, a nd '• given the f ull a nd fin al 
revelatio n o f Himself. In _ Jesus ^ >_ God has cone . 

r Such is the dramatic and astounding statement on which the 
Christian relig ion is built. Possibly g aniliarity has dulled its 
wonder for us: but will you t ry to realize afresh .just how el ectri- 
fying , how startling that stateraent is? God caxae to us Himself — 
a gift!! " 

Our purpose in this presentation is simply to make certain that we have in 
clear and proper focus the raollty of Jesus Christ as Very God of Very God — 
precious gift of God to us — to meet the need which we have in common — ■ to 
be saved. 

"Christ - The Gif t To Give "' (6) 


To this day when the worshipper goes to St. Martin In The Fields, 
Trafalgar Square, London, he can sense something of the presence 
of a distinguished parson who preached there a half -century and 
raore ago - - 0. A. Studdert-Kennedy a nan who knew God first-hand 

''I was alone at night on a moor by the sea. Above me a 
dark velvet dome and a million stars. ItematiH me moving 
slowly in a heavy swell, the sea, No sound but the 
rustling of a breeds through the heather^ and t'ne boom 
of the waves against the cliff. I was alone, that is, 
I was acutely,, painfully conscious of myself as a reality , 
and at the same time even more acutely conscious of that 
vast, sliadowg,, mysterious other- tnavi-my self ', looming up 
out of the darkness over against me -• the imiverse - ~ - 
Suppose, I cried, out to the great other than myself: "!-/ho 
goes there?' Would there be an answer? Or would titer e 
be nothing but the triisger of tha wind on the heather, 
the boom of the swell on the cliff, and the desolate cry 
of that lonely gull returning late to its nest?" 

Listen to his reply 

''Well, I made my cry and I got my answer. I have often 
doubted it (don't let that shock you) and never entirely 
understood it,, but it re-mains. If I lost it-, I think I 
would, lose my soul. I have been trying to say it ever 
since - - at the time, the answer was onln one word GOD . 

* ft 

Notes on R.S. Presentation to the 

I-Jestern Pennsylvania - Uest Virginia Synod Convention 

June 10 - JUL, 1977 

Thi el College., Gre enville, Pennsylvania 

Two Addresses on the General Theme: 


Presentation Ifo. 2 

In this second presentation we deal with the second question. In this 

case it was a question that was put by Pontius Pilate. It is the question 


(Matthen 27:22) 

Pilate is erflgy man. Every Mb is Pilate, Soon or late we must deal 

with the question What to do with Jec&s? 

Pilate had ths right question , alright. But he newer cane up with the 
right answer. Pilate was fascinated by Christ, .. .his wife was troubled by 

him. But being fascinated being troubled - - is never enough. 

There are, as you know, three possiMe answers. Each of the. answers is 
being given today. 

The first answer,' Reject Christ. Historically He was crucified 

(here include the illustration of Paul Hoh's 
poster — man with the wheelbarrow and the 
emaciated form on which was scrawled the words: 

(include the second illustration of the Anti- 
God Museum in Moseow, where there is on display 
a chalice, a Bible, a crucifix — remnants of 
what's been rejected. 
Second possible answer: Ignore Christ - or t reat Him with in differ ence 
Here perhaps are found the majority of people. Quote the poem, "When Jesus 
Came To Golgotha. 5 ' Use the illustration of the thief who turns the picture 
of Jesus' face against the wall. 

;i Christ - The Gift To G ive" 2 (2) 

Third possible andwer: To respond with faith, to adore, to obey, to 
follow Christ as Lord and Saviour. Here use the hymn. "0 Bod, I love thee . . " 

How how do we share this Christ? He is, of course then, a gift to give, 
And no gift, properly understood, can be dealt with selfishly. The real gift 
is always something that goes on giving. 

But here mm must pause to recognize that we can't five what we don't have. 
There is something to be said for the nan who ta.lks about being ''born again." 
It indicates in no uncertain measure that the individual in aware of being 
Christ-possesser 1 Shonld you be too sophisticated to think in these terms — 
then let the question be put to yens if you're net a horn-again Christian, 
what kind of Chr-\^tiar_ are you? 

John IJesley did more for England ia v -dn day than any other person, at least 
that's the way one historian pot it. He got up before day-break, riding an old 
xdiite horse (or was it gray?) wo he could greet the miners a? thev went down 
into the pit.. .... .then driving on to the next town, meeting and talking with 

the people in the market-nlace, repeating this kind o^ thing until night set- 
tled in. He kept, a journal. Again and ever so often he put at the bottom of 
the page - - "I gave them Christ. !: 

But Wesley was not always a Christ-possessed man. As a student of church 
history you know what happened. There was his experience in Georgia. .. .there 
was the return to Britain and his experience at sea x^hen he was impressed by 
the demeanor of the Moravians .... there was that precious time when, at a 
quarter to nine in x\lders":ata Street Mission, as someone was dealing with 

Luther's "Preface to the Romans" that he "felt his heart strangely warmed". 

and he was never again the same. It was after that that he was able to share 
what he truly knew he had. 

There was the experience of S.obertson ¥. Dale of Kerr's Lane Church in 

'' Christ - The Gift To Give r 2 (3) 

Birmingham. Now let me suggest the ways by which we share this precious gift. 
First, through prayer. And you may not have thought of it in that way. 
Prayer is always the best thing that we can do, and sometimes it is the 
only thing that we can do. T7e need to remember that it's through prayer 
that we receive the Holy Spirit, and it is through prayer that we share the 
Holy Spirit with others. It was Jesus, as recorded in Chapter 11 of Luke, 
who talks about the Heavenly Father's desire to give the Holy Spirit. 

Cite Morman Peale's. ... .prayer group of predecessor , .. .the role of Prayer 
Partners in Saint Luke Church. ... .the role of Kathe Stiehler . . . , ,of Esther 
Maria Katerina Benson. ... .of D. I, Moody's extraordinary preaching campaign 
and the invalided sister and the one who cared for her who prayed that the 
Spirit of God would be at work in the people who were attending the meetings... 
....through what we profess with our lips. 

There comes a time when we really have to speak the word, What do we 
know about Christ except what we have been taught? 

It is always easier to talk about the church and its program than it is 
to talk about Jesus Christ himself. Close with the illustration of Martin 
Neomuller (?) and his dream about Hitler in the time of Judment. 

Sormon - Pastor Raymond Shaheen 

-;■'... J;?'..- ' ■ ■■ ; ■ _ .; : ; .-:■: . ,v. ■ ■, ._ _ _ "■' ■ i;; ■';■' : 


GRACE, Ilercy siid Peace from God «% 

our Father and fro© Eis Son Jesus , '"] / f" 

Christ, our Blessed tord. _Amen. p L*j2/^ 


1 am numbered among those who had else g©od fortune to have on* pastor 
throughout the formative years of their life* He baptised me, he confirmed 
oe in the Christian faith, he encouraged urn to become a minister of the Gospel 
of Jesus Christ « And when the time cams that I was ordained & minister, he 
stood by ray side and Joiasd those «h© placed holy hands in blessing upoa my 
head* Fters the time came for ma to h® installed as a pastor in the first 
parish that I was privileged to serve, he was there* 1 an grateful that God 
allowed this to happen in my life, that hiss lengthened shadow could be cast 
upon ma to this very day. 

But I have an admission to make. While I heard him preach a number of 
times, of course I did, I don't remember any one sermon in particular* I 
remember the man — of course I do ~ but of all the sermons that I heard him 
preach, there is only one that I remember to this day. It was preached a half- 
century age.'. t was preached the week that Charles Liadburgh successfully 
crossed fck© Atlsa£5*c Ocean. And he made serae reference to the fact that un- 
doubtedly there were people who talked about Lladburgh and in the same breath 
they'd say, "What courage 5'' - - or they would have said, "What luck he must have 
had I s " - - or they might have said, ''It was done ©nee- I-Iaybe it will never be 

sgais" ~ - - or there may have been people who spoke with appreciation for 
craft that he flew, frail as it now seams to us as we see it. But it wa. ( . ; my 
pastor, who in the presehlng of that sermon raised the question: "I wonder," 
he, rt if when Charles Liedburgh landed in Prance , if he bowed hie \msd and said 



'Thank God I'" 1 remeraber it! It left a mark upon the fabric of my mindo 

People spoke about his luck , „. .people spo&e about his courage. It remained 

for my pastor as one parson to say, "I wonder if the nam of God was isenti< 

at all." 

It* sb its that spirit that I coma to this sacred desk today, &n this the 
Sunday before a national holiday, low if there ar® those of you in this congre- 
gation this morning who are citizens of other countries, please do not misunder- 
stand m&. I will speak in this sermon of the way God has ©tailed upon America 
But that is not to be understood -that we ara God's favorite nation. I trust I 
may be abl® to establish x^ery clearly ia yo?sr mind that we have fessn favored by 
God, but not at' the expense of any athsr people. 

Soss® of us have bean privileged to travel in other parts of the world. *Te 
know how fair the land can be in other sections of the world ~ - we know what 
paradise the people who live there seem to think it is. And for some of us, if 
we had the time and the isstasey, w® would return to those place© and thoroughly 

\ v.-'hij'.--;.. TZ-tZ pis.- ;acft^.fsS' ; .''-.:S(s '*■?, ;;•;--.;■■ ^\c«r;,: : ,., fe ; ; ::'~ ■■;■■■? ",U' 
who call America ours are always eager to come back. 

Tomorrow is a national holiday. And a® we think of ourselves as a nation, 
undoubtedly &h@r<s will b@ many peopl® in America who will talk about our might 
and our powsr, who will talk about the fact that we like to believe that we are 
the strongest nation on the race of the earthy and we'll chide our people who 
sit ia high places if they a tould become negligent in guaranteeing us that privi- 
leged spot* Fe expect : them to k®ep us Number One. And who, when he thinks of 
America s doesn't know a measure of prida when he realizes how from ocean to ocean 
we have so much ■ — ©v.r asi isral resources, the beauty of our land. Well, you 
take it fro© there. Us are tha recipients of favor. That is not to say that ws 
are God v s favorite people. 

• : To What En d This Blessing? ' (3) 

The text for today's sermon ia verses 1 end 2 Of Fsalia 67: 

; ' : :r : : : ¥. _".:*._ ^■ x ::.'^:i,l ":^&* .<■:■•••.••. j-: : !-6 M-ye^ _^;:; , 
and cause Ms face to shine upon as: 
That thy way may be knowaupoa earth. 

Ml' V'-.-' •:: ' : ! ;^^i;^ : ■4, : ii : :-V■'^ E'; : -L -^S'- •■' ' 

How think about that text. As a Bible student, you ought to ask yourself, what 
was the historical situation? There's always a great deal to be said for that. 
Main sad again we ought £& m® things in m historical perspective, While I'm 

not so sura just what the precis® historical situation was — scholars do sot 
agree — I ©an give you the benefit of tflPO different schools of thought. 

The one school of thought maintains that the attacking army had begun £© 
regress from Jerusalem, and eh® Israelites knew a measure of wide la their own 
military strength. And a©?? that Jerusalem was theirs* they began to think of 
their good fortune. And undoubtedly there were those who said,. "We've been 
pretty strong, pretty crafty - - we've been pretty clever? Tfe've sent the 
enemy away. We have don® it I" 

Two osfeer school of thought Piaiatains that the 'historical situation was a 
year when they had a bssmper crop. The fftalds had yielded an increase efes like 
of which they had not itnown in.dec&dsa. And there were those who ware grateful 
and said, "Our hard toil has psic! ©ff'S We tilled the fields, we cultivated the 
crops — -we worked frssa sunrise to sunset, and beyond that. Look what we've 
been able to do!" 

How you pay your money, you £sk® yem choice. It could be either one of 
those schools- of thought. Aad in all likelihood they walked away and they said, 
as they threw out their chests: "Ua'vs dona itl We've pulled it off! - - by our 
mights sad by our power." 

But there was oae^maa — the psalmist, if you please — who stood up ax 
put his . finger to his lips and reverently whisoered the name of "GOD" - - 
he brought God into the picture, and he said, "W» couldn't have done it on our 
own! The smile from hesven wes traoss us." 

Wish ©11 the strength that I can coianaad I come to you in Shis manner and 
this mood today, as one person who sight stand up, whan we're prone to talk 
about our strength and our p©w®r, to whisper £h® aame of "GOD" - «• ©nd in addi- 
tion to all of that, to te able to says, * 5 G©d b® merciful to as - - €«*i bless us 
- •*• cause your face t© shine upon est" 

There's nothing wr©ag with praying the prayer s "God bless America," 1 
wouldn't think such of you if you didn't ask God to bless us. I wouldn't think 
much off y®«s if you dids't ask God to help us. But 1 wouldn't stop there if I 
were you. I'd go on, as the psalmist did, to reeogaiss that when Rod blesses 
us Es bl®sas®& u© for a purpose: God give® in @rd®r that ws might share. God 
blesses us that ^e in turn might bs & blessing to others. I don't kaow h©s you 
read the isind of God, hut I've lived l©ng enough t© be able to read it in this 
manner, that God exercises, as wall Be should, a measure of economy, while K® 
deals with us aaEtravag-antly ~ - He alas likes & g©sd r@.t«sn on what He gives us. 
He likes to protect His investment, and Ha likes sejraathiag to com® from it. And 
when He bestows ap@n us a blessing He expects u® then to exercise the aapability 
of good judgment by which lie endowed uss with intelligeasa, so that we might h® 

1 have never made bold to ask the tw® sans that Winifred and I have been 
privileged to have, ®@ to what they think of me as a father. !t 5 s a risk that 
I'm not so sure that I'd sraat to talcs! Bat I know one thing in particular that 
I've don© with them in their impressionable years. Whether right or wrong, 
when they would coma and ask a favor of me, like, "Can w© have the car tonight?* 
. s .„as I look back and remember, invariably I s d say, "Well where are you going 
to go and when will you get back!" - - - I exercised a measure of economy — 1 
kaes? how much that ess.* eost -- I knew how valuable that ea7 was to me in my 

What Bid This Bl&aaiag?" (5 ) 

ministry. I wasn't a'-sout to let it loose without expecting in return some 
measure of good judgmsat on their pmz'Z s and reas-snabl© cess. 

I've always plaesd a high value up@a a dollar* And when on occasion they 
: -v;.;,i '--.:-:-7:s ?:x,a &&k fc'c. c i.^^y -- ■ S&d V *- ^ ( '- ; -^ *" : '" ' ; '": "•■'■■ ' - - ■ : >'.- ■- '■'■■'■■ • 
give it to them I would find myself asking the questions "What are you going 
to do with it?" 1 place sueb, a high v&Iu© upon money that X wasn't about to 
allow it to be spent foolishly. 

I'm making ; bold- to suggest. that maybe that's the way it is with God. God 
blesses a@ s sad God ha® blesguad us as a nation* And God .sits th&r® In judgment 
upon us - - •" "What a^e you doing with what T'vm given you? - - How are you 
spessding itf - - How ;ars you taking ear© of it? v And that's why soma of us 
rejoice that in these latter days we've become much more conscious of our natural 
resources? 9 we've become much mora sensitive to the n@©d to protest our environ- 
ment. The good earth, the G©d-giv«n earth s is not t© b@ desecrated » We seed 
to deal with it in a hallowed way. 

Well, -hare we are, on the day before our national holiday. I'd like to 
remind you that those who drafted the Declaration of Independence w«sre Osd-fear- 
ing taerij, mmm of them were. And Zh®y made it their business to stand up -and to 
raise the name of God - - - as much as to cast a lengthened shadow upon us in 
this day, and to say, "Remember, you'sr® going to be held responsible by God, 
by a new nation that*» going to be born, a whole new world that's being opened 

I want to tell y«>u this....! may have told it to you before. I'm profoundly 
grateful for my heritage, I eon say that to you for two reasons. One, it wag my 
heritage that introduced me to the Christian faith. My parents taught me to raspec 
Jesus Christ and t© l«»va ilim. I*m grateful for that. 

I'm also grateful for the kact that whan my father saw fit to come from the 
eld world, that he waeaa't cos&tant to si-op somewhere in Europe. With the high re- 

gard that I have for Europe -- now l*t me finish ay sentence — because had he 
stopped somewhere on whet is now the other side of the Iron Curtain, 2 know 
what human sights would be denied me if I were his &&-& and were llvinp today, 

there. So 1 thank God for two things — fssr my baptism In the Christian faith, 
and for the heritage whlsh has bean givan to m® in what we call a 'free world" 
...» and soma of us have trawled wh@r« freedom has been taken away. 

Winifred and I, after World War II, had people live in our home -- it was 
like s grand hotel — Chose three exceedingly pr&eious families that came from ■ 
th& Baltic r@gion 9 whara Alexander JjiSilenk© w©nt out the bask door as they came 
in eh® front door, heading for only one thing with all the breath and strength 
that h& had — for a fr«e world* That's what we hav®, my f r lands ..... . 

"Cod b® saareiful unto a® s and bless us ~ - " 
....we haven 9 t always appreciated it. We've allowed corruption to exist, we've 

all0»©d oar cities to dtgstrsy themselves. We haven't always dealt fairly with 
t!i© good earth, and we haven't always given our children tin® benefit of a goed 

"God b@ merciful unto us?. . . . . . .but go on and bless 

others. ........... „now you think about that. 

I'll read it for you now. I 9 v© r«sd it for you bafors* Rudyard Kipling 
preached a powerful s&rraon at the time ©f the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria. 
They knew a measure of pride that the sun never set on British soil. And s© 
they came with this great display of powsr It was Sir Rudyard Kipling as ok® 
man a© stand up and say. 

of our fathers, known of 
Lord of our far-flung battle-line, 

Donfaion over palm and pine; 

Lord God of hosts,, b@ wish u® yet, Lest we forget! 


Tim tumult and tk® animating diss: 

The eapttttag and the hlngs &®paxz; 

Still st&nds this® sseisnt sscirifie®.. 

As?, hurabl® and a contrite hsart. 

Lard G&& ©f hosts, b« with as yet* Lest <»« forget! 

Far-callad, our n&viss mslt away; 

£te dus® asd hisadlaad stales th® fir©? 
Lo» all ouff pcap of ysstarday 
Is ota® wish Ninsveh and TyrsI 

Jadge of th® nations* spars a@s y©£ B Wat w<s forget! 

1 :• S'Sttsssi ssssssesrtbset as recorded) 


Sermon - Pastas Raymond Shaheen 
gkgj&gthjiunday After gentaaoa* 

- - r~ V • .-....' 


GRACE, Mercy and Peace from God i I f ' 

our Father and from his Son, Jesus (jLW^ 

ghrigt, oeg Biassed *^^._. Amen. 

The sermcm this morning la based upon th. Gospel Won for the Day. Xe 
9th chapter of the Gospel according to Luke: 

We talk a. gw«t dual aW th. Kingdom of **. It's our heart's desire. 
And you and I take a mea«« of pride in believing that we are inside the King- 
do, of Gad. And you «d I wh« w w a3k th&t W| ^ .^ fes ^ ^ 
•art* a. lt «. do*, in Xte ^ ** «»tl« w. ^ P , ay £fes£ * Wa ^ ^ 
God B ,** sMs kingdom an m rth will be as Tour Electa fa Hwww." 

But have you wr asked yo«ra.lf the **. ti e*: Why do«, it take the King- 
do* so long eo co^? Why aKm . t £hiBg8 b9tt<r here m e&rth thas ^^ £hey 

are? After all, yess m d I have signed up for th. Kingdom - - after all , you 
and I are being numbered in £te ranks of z^ redeemed - - aft« all, you aM I 
want it to ba that way , 84g£ wby slosa 4t happ<w Rg; ^ ^ My ^ i8? Eareh ^ 

far from befeg a raftactioa of itam. You know that, not only by what you 
axparience on the outside but aluo by what you feel down deep at times within 
your own heart. 

I have come to tha sacred desk this morning to ask you to think with me 
for a little while upon one of the reasons why I honestly believe the Kingdom 
aaams so long in coming. v*, bluntly, E^^L^^^J^o^o^^^ and God 
aays s "It has to be on mW won't forget that, will you - - w. try 

to sign up, but we want to write tha extract. And God says, *Tou can't do it 
that way - - it to to ^ m m t9tmt ^ x WT±m ^ emktTACt „ Ssm ^ @r@ 

"On God's Terms" (2) 

along the line you and I mistakenly allow ourselves to believe that we can run 
things pretty much according to our own liking. ....and Ged is always shaking 
His bead and saying, "No - - you can't." 

$©w let's get back to Shis Gospel Lesson for today. It's really quite a 
page is, Scripture, I wish you would have paid more attention to it while it was 
being read! I can say that to you now, because ss 1 recall to you what was read, 
it may be making a dent upon your mind for the first time. 

Jesus had just annotn&ced that He was going to go to Jerusalem, and the 
implication is that when He gets to Jerusalem all hell is going to be let loose. 
He knew exactly what was going to happen to Bin: they would kill Him, He'd be 
crucified. They'd strike a daath ble^? - - no question about it I And He knew 
it. And He ssid, "Th® course has been determined. Vm going to go. There's no 
detour for me - - I'm heading that way." 

And then a surprising thing happesad. 8»t lesg afterward thras people showed 
up, I'm willing m believe that they showed up in turn. Som® people when they 
read this Gospel record think that Luks was just giving us a© account of how on 
different tisass different people loomed on the horizon and offered themselves as 
recruits. But I'd like to think it was ons of those bonanza days, when one right 

Well, that's in the Gospel lesson for today. The first man says, "Lord, I'm going 
to follow you no matter where you got" 

Presumably that would have pleased the heart of Jesus because Jesus had just 
Said earlier that He was determined to go to Jerusalem, and had indicated the 
kind of thing that would happen there. And so this chap says, "You can count 
*"••■"- enthusiastically — "all the way!" And what did Jesus do? He 
discouraged himi He said, "I want to tell you somsthi&g, fallow - - foxes have 
holes, birds have nests. The one you're talking to right now, I don't even have 
& place that I can call my own to lay my head. If you're signing up, I was* 

'■•.'■ I ■•' ' ' ; ) 

to kaow that this in what lies ahead, sad if you follow me, you. follow me © a 
my Cocas. I'll be the om« wa© decides where I go. You wsn ? t 3 even though 

Than the other fellow cause, and he •aid, "I'm interested . . . w You can 

'■'•'-■■-'-■"- »■•--'■:-■:■;■■■:■■'•» •■r.'fe :.-: : Sj,:-, s -■- p-:;: ,= .^oj&c :: i-«- - ::^i : ^X:Vs fcb „ ^isv^,. F* was n-. s r.:/,; •.;■ ■: 

by Jesus, Jesus was always that dynamic personality. He could wis?, friends, 
he could influence peoples. He always stood out. You know that, of course you 
do. And this f alius? was absolutely M*g£ggj by the personality of Jesus, He 
said, "I'd like to alga up, sa® 5 but — I S aa«> r^peirt for duty tomorrow ssorning, 
X may have to report a little bit later. You se@ t I want to fulfill as obli- 
gation to my father. Let ate bury kirn before I come around fro following you. ?t 

Well now lee » tall you something - - you kaov that I ate* fsoa mid- 
Baatarn stock, and I know aoeiethiag sbo-at said-Eastern culture, Ik*© a very 
beautiful and a vary wanferful thing. Tha family is a very losely-kniE thing 
in the Saddle East, <;^ It was always the responsibility of efe© eldest son to 
busy his father lie' is t'i® ©aa who sad® the arnBasementa, heV •:;•.:; -■;.--;, >;^:j ::- ,h ? -. : i 
closely by md sew his father through to the vary end. And the old man wanted 
the satisfaction ®£ knowing that shea his end woisld coma, Ms so::: would be there. 
It was a paternal obligation that rests upon every eldest sea, according to Hid- 
dle-East culture .fed so quite honestly and quite frankly he said to Jesus, 
"It's this obligation to ay family ttmt I hava to fulfill - - - first." 

iStow pleas® understand, Jesus Christ was never insensitive to what we owe 
our pax***. Bnt when Jesus Christ responded tK- He did to this man, He 
was simply giving ; to understand that he wasn't the one wfat n - , .» terse 

tanas of the eon?;-" ... don t." 

waated to sign np....ha wanted to be a diacipl*. . . .h« wasted to go with Jesus. 

A&d he said, "But flr»t, if you don't arfad, Share are souse things that I 

have to attend to, soae matters that require wp attention. T-Jhea it's a. 

hit more convenient for sss, I'll respond for duty." 

, s *sad again Jesus Christ cats Mis low, and 
discourages him, sad says B "You can't do it that 
w&y - - y&u d®a : t isrita the terms I Gsd writes 
the &©rs» ©f the contract whea you sign up," 

figure of speeefe is drawn from the world of the military. And I'm aise 
impressed fey fch® fsct that w® refer to J@sas Christ as Lord, aad Hag tar. 
Aaid I'm impressed by tfe§ fact that we're introduced is mar relationship t© 
Him as His £jb«dj^&jfoygy«», as His servants , as His disjciplgs. . . .which 
sissply remises as that we &m in duty bound, then s tc follow His on His 
terms. How do you w©s3©r why th® Kingdom of God moves a£ such a slow pace? 
- - - teeause agaia sad agaia sa4 again you aad I, wittingly or unwittingly, 
are always trying to write the tarns of the contract, aseorifatg && our m&~ 
venianee, according to our pleasure, few honestly, isn't that the way it 
is? — any nmsfcsr of things we do for Jesus Chris £ ©sly wfega it's coaveai- 
eat for us — any aua£»®r of things we do for Jesuis Christ only whea it's 
the easier thing to do., when the tisss is right for us. 

I'm sorry m tell you this, but as I survey the contemporary 3esa ®, the 
oum word that seeme to be lost la thm vocabulary of Christian people bm much 
&b auf word is the word seerl?^^ Ife are a esavss^e^ generation - - we 
waat «verythlng to be done conveniently . J. can remember whea a home wa 
beiag advertised, it was being put on the markae, and there was a great aeas- 
are of satisfaction, the person who owned the home or was renting it would 
say j All Conveniences. Well who doesn't want them? But 1 have to tell you 
that God say 8j •■»« world doesn't operate acceding to j^ur convenience. The 


world operates according to the standards that I've written icto the cea- 
tract." And you and I get iato all kiads of problems* iato all kinds of 

difficulty, when we forget that* 

I saver cease to ha thrilled when I deal with the Tea Commandment©. 
For to all inteata and purposes , what in the world is God doiag in the Tea 
Commandment® except saying, "Tteas© are the terms that I am laying down for 
yo?So . .. .it's meaat to be a good world, and I want you to enjoy, being with 
one aaother. 1 want you to establish a good sseial relationship on this 
earth. And so that ysu may have it, since it's ag£ world which I've created 
for your benefit, X ? m going to lay down the terms so that always you will 
be able to benefit hj it. And don't you foul as up, and doa't you try to 
change those terms!" 

But w@ ds« He tamper witts the Tan Commandments. We try te make she® 
laeaa less than what Gad means by thou* 

Here in Salat Luke Church I draw & measure of pride — ■ justifiably so., 

I hop© — in the way we've adapted the ritual of Confirmation. Think of it 

sow Is the youag recruit for the Kingdom, aa impressionable fceen- 

ager, and we've modified the s^rvie© so that when Has comas to the altar a 

'■■v.-c'Sm-:, m- 'hkA ■:>', kt;A •si^tsSu'J.Nn 

"Do you love the Lord Jesus end do you proEis© to serve 
Him through His Holy Church?" 

» « . . and then the answer has to b® given — only one acceptable answer : 

"Yes & with my whole heart I " 

Tons ought to knot* that there are some people whs fault me for this, mud 

they tell me, "You have no right to exact such a promise from a youngster." 
Well, I pay some respect to what they tell me, so I have personal conferences 
with them at Bethany, bafor® their Confirmation'.:, and try t© give them to 

understand as fe®sfe 1 «:sa what that answer means: You're not holding aaythi-.--;.; 
- - you're going to follow Jesus Christ earnestly aad faithfully as long 

1 '. - „ v • K u i 

as you live, md then I have to say, "It can't b® ©therwise, bsscause that's 
the basis upon which J^mus Christ accepts you. He writes the terms of the 
contract c I don't. Most do youl" 

Aad than as b«st I eaa I giva thea to understand soisstisas that sons peo- 
ple think b@iag a Christian is a one-day~a~week affair. You sign up for a 
Sunday service only, tihat woald happen in the military if a parses signed up 
for just ©ea day only a veek? And what would happen if in the military a par- 
sea signed up - - "l*u perform my duty only as it's convenient for me and 
for ay family." What kind of a t-sorld would we haw? 

Let as® go back to where I tegaai, Ask yourself the question every now sad 
das ' i: - w:;v d: - ^-m-^ ^sas se ..!:- ,',a aaMagf fes't feL^ fed. - ^ - , 
to blame. We're always trying to re-write the contract, always trying to 
reduce it to am; convenience. And God is forever shaking His fe@sd; "Hoi It 
won't K?Ggk that ways" 

And then Jesus ©ssdad fey saying, if & men puts his hand a® the plow ass 
bmgiMa to look in My direction, and then keeps looking back - - 
well fes jssat wsn't fee fit. 
....and that, too, is part of our problem, as far as the Kingdom is concerned, 
it reqairss the forward, steady look. Now you think about th&tl 


^Xteis sermon transcribed as recorded) 


Tine Seventh Sunday After Pentecost July 17 , 197 ? 


■ -'7 
GRACE, Mercy and Peace from Gad our . ' 6 ' 

Father and from His Son Jesus Christ , . fiAjfr^* 

our Blessed jogd. Am&n. ______ Y\A^ 

Ths sermon bears the title: "The Th reat And The Premise Remain" and 
text, is the 7 th verse o£ ths 6th chapter of: a letter that the Apostle Pais! 
wrote to a group of Christians who lived in Galatia: 

"Be not deceived* God is not mocked. For 

whatever a man sows, that he will also 

X have a notion that much ©f the mat© 1 ?!®! that appears ia some of- ths let- 
ters that Paul wrote were first preached in sermons that he delivered, to this 
congregation assd to that congregation, lets know, ef course, that he was an 
itinerant preacher, and he went around establishing congregations. And like 
_ as not he was scheduled to be the preacher for the day. And when he swM return 
to them he was always given the privileged position as the preacher* 

And after he had done all this, and keeping in eloss relationship with the 
congregations, he'd write them the letters* And I hava a notion now, that much 
of the material that aopears ia his letters he first preached. And. I suggest 
to you that I would lite to have heard him as eh® pre&ehesr, 1 have a high regard 
for him as a i®££®r-w liter . But it's one thing to read what's bmmn said... it's 
another thing to hear it first-hand. For there are those subt_£ies and. those 
nuances, you know, the turn of the head, a gliat of the eye, the gesture of the 
hand, the emphasis of the voice . And l 5 m inclined to thiak that when hs cmm to 
that part that serves as the test for today's aeem®a, that there might have been 
something like thunder in his voice, and if he was given to pounding ths nulpit, 
his fist might have come down heavily at this point ...... 

•'Be sot deceived - - " ? can't thOTsb your nose at God! 

(a free translation) 5i . . you can't iga@r& HinS His law 

"The Threat and The Promise Xmain' 1 

remains... a man is going to reap whet he sows!" 

Any preacher worth his salt is in duty hound to preach what needs to be 
preached. Hot what people siay prefer , end not what they desirsc. But any preacher 
who is true to his vocation is in duty bound to declare the Word of God. And he 
must aee himself as God's spokesman* And in all likelihood the itinerant tent- 
sseBdar who had become a preacher discovered that Christians were taking a great 
d<aal ©f liberty in theiir relationship with Sod. 

How that, deserves a bit of explanation., Christians are not thfi only reli- 
gious, people, yo&s know that. And . Chriseiaas are not the only people who believe 
in God s you know that, too. Bat Christians are pssopl© who, when thay think of 
God, use an (sxcesdin^iy precious term - - they call 1!1k "Heavenly Father 15 - - as 
well they should. Bui: what happens occasionally Is this; that Christians, wh© 
are human, when they fchink of God in such a nanaer, may enjoy the unwarranted 
luxury of thinking they have an advantage that other people do©' J t havs. And 
there is always the t&nptation to exploit that relationship. 

When you call God "Heavenly Father" you may be inclined to think that you're 
Ills only child - - and you knew vary well that we're not His only children. 
He is the Father of the entire family of the human race. And Gustave Alain „ the 
distinguished Swedish theologian, said it very properly when h@ maintained that 
"vfe are all in the hand of God, whether with our belief or with our unbelief," 
"m are all His children. Some of us on occasion may be obedient, and sosae of 
bs may be disobedient , But be that a© It may, obedient or disobedient, we're 
still Ills children, awd He still wants to be • -known as our Father. 

But human as we «re B ' we Christians sometimes, think that G«sd will treat us 
in a way that He won't: treat other people, and that kind ©f thing can raise an 
ugly head, honestly. We may have our moments, if not our days, when we think 
that maybe God will set aside His rules, set aside Ills regulations that wa d©n 9 t 
keep. And when we break them, that just because He's our Heavenly Father, He'll 

make allowances for us. fell it could be that Preacher Paul, moving around from 
congregation to congregation, discovered the damage that was being done where 
people allowed themselves to think like that.. And that's why I'm inclined to 
think, whether you see It that way or n@& t that there may have been thunder in 
his voice when he said: "Don't be deceives! - - God is act mocked 1 Ae a nan 
sows, that's what he's r^oinp, to gather. 11 - — - the 1st'? of the hasvest in the 
natural world prevails in the laws of the spiritual world!" 

Now G&d always wasits t© gel: this across to us : God wants us to know that 
He's a God of love, lie's a God of justice, He's a God of all people. Now in 
order to do that God makes His will known to us, X think s in two different ways. 
itew listen very carefully* 

He makes Ilia way known to us> by His words. That's why we call the Bible 
the Word of God - - it's God's message to us. That's why wa refer to Jesus 
Christ as the Li^iag VJerd - - it was God-come- to-us-in-the-flesh, to communicate 
to us, to make known te> us His will and His truth. 

I like to think of it this way, that the Bible is God's~!lanual-For-Op@^ation. 
Just like a manufacturer designs, fabricates, manufactures an appliance or utensil 
he provides a user's rasnual so that they will get the nsssisrar* benefits according 
to. the mind of the pereon who mad© it, that it will rim best only as you abide by 
these rules and regulations of the manufacturer........ so God plvss us His User's 

Manual. And I like to think of the Bible as God'® Book of Instructions for us as 
to how to best live and how to order our days here in our social relationships 
in this world. And if we keep the rules according to the manufacturer, things 
will go well. But it's wfesa we ignore them that we run into difficulty. So 
God makes His way and His will knowa to us by Herds. 

Now I'm going t© confess something to you and you need to heas it. 1 try 
net to forget that holy hands were placed in blessing upoa my head, when at a 
— time I was set aside as a minis £er of the Word and Sacrament. And while ail ©f 
as are called to be God's messengers and his ministers in baptism, some of us 

are set aside to proclaim His tferd and His truth la this manner. AM 1 confess 
to you that avea though X hava been coming to Shis sacred desk for over two 
decades new, ®sch tira& I coma back to it I come with fear and trembling lest 
I fall say Lord in proclaiming the truth. And that's why you must go on pray- 
ing for ejs 9 that X may be a faithful minister of the Word. Because — sow let 
tssa put dewn eh® full weight at this point - - human as w® are, we have a wsy 
of turning off what G&d wants us eo hear. Our minds may be preoccupied, was 
may be thinking more of somebody else 'a- sins than ©ur own sie.s And so we e&n 
snake a mockery of God by a©?; applying His word to us, but to somebody else... we 
nay make a mockery of God by allowing ourselves to become insensitive to what 
Ha wants ua t® hear.-. The voice of God has bean echoing down the corridor of 
tims, and some people never have really h»ard it, 

xhat's the second thiag I want to tall you: God is determined to gat 1U@ 
massage across. God la determined that sosas way, somehow, w® understand that this 
world is meant to op®s*ata on ills principles, that at the heart of the universe 
there is a moral order that <?.ansiOt be violated or ignored, And eso - - and so 
if we don't hear the words, thee God confronts us with events. And that's why 
soma of uss place a high value upon history, for wha:; is history easc&pt the 
chronicle of events that take plaee - - wliat is history. Uhat ig history but 
the *mf by which God proves to us that Ills point is correct? If we don't under- 
stand it any other way, God puts it in front of us by the deeds that are done, 
the records that ar® written, She results of the lives that we live. It's as 
simple && all that, 

We sflsed t© appreciate all over again the historical perspective, because, 
I can tell you this» when even sasuXar historians have admitted that every great 
sa&tios that baa osver sasistad on the faea of the earth that's fe<ean disappointed 
has Hot been disappointed primarily because of the weight and the power of the 


enemy from the outside . Bat they fell because of moral deterioration, they 
wara corrupt from within. 

And, that frightens m&* I love America* s&& I'd like to sea her remain great 
And I'd lite to believe chat right sow wa have a kind of a breathing spell In 
which .we're p lacing a high value all over again on the old-fffighisnad virtues. 
It's a very healthy thing, honestly. And yet I know 1ha$ appears on certain 
television screens ,..,<= X know the kind of things that are bain?; portrayed in 
be$ke that are being published . .... I know the kind of philosophies that are 
being echoed from ones corner of the earth to the other, that sis is only a 
taatter of. ©pinion, that we've lived long enough now that we s&n be so sophisti- 
cated that we can get; rid of seae of our inhibitions, that say tsar* ought to be 
able to do his era thing. And down the corridors of time comes tha eternal 
vsiee of God: K Y©u can't gat away with it. If you don't beli«ve me, then Life 
itself will teach you. For eventually every nan hae to sit down to his owa 
banquet of consequences." . . . . 

" • . . h& net deceived, God is not mocked; 

for whatever a men sows, shat he will also 
reap.' : 

Mew don't get rae wrong. We Christian ministers proclaim the gospel of 

God's love. And whenever I cosie to this sacred desk that's the message of 
Eissaagas that you ne«d to hear, that God lov®s us atsd that fled sforgives us, 
jJhieh He most certainly doesi But that doesn't mean that God can take away 
the scare. They remain. 

Frank Boreham was sn Australian Methodist preacher who had a marvelous 
imagination,. Xss one of his books ha talks about the Prodigal Bon, and. ha 
flives us the other side of the coin-. You. and I, when we think of the Prodigal 
Son; think of the way he came back,, and how the waiting father ferg&va him. 
That 5 ® the wonderful part of the story, you know, the hero in the atcry is the 
walking father — sad how the father forgave him. 

, ' , '--■ ..- . ■■■■■', '■-:---; 

Bat when y&u and I isirsphaaise that we forget some things. We format what t!w 
prodigal sow looked like when he eariiea bask bonus ~ the bluah of youth was no 
longer there, there was a bob who showed the narks of dissipation and riotous 
living who casaa back — not vary attractive* And in addition to all that, 
thara were those people its the far country where he had wasted his years in 
riotous living..... 

• . • the Illegitimate children he had sired , and the 
%?&&&& who hated his because of the vay he exploited a 
relationship. ...of the kida undoubtedly that h.® had 

taught to steal and to cheat..,. the irreparable damage 
that vas don®, end ©vera God eoasld est take that away...... 

Gsd forgivea. But tha scars remain. 

But 1 told you the £itl«s for this sermon is "The Threat and -she 'Promise 
Sesnaln 1 ' - - - th® tsars preacher who reminded sisss off a threat also declares the 
prmrsis*? that ioz these who live by eh® spirits for those who sow deeds of 
kindness and love and mercy, for those who are constantly opening the door of 
their life for Jesus Christ to cosi® in asd eater..... for those la this pr«ser»e 

BKsmant who are allowing the eternal principles so prevail - - - they, too, will 
b© rewarded, not by a threat, but by a proais®. The basis rule remains. 

New human as we, we sake th© decision. Yew say live within tha shadow 
of a threat* you assy have a spring in your step today, with the assu&anee that 
the promise of God's favor will be yours. 

It can be as terrible as that. 

....or it ea c a be ss wonderful aa this. 

Thia 1 most e&rtainly believe. 

(This eaeaaoa transcribed as recorded) 

Seras® - Pastor Rayasosid 8h*haen 

mm After F^tecos fc , July 24 „ 1977 


GOB, We assk® m little £&®a t© d© 

this sort ©f ghirag, to give mmm 

vasasura of u«d£v5d©d attention to ., ^ 

of it, lay hold of iss now by Tows ll/*^ 

r fhe test for this asmnm.* which is tessa upon the Gospel for 'A© B@y» is 
the last vers® of that Ga*p«l y atari the tmsda ©f Jassus €htlst to a sssa who asked 
the question — III® words, as He e®ssel«ded Hie conversation with that person: 

; "::: ; !r.g. ^?^,,.:?s,';-..'; : ':;C : ; ., ;,'IL il^K^SS^. 3 ' 
r.»a fraa translation, of course s would be: "Now this is the kind of person 
you ought: tcs baecma. As 3»ou £rar®l along the highway of life, ao matter 
other people sway be like, this is what y@u ought to be." 
It pays to ask questions, ysu know* of course it dscss* W® learn a great 
deal by the questions tfost we ask 9 sad especially if «e ask alia right kind of 
questions. Which l©s<ls m to say £<s yen quit© parenthetically that sorae of us 
ride rather uneasily with other people in their autoEsobile 3 if they're behind 
the wheal. Tfa get lest perhaps .'along the highway ... .we become uneasy. If oaly 
the driver would stop araJ ask sose&bady && to where w<s are assd as to hew we can 
get where we'd like to be. It pays ess ask questions* and particularly when you 
ask the right. q-as®g&£©n and you get the sight as&swar from the right person. 

And that's the way this w&nderftsi story occurred. ¥ou and 1 should not haw 
it today if somoa® hadn ? t asked a very tmp&stsmt question. A taan st«®s mid 
asked Jesus Christ a q&a&tisra about eternal life. ...and as 13m ^s® wmt to d@» 
He answered by exiling tkesa a S3t©ry, one ©£ the b©st~kn®s?E at<srias that Jssua 
ever told. And as you and 1 remsB&ber the parable that II© spats, it's listed 

_ • "" ■■■■:■ ■<.-:Y^ : ,-^ Y/. V. :;;n:; . i. hf : v'i;;-:,:..?:,:;; citf' -.%.•■ ":'j.; : .tee ' : .-v::;:; &^;u< ■£'& vs^'rss 

the Far able of th® Good Sass&rltas^ 

- 1 .1^1 Ki nd of FegsoaT (2 

Now for our panose this mominft allow tie to bring to your attention 
face that Ufa Itself ia a journey, and you and X are meant to travel the 
highway which ia called Life, As we travel the highway of life we can become 
one of four different kinds of people, Timr you want to keep that in mind, 
you can categorise the travelers into iour different 

As an example: therj^arg th ose who become v ictimized, As they travel 
aion<x the highway of life they* .-are thcwo ?<io lay held upon them, assault them, 
thay become a statistic. Jesus told the story about a man who was traveling 
from Jerusalem to Jericho sad that's what happened to Mm, That's category 
Number One. 

If I were wont to do this sort of thinp., to turn our gathering together 
w» into a very informal situations and if 1 walked eh© sacred aisle of this 
place and 1 stopped here and there snd 1 would ©ay to some of yon, "Toll me,' 
out of your easpar lance, how many people do you knew who have. bees maftged? . » .who 
have been raped? ... .who have been attacked? .... n And in all likelihood any 
number of yon would stand up Immediately and tell us about gsmeosaa is your 
family, soneone on your street, someone ia the partmant house where you happen 
to live. It happens eveary day. M& they are the victimised, they're exploited, 
they're hurt, they're left wounded, half -dead. That's category Huraber Osa. 

Category Uumber Two, of. course: J^2£®J»*HJSi^lU^ 
They are the thieves, the exploiters. They take advantage of other people. 
They are diabolically possessed. And it's v®s?y right and proper for a Christian 
to be made sensitive to the fast that there are people who are Evil personified. 
The Devil is oa the looae, and h® lives in people. ?>fe*j?e reluctant to say it 
.because ws know it to bs. God's world, and God has never let up nis hold ivpm 
it, but when we think of some people that we know we're constrained to call it 
* KtsM4 world because it is t&&dm up of any number of wicked people who live by 
the damnable philosophy that whatevsr anybody elsejias can b® Ms, and he's out 

'•n^A * 

God' a Kind Pggggn" (3) 

to get it* no matter hew much of a price he has to -pay, I an sorry to have to 

tell you this,, but thare are people like that. 

And 1 should pauses at this masasat ia the preaching of this sera-an and 

tell you that if 1 didn't place a hij»h value apes the Scriptures as a Christian, 
because it leads me to Jesus Christ, IM place a hij»h valu® ©s the Serin turas 
because 'it offers a realistic reading of life. It tells sis exactly how life is. 
And that's vhat's happening now when Jesus tells this story, lis ia tellies It 
as it is. There are zh& victimised, and there &tb those who cause then to fall, 
£0 bleed, to die. 

There's a third category. They also travel the highway o£ life, and when 
they eosi* to the place where such a thing has happened, as the Scriptures put 
it, thev^^s^bv^nnj^^oJSher^sSto. They keep themselves m a safe distance, 
they do not become involved. And in all likelihood Chair raaetion would be, 
"Thank God it didn't happen to me! - - and thank God it's not someone that I 
know." Oh, th&y may har?a their reasons for not becoming involved ..... "How do 
I tern? but what ehat person isn't a decoy? — made up that way, or bartered to 
that extent to lure mis en ©© that I become s pr&at©? prey. . , . ! ' 

Or perehanea they may make it a matter of arithmetics "I'm bent on s mission 
myself of great importance, I ! v® en engagement to keep, a very important one. 
And who knows hut what if I were Co become late, hundreds of people would be 
denied whst I could fcrir,g to that meeting. I can't stop ntm* as a natter of 
arithmetic, and pay attention to one person......." Well, you take .it from thare. 

That's not the -purpose of this sermon, to explain why thtm thxsd category exists. 
X only know that it does. And this, too, is a true reading of life* 

But wouldn't it b® a terrible thins if this sermon were to stop at this 
point and I'd say this is the way life is: you csn b«g victimized... ..or you ean 

be Quad .i;®& among those ?ho cause other people to bleed..... or you can be numbered 

among thoss who pass thasa by on the other aids. 


But you'r® aot forgetting, are you, chafe the teller of this story is Jesus 
Christ t And Jesus Christ always sees it from the God-perspective, And e«j> Jesus 
Christ introduces s fourth category: the man who game to. the beaten. one .and 
bound up his wounds , and put him en his own beast of burden and took him to 
the inn, the one nearest at hand.,,. reached Into his own pocket sod said* "Sow 
1 can't stay any longer s hnt please see that he gets all the attention he eught 
to haw, and what's ssore, if this isn't enough, you see that he gets the atten- 
tion that ha aaads — all the way through — sad when 1 come this way a sain 1*11 
©@£t;I« the bills pay you whatever els® remains. r; 

It's a graad &wd glorious thing, isn't it, to have Jesus Christ introduce 
the fourth category . Remember now, this la a realistic reading of life. And 
I 'a happy to tell you that life can be this way, too. J-ss'^s Christ is saying, 
"'How this is the kind of person you're meant to be - - you go, sud yeu do the 
kind of thirst; that the Samaritan did. 1 ' 

But we don't always get the point of the story, 1 smile as bresadiy sa you 
do- when I remssraber th« Suitday School teacher who was teaching quits effectively 
this parabl© of the Good Samaritan, aad as her custom was 9 when she finished 
she said, "How bieys and girls, what does this story tell us? - ~ the lessee to 
be learned?" M one youngster immediately ^©iunteered and said, "T-Jhy, when 
we're in trouble, people ought to come and 'help us." Md that's exactly the 
say sons people rssd it! 

But Jesus Christ didn't tell it for th&t purpose. The question of questions 
isn't '. Who is say neighbor? According to this parable, the question is; To whom 
can, ?. be a neighbor ? And that eaa be an entirely different filing. Life is a 
journey, and God has put us her® to be neighbor feo any man who may be is need. 

That's the gi©ritu«s thing about life, because aosm. @? late, perhaps later 
than we wish, God's kind of traveler looms wp&n the horizon. Life is meant te 
be that way, and yevi end 1 arts ment to be that kind of parson. That's the won- 


I of Person 8 (5) 

darfui thiag that I can tell you, that God d©©s pat dowa along the highway of 
life the kind of psrseu who reflects His kind of love. 

Uow X don't knew how you r©ad Jssus Chrlsfc. Yo« can read His in many dif- 
ferent wsys. Fesr ©us purpose this msraing let ma suggest to you that ^® ia fJod's 
travaler-e»'-the--way, Sad-coma~£o-^s~iw~p«ss®ia, to identify with es as life ia , 
asd than to mm®t ©ur need. There is «© greater a@ad than ©ur redarsptifsa itma war 
sinful nature. Mi. God, ths Constant fe»paisi©a 9 6h© Perpetual Pilgrim, meets ua, 
steep® to out laval.aoo.and seas that ©ur ©very need is s^£„ whst®^'©r th« pries 
is that ha® to fe® paid. 

Don't you data forgot for & sing!® minute th® risk that ths Samaritan took 
whew ha ®llow@d himself to become involved...* and ths risk that Is© took even at 
th® end when h® says to the inn-keeper, who could have exploited his good &at'.sr«» 
and said} "How take ear© of him, and ■whst;<s»r«gr sis© is needed, see that he gats 
ie» ,: Jeaus Christ is God-on-the-Stead , cease to meet our need. And there is a© 
deeper nesd than th© redemption from sin. 

X can't possibly eoacluda this sermon without telling yen assw, perhaps, if 
I've told it to you £<3.?or®, about the young man, cynical its nature s who became a 
©list. II© took a familiar thasae, and this is what he did with it.... 
, .*th© setting was Asa a snail Pennsylvania village, 
the young man ia restless* Si© can't stand it any 
longer, he wa<ats t© h©sd for the big city. Hi© 
mother says, "all right, son, if you want to g& s y®» 
go, w© can't keep you here. But let me tell you what 
amid happen to you — they'll take advantage of you. 
they'll beat you, they'll take away so catch from you. 
But, B&s&, wh®& th® worst is den©, if yau want te some 
bask hsise, that's what w© want you to d© • — • you eoja© 
back home. ...and when you sta&d c*e yonder hill sad 

- -...-. LJ S5 ■ ; 1 

look Aitim upon our house, you'll find a light in 
the wfcdow2 !; 
....that's the way eh® story should base been written. .. .but the cynic, 

the young novelist, write* it that way, but with one exemption: it all happened 
just like the mother said, and the fellow cons© back and when h® stands ©a the 
hill and look* down at hie house, there's no light in the window. ......... 

Tli® young novelist is eager to get some kind of evaluation and im£%. it to 
a wis® man who lived ia the cesaEuaity who had been a writer himself, and h@ put 
his nsanuseript in front of the aid man and h® said, "Itow read it £©r me, will 
you, and tell ma what you think." The old mm @blig<8d -and read it. And when 
he came to the conclusion — ■ no light in the window — ha jumped up from the 
chair s grabbed the cyniesl young swalist by the shoulder, and said, "You rascal 
you - - yoa put that light back is the window J" 

I think fchat 9 s what Jesus Christ has dene i&s us in the telling of this 
story. Ee*a put the light back in th@ window,, God~in-Christ is always keeping 
the light in the window that looks out on a wisfcad world. And because of that 
light some of us are willing to stay to journey's end. 

(This senaon transcribed a® reeerded) 


Samoa - Fag tor Raymond Shaheen 

The Minth Sunday Af tar Pentecost .—»«»«». July jl<, £§77 

"YOff HAVE I T - - OR YOU DCH'T'' 

-a. 1 ■ .. en ■».« N Pi ■ I i.l . W » ■.■■ ■ ■ L i -W J .»^ wtt^i n l | l. I III — " ' M I H- I , i.. u ii . . 

GOD, W<a make so little tints £0 do 

this sort of thing, to give some „.< $" 

measure of undivided attention t© 3 1 ' 

Y©ur Tferd* That we should mak® the Q 1 jjM^ 

most ©f it now, give us th® help ©f » * 

Y©u would have liked the paternal grandfather ©f ©«?; Associate Pastor. 

lie came, as some of you tew? 9 as ©a insnigraat from Beirut. Lebanon. Unlettered 
as he was, ha was an astute observer of the human a<z<m®. And one ©f the things 
that I shsrish as I recall my relationship with h&i is the way that he would 
aay s "tflell, a person either has it, or he doesn't." And how fm® that is. 
You either have it* or you don't, 

John Hesley was ordained an Anglican priest. He felt constrained fey fed e© 
come to America sad to minister to the Indians that lived in Georgia. He looket 
upoa that mission as a complete failure. 3© turned Ids back upon ianerica and 
went back t® Great Bsitain. 4s they wers heading for the English shores thmm 
was a storm at 5§&a „,..fe«§ was greatly disturbed and became very anxious. But 
he discovered that he wmb in the eempauy of s group of Moravians, who saeraed to 
be absolutely untroubled, to be possessed with a measure of calm sad quiet trust. 
They had it...... John Ifeaiay did not.. 

He must have r@fi©et©a upon it, undoubtedly, and than one night in Hay, at 
a quarter m nins„ in the Aldersgata Street Chapel, back — ■ was it 17351 — 
when 6®meon© net unusually gifted and skilled was talking about Lather's Preface 
ft© th« Romans,,,... ..sad from that tltm en John Wesley hadLJLt - - - hia word for 

it: it was the© that he felt his heart strangely warmed and he was nev©r s never 
again the saras. 

Once there was a 'mzsk* traveling a certain road, and something happejaesd £0 

'You Have It - - Or Tea Don' ! (2) 


hira, he was stricken by a blinding light. Up to that point he- was .known by 
the nam® of Saul. To indicate the line of dsmareatioa that took plaaa now in 
his life, he was called thereafter by the tissue, cf Pa u l . Before what happened 
©& the Damascus Road, he didn't have it.. 4. after what took plsse ©a the Damas- 
cus Soad, he had it. 

To a certain degree I feel like sspssscne coming to the ssaersd .desk as a 
person who has just come back from s trip and he can't wait to tell people 
where he's been, aad the people with whom h© talked* In reality that is my 
experience this mornisg. 

As some ©£ you may know, 1 have h&& the g@©d fortune this past week to 
serve as Chaplain for cessionaries of the Lutheran Church in America who happen 
to be here from ©vsrssas on furlough ©r about to take ©a a new assignment. It 
is an annual convocation. It took plaee as usual ©a the campus of Carthage 
College ©as the shors® of Lake Michigan, gsme 50 - 60 miles aerth &£ Chicago. 
As 1 sojourned' with these people this past week, titers is no question ia my 
mind - - - they have let 

On Friday evening of this past w®©k there was a testimonial masting .> ffssog- 
aising certain missionaries who have, as far as retirement schedules are con- 
cerned, have completed their tour. They asked tham t© speak. 

.••there was Vivian Gullsaa 9 who for forty years now has 
bean out there in Taasaais — a roly-poly sort of person, who 
said, ''I decided that «h&a I would go as a missionary, I'd go 
wherava? ray Lord would' lead ma sad 1 would d© whatever had £® 
be done...." And ehea she gave us a recital of the variety 
of ministries — saenial, and otherwise sublime,' she was sailed 
to do. As I listened to her there was a© question in ray mind — 
ssh© had itS Sh© was aglow with the Spirit, complete and fervent 
trust la tha Lord Jesus Christ to Raids: and to lead her life..*-. 


* colleague of other days was introduced, Dr„ Wesley 
Sadler, who is the literacy expert of the Lutheran Church. 
He and Ms wire Koeiyn have lived in 61 different placses 
in these more than thirty ymsss* 1 should tell you about 
his wife Roslyn -'- she walked arwurad on the easgpus, well 
beyond her 60th birthday, as a veritable cameo, a little 
bit of a gem. Her life plan* according t© Roslyn, was to 
be & fashion designer, and she was all sat to so to college. 
And then she fell in love with Wes... ...... she's kept alive 

her artistic temperaments a© matter where she's gone. !-7hea 
there was furniture fco b® built., she built It.... when Wes 

needed es illustrator for sobs® oi the work ha was doing, 
£fe was aoslyn who did $h@ illustrating. Somebody in eh© 
Stetes :*ho knew t'hem, when they wes® la Liberia, said* "Tou 
aught £^ have a Jeep" - - so they gave them & Jeep.., but 
there ^3s n© road to the pises where thay lived in ftesi. .... 

. ... so Roslyn built a road t ..... . 

c. there was Marion llalvorson, whosa niece is a member of this parish, 
who want, cut to Ease Africa as a secretary. She attended a 
revival serviea at one time and she saw that the person 
alongside of her was not singing. After the meeting she 
discovered he wasn't siting because he could not read. 
Right on the spot she determined he ought, .to be able to read 
>..*=> and her life, wes turned around and «h® s £00 , bseame inter- 
ested iss literacy, sad she'® left her mark in the name of Jesus 
Christ. . . . 

I could go on md name person after person* bust what 1 want z® tell you 
about them is this: as they recited same of the hardship and the straggle;, the 

..-•... ::... :;.'. ,:' i-~- i 



pain sad the snguisb* ther« was always sxudiisg this measure of quiet trusts 
this element of complete faith that what they were about, w&s feh® Lord's w^rk, 
sad the Lord would provide sad the Lord wevsM sustain them, assd fchs Lord would 
■ '' :: .t;£ ,i "ray, ©w.r . - ^ «;..; ;. k<;?£s.;>.:.:v;; sm< -;"■-.- :a "i: ^ , - •-- Si: - -."■- :■.-.:-■•.- 
should b® closed, tha Lord would always ©pea a window. There would Aways be a 

And I w&s trsssendtualy impressed by the feet that each cue said, "if X had 
it to d© ©var again, I most certainly wmld <S© it, and I wish that 2 could"' 
...and that's what 1 l?ave to tell you abesst Esther Beck, in passing. She's 
out there in Taiwan, They retired her eight years ago. Would y©a like to know 
What she's doing with her life savings? (as little as they may be for a mission- 
ary) - - - she's spending fear life savin*® by -Retting a ticket, regularly, from 
Miana-sota, and she goes back as a volunteer Ik Taiwan now, doing the same kind 
©f work that she's d©ase before, only without pay» at her mm. expense - - - aglow 
with the gpigitS They have itf I have never sees more contented people. I 
have never seen people mar® aglow with the Lord Jesus Christ. 

The text for this 'jaeditafcioa is Psalsa 37, verse 5: 

"Cosadt thy way unto the Lor d and i trust ii hte<, " 
Why am I preaching this sermon to youf You're sot a candidate far Taiwan, are 
ysu? You're not a candidate for Hong Kong.... for India. ...for Sumatra... for 
Kenya >.... for Tanzania. ...for Nepal? You're not entertaining the thought at 
all, sre ysuf Well you don't. have t& be. This sermon sad fcfos truth of this 
sermon is applicable to you where yma are. Wov every Christian, wherever he 
is, is suaant to be aglow with tha Spirit., »„„ .every Christian, wherever he may 
be, is meant t« b® a fully integrated person, completely sosraf or table with him- 
self. Every Christian., rsgardless of his situation, is meant to be tha kind 
of parsoa who says, ''Wall hare I «sa B Lord - - You take over - - You guide me - - 
You show a*ec ,:! 


If I wanted to expos© you, wbiafo. 1 won't do, of course, X could use sense 
of you m 'Exhibit A, as people whs sre vary tired with yourselves, who ®r* 
bored with yourselves , who aar« not very happy with yourselves. And you happan 
to b« whare yaw ar« s la a world of affluence, in a world Where tha physical 
'hardships are at & wtaSmm. But you're bored, sad tirsd* Aad there's no 
pises whare you can go is get aws,y from yourself, aad yea have ssebody oa your 
hands bus y©«st©If e fed it's a terrible casperieae®,, 

Som of these mLssicaari&s have b<§®^ is? sons places of isolatlea whare 
thsy have '&ad nobody m& ahalr hands but ehasaaelves, of course. .. .but it f s a 
wonderful thins t© be able to leans to live with yourself, and you accomplish 
that as you recognise your relationship to God. And when you're squared off 
with Ged it's astasias hsw things begin to fall into their rightful pattern m& 
life tstos on an aseitiag diassneitfa! 

Last night a© 1 was walking around tha Ssint Luke area I e&saa upcss ©n@ of 

oar parishioners walking his dog and hie neighbor 6 ® dog. And before I k&m 

— ' 

it we ware in wonderful ec®»«rsAtioa. Aad calling him by nssae 1 said, "Are 
you still praising the Lord!* 5 And he gav& sn® his enthusiastic: "Yea, verily, 
1 sal" Ha ssaidj, "Let, tm tall you sesjething: the Lord just put it upon my heart 
not long ago to get in touch with a saan who is ia a Tennessee jail* X heard 
that h® wanted sosadss-dy to write to, or somebody to write to hlia, so I d@eld@d 
I'd writ® hiaa. 1 don't know how I heard it bate 1 heard i't s asid ®o 1 wrote him. 
And then as 1 asked the Lord to lead tea, the Lord pat it into ny heart to buy 
an airplane ticket ta go down into that tewn in Tennessee and to visit him. 
Aad I haw* Aad X'vsi discovered needs that that »5a» has. And by tha grace 
of God, God is using tae to ssset that amsa 5 ® needs." 

The man's asscitec. - - hs's allowing the Lord to w©a him. It's exceedingly 
wonderful. The mas isn't b©r©d. 
•»- I want to tell y«a &bout a dr®jsm that I bad not so long ago. Ia that drsassa 
1 talked with the Apostle P&ul s and I said to the Apostle Paul, "Tell ffi^ s Paul, 

you didn't always have i£„ When ware the gears shifted e& that you went iato 
high gear? ,: And in that' dream the Apostle Paul says. "VlX tali you. There 
was a gisas la Tay life wh©ss 1 decided that it wasn't that God was expecting me 
Z® do more f @r Bfm » • * • . aherre was a tine £a ay lif & whets God gawe me to under- 
stand that I should give Bias a chance to do more for me! And then it mas that 
I saidg ! Tste over' - - sad that's what's happffiaed." 

X covet far aweary one of you, eves as I covet foe myself this brand ®s® 
dimension which occurs When you let the Lord take over. You can affesst to d© 
It 9 my friend. He's been around fax longer than yon*.. .and His wisdom surpasses 
amw understanding . . • . sad Bis love is always gs 

* * 

(This sermon transcribed as reeosdsd) 


The Tenth Su nday After Pentecost ___ -,_„, .. A ugust, 7, 1977 


GRACE , Mercy and 'J?®«e@ f torn God , / < \ 

-^?As^a„g!ai- HX&saaii lord. Aaaaa. jvU^" 

our Father and from His Ssm Jesus 


This sarami is based upon eha Gospel for the day, the introductory verse 
of the 11th chapter of the Gospel according to Luke: 

"Aad it came to p ass as he w&a prayiig in & 
certain place; whea hs ct-^e^jL. '^EJ^_M:£ 
disciples came to Ma and ssaid 9 'Lords teash 
us to pray' ..." 

You will recognise at once, won't you,, that before they made the request 
to be taught to pray, they were first impressed with the fact that Jesus was 

praying. And 1 suggest to you that this is that we need to reiaeatber! 

before we become really interested in praying, it isn't that we're going to be 
taught to pray - - it's the fact that somehow we have been ifspressed by people 

If you don't mind, permit as in this way to share with you out of my own 

life certain impressions that retaain e© me to this vary day, aad I hops as long 
gives ia& Basisjryo 
—one was 9 when I sat as a youngster Is church in that small tows 

in Pennsylvania* I couldn't quits appreciate the preaching — 
not that he wasn't a good preacher, but I was too young, ay 
Kind woisld wanSer. . , . ..I'd count the rafters in th® ceiling, 
and than my sdnd would %o to the pipes of the organ, and I'd 
count theia backward end : ard. But always ay s&nd returned 
to what was up there above the Conmamion rail. It was a life- 
sise painting of Hofsaana's interpretation of "Christ la The 
Garden of Gethsesume" - ~ ny first real isitr©oasti0s s if you 
iS t Hiimd E in this way, to Jesus Christ, s»s? to Jesus Christ 


:-j Learn T& Fray" ( 2 ) 

as the Han of Prayer...... 

To the day I breathe say last I Ml thank God that in the impressionable days 
of my youth I was not first introduced to Jesus Christ performing a miracle , 
or to Jesus Christ standing there on the mount sad preaching & sermon, or even 
to Jssus Christ hanging upon a cross and dying. My debt is vary great to 
those who decided that they would place there in full view of the congregation 
every time they easee to worship — Jesus Christ upon His knees. 

Small wonder, then, that when the time would eosae that your Associate 
Pastor and I could walk together where Jesus walked 9 that ©ae of the first 
places that I would want so lead hia to was the Garden of Ge£hs@mane s and that 
he might see for himself what they tell us to this day is the rock, or a rock 
very muck like it, upon which Jesus knelt to pray. 

I was impressed with what I saw there in church, even sore so than what 
I heard through the lips of the preacher - - not that he wasn't a man of God, 
and not that he didn't preach the Gospel.... but baxnrm I could appreciate all 
that ; God got through to me by the picture ©f Jesus Christ on His knees. On® 
becomes interested in praying, not because he's first taught to pray, but be- 
cause he's impressed by those who pray* 

'"c::i S',5: ; :;«Kft ■;igy.e^: ., • ' , - ■ * Z Si"ppo:-:ft 1 ^as mQ;j ^ex^c four 
year® of &g@„ My mat&rnal grandmother had come to visit us, She spoke only 
Arabic, I never remember speaking a word with her in English. 1 dcn't remember 
anything about her except what 1 am about to tell you aow„ . . <■ 

...I went by the room in which she was sleeping.© 
door was &jar<. It was in the morning, and with a 
child* § curiosity I looked in the room, asd what did 
I see? - - she was sitting up in her bed, she hadn't 
even put her foot outside the bed, to my knowledge, 
■'t gotten up yet, so it appeared.... but sh® 


was f iagerlag her rossry — she was a devout Soma 
Catholic — - aad before she would sven so much as gefc 
out of bed she was saying her prayers . . . . . 
...unashamedly I tell you this, the impression was made, aad eves to this ' 
morning before I got out of bad there ware certain prayers that were' offered. 
One becomes interested in praying, not so much because heJs first taught, 
but because the impressions is made. 

The third one: nj father was an immigrant aad a pedlar. With a suit- 
case gripped by on© hand ©a one side aad another on the other, balanced by 
a leather strap acrons Ms shoulder, he'd walk from town to town, selling 
- M - *^-s^«fe.. 'Sr'lMQm:-, shm lases. He'd be gone for several weeks at a time, 
My mother would gather us together, the six of us kids, as a mother tea gathers 
her chicks, and beneath the painting of Jesus Christ knocking at the door, 
which was a focal point for her, she bowed !?,@r head and she would pray. The 
impression remains to this very day. Qas becomes interested ia praying not 
because he's first t&ught, but because he's impressed. M& happy indeed is 
that child who is growing up in your hosws whose precious memory will remain 
with him, as God gives hise memory, of how a father or a mother or a brother 
ox s, sister would say, "Let us pray*" 

One of the exceedingly precious things that 1 shared at Bethany, eur 
retreat house, with soma of our cor&firmands.... 

. . .we used to do that, you know, after they were 
confirmed ia Juae or on Pentecost, we would gather 
them together in small grasps ia October, aad then 
we'd talk to them » . . 
...aad I remember one youngster — you wouldn't have thought that he would 
ever talk like this — ■ saying that one of eh© things that he remsmhsrad about 
Ms home life was how his older sister (there's about b±x years 1 difference 

/ : .-.Vr-V ' 


between them) would come im at night and tuck him into bed and say a prayer. 
When it comas to this whole matter of praying, which is the most wonderful 
thing in the world, , "More things' are wrought by prayer than this old world 
dreams of." 

Prayer is so important that the Apostle Paul could say; "Pray without 
ceasing," Prayer was so important that when the disciples caase and they found 
Jesus praying thay said to themselves, "This is it! This is the reason why 
he is the way he is, this is the secret V And because they were impressed, 
they asked to he taught to- pray. 

Vm suggesting to yoe now with all the strength that I s&n command, that 
whan you think of Jesus Christ , always thiak of Hia as the Man of Praysr, 
Unfortunately for sjsass people, when they first think of Jesus Christ, they 
think of Hisa as walking on the water..., feeding five thousand people... caus- 
ing a blind man to nee - - they first think of Jesus Christ as the miracle- 
worker. And ©f course miracles Be did I But don*t first think of Him as a 
Miracle-worker. He used' to tell His disciples that that's ome thing He 
didn't want to be remembered for, and even when He performed certain miracles 
He would say, "iton*t tell people what you saw." He didn't want His reputation 
simply to be established because He had power in this *?ay» 

There are some people, when they think of Jesus Christ, thay first think 
of Him as the preacher, who could hold five thousand people spellbound as He 
gave them unforgettable pictures of God, as He gave them a saw sense of appre- 
ciation for themselves and who they ware and what they were meant to do here 
on earth and how they were to IIto here on earth. They had never heard anyone 
preach the way lie preached. Well, there are some people who whan they first 
think of Jesus Christ „ they think of aim as the 02® who went around preaching 
and teaching. And the Gospel record is correct when it says, "Jesus cam 
preaching." But don't first think of Jesus Christ as the preacher, proclaim:- 



er of the truth that He was. 

There are somas people who when they think of Jesus Christ remembered Him 
as the man who was interested in them. Ee was so friendly,, Evan when He 
preached to five thousand people It seesied as though each on® thought He was 
preaching only to him. And when He would be walking down a country lane* if 
lis saw a person Ha took time to talk to that parson, He was always on the 
lookout for people s- finding them sometimes in the strangest of places . Even 
that man Z&ccheaus — up a tree — and Jesus found him and paid attention to 
him. And some people remember Him, then, because of the way He ferjsgted peo- 
ples, the way He loved them 9 loved people that other people couldn't love I 
Think of Him in that way if you wish. 

Bat then ask yourself she question, why could He love where others could 
not love? - - why could i?,e preach and establish so clearly in man's minds and 
hearts the truth of God as others could not? - - why was He able to perform 
these miracles where others ware ispotant and powerless? Be impressed hy all 
these things, but ask yourself the question: how wag this possible? And the 
answer lies that Jest 3 Christ was above all else a saa. of prayer - - because 
He prayed He was abl^tq do i wha t He did . By getting la touch with God He was 
able to communicate the truth of God to people. By asking God to fill up the 
reservoir of His heats with love He was able to take that love and channel it 
into the lives of other people, IJhat is prayer but communion with God? ¥hat 
is prayer but trying to see the world through God's ©yes? vJhat is prayer 
but allowing all th« power of Sod to be made available in and through a person? 
What is prayer but relationship , identification with God? Feopls besom© like 
the folks with whom they associate. Jesus Christ spent so much tisse in com- 
munion with the Heavenly Father that one day, when soejebody cams and asked 
that they might know what God is like, Jesus Christ could say with the utmost 
of assuraace s "Well look at saa s and this is what God is like. 8 ' 

Jit? &<CS& 


There are s©?a* paople Who are impressed with the spiritual vitality of 
Saint Luke Church. Y«u know that answer, don't you? A half-hour bafora the 
first service hers in Sai&t Luke today s a handful of people gathered la the 
Chapel of the Grateful Heart sad prayed that th® Holy Spirit would have full 
rsiga in all that would occur here* You know, don't you 8 that they® are 
those who m?&rj day see that avary sisagls home is this parish is resoeoibered 
before the Throne of Grace? Ase y©u weary t say friend? ar© you heavy-laden? 
are you distressed? fray. ^Sgjj.. It's the perfect answer. 

My fri«nd 9 Br. Dwight F» Putraan, ©ne-tiifts President of the Pennsylvania 
Synod 3 used to tell about laseting with a church council wis© weren't toe? happy 
with their preacher. And then he said to thesis ss Is it a batter preacher that 
you really want I" Ar»« eagerly th©y said to the President of Sysaodi, "Y^si" 
Then he surprised thesa by sayings "Pray sassr© earnestly im the one that you 

It may sot fe& as stop!® as all that, but it could b® And as I walk aw* 
from this saexsd desk ;i for which I have so high regard, I want to tell you 
somsthiffig that you May mot kaow . . . that whesx liomsusi Vincent Pesale becams 
the Pastor of Marble Collegiate Church on Fifth Avenue, Hew ¥©rk s he paid a 
beautiful tribute to his predecessor « Dr. David Burroughs, the first Sunday 
that Dr. PsaX® went to prsash» Ha held up in his hand a pillow, oa which 
were two well-worn spots, and he said, "Hare is where your f®naar Pastor got 
hia serasens." 

s * * 

(This senaon transcribed as recorded) 

Sersien - Pastor R&yssand Shaheesi 

The Eleventh Sssaday Af teg Pentecost —^.^-.iSSI? * I£j i9?? 


AHD ONCE MORE,, God, la EM® way we 
give soaas measure ©I undlvid&d atten- 
tion to -your iioly Word. fe*d Ilka to siaks 
the taesfc of the tls» that we spesd in this 
way. To that mt&, give us th® blessing 
now of jthaJSol;' r Spirit. ; Afflaaau 


The serasn is based upon Che G©sp®l for eh® Day, asad any v®rs« frosa 

that passage could s@rv« as a £©:•:£* Bat suppose w@ usa these verses frosa 

that 12th chaptar of th© Gospel according to Lake that reads is this way 

as the basis for today's issditatloa: 

"^d...X-k?ill say to ay^soals Soul,^ thou has t aaach 
g&®d® Xs±& up t for K i rny. jrears. Take thin e ease., 
eat, drink and ha safcggy.^jfetGod .said to him., 
^j^oar foolg This ni ght thy i soul shall be"" 
ge9.«igad i of i .thea» r 'Chan, whose shall t hese 
things h e which thou hast , p rovided 

It la only a surmise „ you'll rreosniber that, won't you, it's only a 
suraiss. But I suppose you eossld eoraat ©a ©a© hand £h@ rieh p®sspl® that 
Jesus Christ interee'isd is the Kingdom of God. I have a feeling that He 
never sa&de too fssush headway with taera, and ©n@ reason eould he was that they 
.didn't have tsueh need - - that is t . th®y thought they didn't have mmh need. 
They had arrived, a© far as this world was coneerned. They allowed them- 
selves to think th#y had it made. 

Oh, Zaecfeaeus was as exception. I think h® had aeeutaulated for feisaself 
a handaojae pile. But he's the one- you see, who said to Jesus, after he had 
had as eaeouafcer with Christ, "I'm going to change ay life-style - - it's 
going to b® different sew!" And he did live differently. A ssaa always lives 
differently after h®'*® had an encounter with Jesus Christ. 

Bat for she mmt ,?arfc 8 as you well tees?,, th® people who lived in the day 
of Jesus wax® of two strata - - the very rich, and th® very poor. He ssade 

; ;,;■ •■: •: ,/■.".. ■ ,;'; ■ ':;; 

His appeal to the poor. Hs dealt with theas such saore fe«iqu®atly<. And I 
suppose ©a this occasion whan S© toli this story, that those poor people 
listened, with bated breath. He loved to tall stories. 

This is th© story about a mast who had ssai<s out as well that prasustebly 
he didart have a worry is the world* and these poor passpl© who listened t© 
Jesus Christ for the moat part war® wendsriag where their nest !ssal was go~ 
lag to ess** from. Bna fejais rasa had so sawsh that he had to tear down his 
hams aad build av®& greater h&TuB to take cars ©f what Is® had accumulated! 
To thiak that some lay this could happen. - - but sever to happen to them. 
Bat it did happen* .. .and in this world there was somebody who ms&m out shas 

They were intrigued, fascinated, ss well they would &®» Bat then they 
got the jolt, and Jesus Christ pulled She ring out froia underneath thesa by 

saying, "The ssaaa's a £©©11" 

.••a msa is a fool ®ho iM® 'out thiat well? — whose 
iavesttsents wasr® wise? •— wh© ■was able t© garner his 
resources so well? — you eall a saaa a fool? 

I don't k&tm that Jasus Christ ever used stronger language than whs® he dealt 
with this msa s and to refer to hia 9 sa*i eall hits a fool. 

Why did Be call hira is fool? flhy did Es eondetan hiss? Surely &et because 
h% was ffish s you've got ft© ssaas'fifear that, sy friend* Surely sot because he 
hmd w©s*k«d as hard as hm did* But Jesus Christ said he s s a fool*... 
....he was a fool because h& allowed hisssslf to believe 

that he had arrived. . • . 
».=,»!ss was a fool because he allowed himself to believe 

that h® had it nsde. ... 
. * . . he was a fool because he was penalttiag hiaself to 
believe that he esuM live his life without 

: &ucc«®8 

r®f erase® to God. . . • . 
« . ».• »ha was a foal fesr allowing hisaaalf to think that 

h®. could deny !s±res®l£ an atsrgal^^di^aslfffis . » . 
...he looked ahead* sleight, be£ h® didn't look sfee&d far sneugla. 

I'm always impressed with I raad the Scriptures, how gaueh time Jesus Bpmit 
in try lag ft© gat p@oplts to look &hesd s to think of what was yat to sotaaj, to 
tMak of what lias beyond. E@ introducer! such, words as "Heaven" - - and sural} 
that's bayoad this world. H@ introduced such thiags as "The Kingdom of Sod" 
whieh has & dimension bayoad this present relationship. Ha talked in tanas 
©£ "Eternal Life"..,.. He talked in t©rss of "Judgment" - - and all backus© He 
wantad people to tMsak ataad, 

I hava a fr£<s©d "j?!a® wfeaa I last ssw har e introduced sis ft© tha fact th&t 
sbe'ss gung-ho no® for an interesting philosophy s saa's giving fear life to 
sav<an-yaar cyclas. I shan't attempt to tall you h©&? ©Id she is now, but 
suppose %?h©ss sh@ was 33 she thought in tarns of 40. ..and at 40 ®h«s thought 
in tares® of 47 ....aa! it 4? £X'» sura sfe® isn't that ag® now) sha 9 il ba 
thinking is £®rss ©f 54..... 61. ....68. Being a traia parson, she is recog~ 
nising that the inevitable gray will come, sad the crinkles, and maybe the 
double Cain. She's looking ahaad sstA trrfixig to think what £t v s going to be 
like whan slm reaches that naxt seven-year cycle. There's southing to hot 

And I hsva frisads who,, as th®y near retiretseat 9 vary earnestly 
about what lias ahaad in the asasaar of thsir living , is what lias ahaad.»«. 
there's something, to be said for it. This aan B in th® story that J<ssus told s 
was looking ahead 8 but h® didn't leek far enough ahead. Ha didn't Isok ahead 

to th® things beyond this world. And Jesus Christ eoadsia&s him not because 
ha w&b rich. 3 «.. and .fssus Christ condemns hiss sat because ha was wis©, 11® 
eo&dess&s him baeause lie stopped and didn't g© beyond the poiat that ha had 

--_:-' ).<\ _•"■■." '■'■ 

, . . in fact h@ had reached the point where he could say, I csa take 
it easy now" . • . a man has to be very careful when he f ieds himself saying 
t© his»s©If — this is a assa„ you see* who is saying to himself : "Tmk® it easy - 
eat — driak — b® merry!" The sad thing about that was, that having reached 
that point h© didn't much car© about anybody else. H® had it made,, sad he 
didn't much concern feisyself about anybody else who dids s t have it made. 

When I used to g® to Hew York City, I think it was probably United Givers 
Fund who had coined the phrase — it waa sosa© enterprising group that was 
gathering funds, trying to arouse the consciousness of that city to be con- 
cerned, sad I esa s trill see it on the subway card, ea the biases and the bill- 
boards - - it jolted sag at firsts GIVE A BAI-SIi . . . CIWg'A BAMHf Xhey 
weren't caught up with people who djUja*t give a damn for other people. And 
that's the terrible aia about this man who thought h& bad it made. Ha didn't 
much car® about other psopi®. That was the besetting oln. And you and I, 
whatever our situation in life,, no matter £© what degree we think we may have 
it mad®, must &® very careful issst w@ dsai e fc much car® about ©tia&r people. He 
had accumulated this world's goods,, but he had sa©var mastered the lesson that 
h® couldn't tak«£ it with him, & never realised there were &@ pockets is a 

Ons of th® most -Ridiculous cartoons I think X ever saw represented the 
fact that a aian presumably whose days were atsmb<srgd 3 sitting up in his d®ath- 
bsds with whatever strength he could gather. ....clipping coupons!... not reali- 
sing that he couldn't take it with him. 

X t&ll you it's a fact, there was that household en a certain street is a 
certaia city wfesr® when somebody came to the doors, Bad the person who answered 
th® door thought that they were gathering funds for ssm cause and not even 
waiting to find out what the person had t© say, as sfe® opened the door she 
said, "The people who live her® ar@a"t interested in jMVthJa£« H And tfeat 8 s 

ss B§yond Success" (5! 


the sad iadietmsjat to b® mad® sgsi&at say number of people that sossg of us 
bappaa fee know - - they're not ssaefc interested is anything h®f^&d themselves, 
and particularly «a they've reached the plateau &?h@rs they think thej. have 
it made. 

But if 1 understand the mind of God aright , a® one ever has it made as 
far &>§ God's concerned, except as fe<s allows himself to know the benefit ©f 
the saving grace of Jesus Christ. And then living &s the redeemed., ks al- 
lows kisssislff to become a channel of God's grace and ministers to the a«@ds 
©f ©titer people, it's only that parse© who can allow himself to live out 
the days of his years, relying heavily upon the grae® of Qod 9 who knows 
that fe® will eventually arrive at his destination. But in the meantime 
i£ 8 s very reckless for any parses to live out his life without reference to 
G©d s to deny himself the eternal dissension &&& foolhardily to think he has 
it sad®* 

When I fe«ga?& my ministry £h@ p©opi© in that parish took prid® ±u eh® fact 
that they had a church organs end tfeey said,, is Yoa know what — we've dubbed 
it the s €a»sgi;a Organ'." Well some of you may aot know this, hut Andrew 
Carnegie, bless his soul, when h© had accumulated saueh of this wosld's 
wealth, reached the place is ±±£® where he realised that it was meant to fa® 
used. ....and as part of his philanthropic gestures, he would say to a con- 
gregation: "It's & pip® organ you need? - - well, I'll h@lp you to get one — 
you gather half of the msnmj 9 the first half, and I'll gi\?® you the second 
half I " isd that happened here and there serosa the fsc© ©f America c He did 
It, thm mms thi&g 5 with libraries in certain eomounlties, mad I think I s si 
right when I tell yam that it was Aodrew Carnegie wh© said — » now listen to 
this! — "It 8 s a sin to die rich" . . . or act to asaksa ths necessary' distri™ 
bution of fusils that remain after ©a© finishes his earthly pilgrimage to 
brifflg a blessing 1st© the lives of other people. This is the tragedy of this 

Uvosad Success" (6) 

Ah 8 ha wa© & smart boy, sad clever, and shrewd, and a &asd worker I Bat 
all withers say reference to God. i®d oas day wh®i& you aad I finish our 
earthly pilgrimage - - sad we will h® judged, of course we will be judged! — 
by how we've eared aad foasa concerned. And what's this marvelous Gospel that 
you aad 2 cherish in the ansa of Jesus Christ all about , except God so loved, 
God so cared, that Ste save ! The people whe have left their mark upon the 
world have always been those who cared — aaougfo — to share with other pm~ 

I s d better read this for you again s 

"And he aatd to them, "Take head, aad beware of all 
covetousness i for a man's life does at©fc consist la 
the abundance of his possessions." Aad h® told 
them a parable, saying, ,? fh® Isad of a rich msm. 
brought forth plentifully; sad h© thought to bim- 
self's 'What shall 1 do, for I hair© nowhere to stow® 
W crops! ' And he said, "1 win do this: I will 
pull down sag? barns, sad build larger ones; and 
there I will star© all ay gratis and say goods, Jsd 
1 will say eo say sosl* Soul, you have ample goods 
laid up for many years; . . . M 

(and here's where thae uaeosffortable 
free translation caa saas© in) 

. . . you don't &axr® to giro a dasas for anybody 
®lss - - tiiks your ease! - - ©set - - drink! - - 
fe® marsj', . . . " 

But God said t© him - - - sed yoe'sr® not forgetting it, are you, God will 
always haw. the last word - - - "Thou fool a this night thy sould shall be 

required of thee.. Mhat then?" 

. . . .new you think a'feout that for a whiln 

« a » a e s 

(This a©rjs0sa transcribed as recorded) 



Sermon - Paster E&ymmd Sfaaheeu 

The Twelfth Sunday Afte r Pent ecost ^ August 21 1977 


GRACE, Mercy and Peace from God «, J &/f S 

our Father and from His Sea Jesus x " u "~ 

Christ, our Blessed Lord. Amea . 

B tha Associate Pastor ®f tale congregation puts on my desk she plans 
and program® that he's envisioned, X usually z®&& with sore than ordinary 
interest the list of those whom he has chosen to assist , to those whoa he will 
assign a iaeasmr® of leadership responsibility. 

I sever read any list snore seriously than I r@ad the list of those that 
he's chosea to serve as the. staff when he tak@g a group of our youngsters to 
camp. Sow that 8 s been espeeially true a week ago wh«sa they went to Chesap&ak® 
Ceater» when 90 of our Junior High age youngsters spent a week there, .tad as 
1 go over that list, knowing him as I do, I know exactly why he has chosaa 
certain people. 

One qualification that he expects to be met is that @ach one ©f them be 
strong and of sterling character 9 that there's no question about their Chris- 
tian commitments 1 w&s not surprised to discover a grandfather who was 
listed in the roster. I happen to know him 9 and know him very well. I knew 
what ss happened t© hia as he served is eh® military, his experiences else- 
where, aad what a fin® Chris elan man he happens to b®. 

The other is a woman who traveled some 200 miles , a former member of 
this pasrish, to serve as an advisor and as a member of ths faculty at Gasp. 
And I'm going to make you privy to this information ksw s as to why ha happens 
to have chosen her - - she places a high value upon the things that matter 

a a a *> o ©f the most remarkable women I have aver a»t. Aad I s 11 

give you mum Insight as to t!$ strength of her character.... 

I sat witiahe? once, and I a»iA *»»«,» ^j 

' A said » How di <* ^u happea to get this wayt - 

a woman of trstaendous strength f" 
"*11." .ha said, "I .uppo« :£ 8houU t#u 7oUj x ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ 
and I rea-aber one. seeing ousr houM butn „ ^ ^^ ^ 
avssything that *e sa*„ad to have o^ad to be lose, it £augh£ 
«• a laaao., that thar. are togs that .a. bo talcan away.... 
...•ad than another thing hapjNmad ^^ r w quits yojmg _ x 
foil down a wall u & our fa», aad to. in the tefcl? , S8 of ^ 
holo. hour aft«r hour. X did a lot of aarioua thinking. I was 
rescued, of couraa. but tha lesson that I laaraad 1« that wall 

^^ to £feia ** *« «*«• «• »■ thing, that could ba 
ts&sn away.*' 

I come to this sacred d<ssk fh-?« n»~~4..„ • ..»_ 

° @8te tM * """^g with some of this as a back- 
ground, to announce now the tit'f *«» *„,*»„ e 

now cue tit-s. for today a sermon. For wast of a better 

title !•■ gaiag to auggaat tfeia on.: "Aadd a. Robberies of life" - - fosr thB 
*« ^saalus that lif. can turn robbar. So*, of tha thing, that you and I 
chart,* ,ad upon which wa pi, CS! « htgh ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ 

Sor this s« that baara th. title ^M ihe Robbarta. of Ufa* ia fro* an 
exceedingly el^pta, in tha Boo. of Judge., and for our purpose 
thi. neroiag it's tha 24th va»e of the 18th chapter of the Boofe of Judges, 
A nan is crying out, 'taUmj^^jm^MMaKLmLM^L^L^^ 


Tucked away in th. pages of the Old ******, which i. unbred ter- 
ritory for many psopi®, i a thi» vary int*^.ti»* «*««, % * 

' *°*«*»»Mng story stoat a siaa md Ms 

asather. And I presume he was the ©nlv sea of »h4. „ 

— u» cK^y ®,jsa o£ tnia woman <, She was very re- 
sourceful, aha had akiaped. she had saved 

uma savea. she had accumulated qv.±m a bit 

f asonsy, , . „ 

. . . now they didn't have ways by which they could invest thete 

money as you and I have today .. . . there v«re a© strong boxes 
la a bank that would be available. But because she placed a 
high value up&& this sssmay which was hers, and because she 
mated to protseK it aad ea k@<sp it, aim tried to fiad a 
hiding place here and there.., she didn't put it all ia one 
place, of course j, and the» she decided it might serve her 
purpose better if she'd change She hiding places occasionally... 
««.aad she got quite uptight about this, trying to keep what 
was hers. 

. • • this son ef hers would sleep at sight , but find 
his sleep disturbed by this prowling mother of his am she went 
around trying to find places where she could hide eh® differ 
quantities of her money . And ©a« sight he got up aad followed 
her, and aha. wesss't aware of this, of course. And then whas 
__ they both went back to slesp, unaware that she had bass fol- 

lowed, observed, he toaght to ais»clf , what will happen now if 
somebody finds what she's trying t© hide! - - it zouM be stolen, 
and then she wouldn't have It... could be ti&ken m&yi 

.»*and then his mind went one step beyoad this, and 
presumably it occurred to him that he wms the only son and that 
some &®j this money could be hia. Hell now, he reasoned withia 
himself, why run the risk of having somebody steal it feefsr® it 
could fee hi®? Aad since ©ae day it would he his s why not get 
It now? . . . . and the rascal, that 8 © exactly what he did, he 
stole his owa mother's money. 

Bust there's one thing he hsdss s t figured on. If she was 
uptight trying to keep it, she was eves more uptight whan it was 
takes away aad she discovered the loss. She was completely un- 
settled aad almost bereft ef h@r senses — part of a superstitious 




age as that tiaa - she cried out to the gods to briag down a cur3e 
upoa the culprit who had sftol&a he? 5&cm©y, 

How h. baca^ ehe un^ttiad om. H a was the marked »sn. She w 
supentleleue enough to believe that the gods could destroy hi», and 
with a troubled conscience, or whatever you want co eall it, h® finally 
«dKt«cd to Ms »ther that he bad done what fea had done. After she 
got over the initial jolt and shock that her eon, her only son, would 
rob her, they became reconciled, and then together they fed this passion. 
this concern for this money, and they said, "What are we going to da?" 
...because, if is could be stolen oaes it could fee 
stolen by as outsider. . . . . they cam to a very clever conclusion - they decided that they 
would take the silver and fashion it tot0 a gQds ^ ^ ^ fe ^ w@ 
nam would be vain enough, sacrilegious enough to sts>al a god? So 
they thought they kad it mad.: they kept their silver intact, ^d they', 
be reeognised in the cmmmlty as god-fearing people... reverent. 

But there's one thing they didn't figure on..... oh, I should & l s& 
tell you titat one day them cam in the comunity - this is v®^ inter- 
ring - a wandering Levite, a P ri® s t„ S® the son latched ^ to the 
priest and he said, "Ysu be our own personal prlestl ~ you fee our « 
chaplain - yea live t#ith u e and you conduct the worship before our 
idol," fell, y ou see, what sore CO uld you ask? - so^body to keep a 
constant eye ©s your silver godi 

But there happed to be in thess dayg s in <te section of the 
country, a lawless basd of the. S oas of Da, and 600 of the* wandered 
exowd as xofcben. One of their scouts caae this way this time, and 
peered into the tent where Micah lived with his ^ther, and saw ^ 
silver idol. You know of course what he did - - he stole it - took 

the pri^t along with Ma. Tfcs B Mie^ a s d Ms mother discovered their 
great loss, fbey gathers! together a handful of P ,opU, they chased 
the «M,.» - to no avail of course - ^ sll that ^ mm ^ do ^ 
»*y this: »Wv taka a awe, ^ . U v« and my god - - what do I have 
loft?" And tho look of anguish upon hie face giv^ the «, Pw 
his nothing. 

I com to this sacred desk this «oming to ^ ycw £to th-ir4 «. 
two things that yosa ought to do. On., yo « ought to si* down aoaetia. - 
*ad th«ro«s nothing wrong with it - and mak* a a tester* of all the things 
that carry your n—. th. thing , th* belong to you, you've «umed th*,, ,!•, 

acquired them or they've been m vest ?<s van v«„ «<»i - w 
discover how wch you «*01y haw. if, a ^d thing to cto„ 

The second thing you ought to do ia to tte B ask youraolf th. etching 

^_ option: Sup**. «*«, gisgLs ^ o£ thm& ^^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ 

no - - what then? It could happt n, you know, 

I'v. a frf«d who «s.d to call m «*«*„» . . ^ x 9mmtmt ^ hfi 
l»rifd » to go with hi. to the coub^ *»„ &a liad ^^ ^ ^^ 
of acr~, and h. and ! alon. on. tia. «^«d up th, str** and our ^ would 
look „ to th. Uiu, to th. wood «d., «*. affr acr.. and I dl^owMd in 
hia ey. that .enaa of P^> ^ po^oolon and -uch to w a«a««*nt he used 

alters very words and he oAid "j)a/-. a »«.*»-. t 

M * taA * Padr *» fch ®^ *® •«<* a thing as thm pride of 

possession — these things belong to mi' 1 

And I try nm^ to be tea t u» th. pastor that fed wants *. to »., ^ d 

. I said to Ms, in that ^^. £b ^ « Fm ^ ^ ifc? ^^ ^ ^ ^ 

would be t&fesa away fro® you? — « b** s-w.? « *„j «. 

m y«» taae g&^y , 4ffid hffi ag^^^ wgJ honestly, 

I never really thought about that." And thtt'a th. way you and I ge frea 

U day to day for the nost part. .tid«. realising that the things that w® prise 
and value could be taken away. 


: .- .: / ; r - ' ■- '■ ■ ■■•-■■" ■{■->;■ 

I began my ministry during pare of the Depression, and I also remsmber 
in the days of my youth what prosperity was Ilka «— aad then whan the crash 
s&tsg. In that fires £ parish that I was privileged to sarv© there was a man who 
one® told a® that he want to bed at sdght worth a half-million dollars » and 
then before ha w®nt to b®& the next sight h© wm penniless* Vm glad he told 
ws s because 1 could appreciate what it sieant to hiss and how hm faesd i£ s It 
had been taken away. And then h® asked hiaself the questions what do X have 

I know what h© had left* ha didn't have to tell ma . . . 

— h® had his good name, his honor , his Integrity. . .he had a 
driving ambition t© ris® afcovs this apparent failure, to gamer 
whatovar resources h© had l«ffc s physically speakings emotionally 
speaking,, £© sake good again befor® h® died. Which hs did! 
What did h@ hav® left? 

— * & circle ©f lovs 9 a wife who believed him, a so®. &md a 
daughter who respeefiad hist and they encouraged his 9 they 
remained faithful.. ..they didn't love him just because of the bank 

is »r <s «i v 

Mhat did h© have left? 

— the kind of ehing be ®spsri@ss®<S ©va^y tisa® h® marked the path 
that led to <«od*a House! — the faith in eh© eternal parposss ©f 
God that would b® served seas® w±md ©r weather » ia wealth or in poverty. 
X ask myself the qu®sti©a too - - has this little place ia the country 
to which w® enjoy resorting whenever we can. ....there ar® vandals in those 
hili@ s there are robbers on the loose „ aad Winifred and X don't hs^® to say 
to each ottos? £ but we «®a read each other's minds s when w® bolt the d&ot aad 
head back to Silver Spring we ask ourselves the questions will it b® intact 
when we get back? Suppose it were to bs tafcsa awayl 

- Sabberiaa of Life" (7) 

I've & brother, &<£at younger thae X 9 whose health is being taken away. 
I prise health as much as you do. It could be less. These TV commercials 
deal only in half- truths — I know what they mesa when they says IThen you have 
your health you have everything! But X also know that a ptsrs-ss 5 s heal eh can 

be taken away. And wfc®3 that's takes away, ?«hafe is there left"? 

Chances are there isn't a single one of you aside from Winifred and me 
who ever met her who are members of Saint Luk® Church. Her mass® was Esther 
Maria K&tmviMa BtmBon - - who for almost thre© decades was immobilised fey arthri- 
tis. She was a resident ©f Bethohage Missies in Axtelle Nebraska. She knew 
what it was to have her health taken away. But she also knew what it was to 
discover that there was something that still realised s and that was her faith 
in God s snd with the recognition that His purpose r ^as still to be served when 
the body was wracked by pais,. X tell you this b#aaus@ no e^a who ia a member 
of this congregation.. I, dare say, ever prayed more fervently that this segrega- 
tion would go about God's work in the same way that Esther Benson ■ prayed for 
it. Shf® read every issue of Saiat Luke MESSENGER - - she identified as best 
she could with everything that we were doings sad she looked upoia herself as 
a prayer priest for this congregation. And X would like to believe in Heaven 
a&ove she's still making intercession for us. Aad her health was taken away I 

"You've taken away «ay silver.' v® taken away soy idol 3 What have 
I left?" Micah h&d sofchisag loft. But it didn't have to be that way. You who 
know the priceless gam which we fesv® Is our Christian faith , you who know what 
it is to have an indomitable will, to face the vicissitudes of life 9 you who 
know what it is to fee surrounded by a circle of love - - I used to say that if 
X s simply from a human psrspee&lve^ looked upon the Christian church;, aside 
from offering me the saving grace of Jesus Christ _» I'd want to fe® a :Bsmber of 
the Christian Family because it gives m® a circle of lov@ 2 ©iaeoaipasaes s@ with 
people who care s whose devotion remains when everything ©Is© could be tskess 

tries of Life" (8) 

l£*s tmt much fox poetry, but the thought ea© sear your soul.* 
» . efea night was dark and the night was late, 

When the robbers came so s?sb him; 
They pickad the locks of the palace gata s 

The robbers that came to rah him; 
They picked the lacks of the palace gate, 
Seised Ms jewels sad gems of state , 
lis coffers of geld and his priceless plate, 

^ ' mr. aes £.3 irsb hiss-: 

Bur, loud laegted a® is £fe# morning red, 

For of what h&d th® robb&rs r@bbsd hisa? 

And £fes robb ; *x@ ea^.a fee r©fe Mis,- 
They robbed hiss sot of a golden shred 
Of the child i sh d:?aams in his <sris© old head — 
And R;fe@y 9 r® welcome t& all else, fe® said 9 

Wh@s the robbers came to rob him. * . n 

* * * e 
(This sermon transcribed ss recorded) 

Semcm - Pastor iiayuond Shaiieen 

'.Hie Thirteen th Sunday After Penteco st August 28, 1977 


*ffi AiiE grateful, O God, for all £) 

those who have taught us respect - ' ' * 

for the iioly Page, &y Your Holy 

Spirit enable us to better under- C , fflr 

stand vruat lias been written for our ** 

profit today. Through Jesus Christ,, 

Thy Son s our Lord, who is the Living 

ijbrd. Amen* 

If it's a title that you'll be wanting for today's sermon, let oe sug- 
gest these words: "To A Nobler Uss," There's a text, of course, and quite 
frankly and very honestly I realize tii&t I road it to you with soma risk. 
You sdgat understand too sieaaiia- of that later on. It's she 38th chapter of 
the Book of the lixodus, and i£ p s the 8th versa: 

' 'f^sLfeg-^g^e-the .layer of brass f and the foot 
P A.kt. .-.of brass , of the looking-glasses of the 

-.J^oj^P ^Uoasseniblad at the door of the tabe r- 
nacle of the c ongr e gation." 

I say I read that text to you at sosva risk, because it surely isn't vary a** 

citing, It's quite uninteresting. 

And I think I could tzadarstasd if soma of you would say to yoursslves, 
well if that's too text for the sermon, I'll just throw rays*l£ is neutral at 
this poias,, because I don't aspect aaythiug very iaspiriag. Rail, lot m read 
it for yon again: 

" And he raade fc'as layer of brass, and the foo ft 
o.f.l.fc,.pf brass, of the looking- gl asses of the 
wotaea who assembled at the door of the taber- 
nacle of the congregation." 

....and it still doesn't turn you on, does it? 'fills is true for other passages 

in the tfible as well - - at first glance they're uninteresting and surely not 

very inspiring, 

i»ow because this happens to be true, I have two suggestions for you when 

A Jobler Use" (2) 

you turn -to the Mble, and I hope you'll keep thee, in iniad, X share them 
with you out of my own experience because they have b&<s,n my salvation on store 
than one occasion . 

The first is that whenever you read the Bible, you should offer a 
prayer. Just as you sit down to sat a seal and you bow your head in grati- 
tude for what's la front of you, for what's been prepared for you, and in 
that prayer cnances are you'll also add that it might be to the strengthening 
of your body — ■ by the sane token, whenever you turn to the holy Scriptures 
you should offer a prayer before you begin to read, to thank God that you do 
have Shis bread of life, aad to ask the Holy Spirit to help you. to understand 
what is tnere. 

Ihe second suggestion that X have for you is a very simple one, and one 
that may not have occurred to some of you* Jmd it's right and proper that you 
should do its you ask God to give you a sanctified imagination as you read 
that particular chapter dealing with a particular incident or occasion. And 
that is simply to suggest that when you read you ask God to help you to imagine 
what it was like — who the people were who happened to bs steers* and then CO 
be able to appreciate somehow the interplay of forces that ware at s?©rk* You 
can't possibly understand Scripture if you can't identify with the event or 
the occasion or the people involved*.,* 

...How that's what I have been doing as I've prepared this sermon for you 
this morning, and I want to give you, if you don't mind a the 
benefit of this sane t if led imagination. 
Well, to begin with, imagine yourself back when this thing happened? and 
you have to g© all down the corridor of time until you come to the time when 
the Children of Israel were in bondage to the Egyptians. How this is very 
interesting. Because they were in bondage they were naturally enslaved aad 
did not receive wages as you and X think in terms of wages from their 

;; To A Hbblw Use" (3) 

laaster. Their master saw that they ware fed, housed and clothed — their 
physical needs w©r© eared for. It was t© his advantage as a master, of 
course, to have a heathy and a good slave on his hands. 

But, werf now tad then I'm ineii&ad to thiak that ©si® of eh®?',® fellows, 
oae of these enterprising Israelites,, would be able to get into his possession 
some precious coins.. ...maybe he weald find them, mayb® Ms master, is a 
beneficent mood,, would give him s coin or two. Hell be that m it may, h® 
had some coins. 

. . .AM then in all likelihood he would say to himself , now that I have it 
I s m going to buy something with it for the woman that I love.... 

Mow just because marriages wera arranged in those days, &®n" z you perroit 
yourself to think fox a single minute that romantic blood would not course 
through the veins of some of those Israelites. And evest though tho wife to 
whom he Has married was the rasult of an arrangement, in all likelihood he 
learned to love her, and he wanted to give her soma evidence of his love. 
You cm understand this. Sa be gees into the bazaar and km bargains and he 
gets her something, ted then thers comas that moment when he can give it 
to her, and he calls her by nmms "Rebecca!" - - "Sarah J" - - "lachel!" - - 
" . . . guess what! I've got something for you, a&& 
I think you'll like it! You can guess if you want fco s 
but I can't wait. Here it is I . . . " 

....and this is what it wast a looking-glass — a mirror, 
a hand-mirror 1 
They had no such things as you and I know them today , not a glass 
mirror „ but a mirror saade out of polished metal in which she could see her 
reflection. And you «jaa understand how valuable this would be to a woman. 
Chances are the only ciae she saw her reflection was when she looked into a 
pail of water, and that wasn't a very handy thing to carry around to serve 
as & mirror. .......... thrilled to high heaven by this thing that sh® now 

"To A Hebler Use" (p) 

had - - & token of lows, representative of sacrifice froaa en® person in 
particular, she prised it, as well she should. 

Tars the pages of history..... the Kim® comes when Gad say© to she 
Children of Israel, 'Wll h® en £lss ^vib ®m?> the promised land is ge i sg 
to be yours.** And dies you deal with that whole great and wonderful chapter 
known as the Szcdug. 

Jhst you're mistaken if you think it sag a very well organised thing, 
where they had days end weeks to get reedy sad to pack everything that be- 
longed te them.. WfliS lite a flight in the sighs, honestl? it was. 

And they could take wish them oaly the thiags that they could wear on their 
backs and perhaps carry in their hands. And then that moment came when the 
decisis® had to be made — not only what we could take, but what we would 
hsv© to leave behind....... nod hers is this woman whc had received this 

precious looking-glass. Bo you think for a single minute she's going to 
part with it? Somehow, somewhere she'U -always find a pise© srfasre she can 
tuck it in and take it with her. And s© she did. 

Now turn the pages of history again.... they' re wandering around as a 

bunch of nomads, so it would appear, on their way to the Promised Land. And 
then in God's plan for them: "Alright, you can have a tabernacle — you ean 
have a place of meeting — j&u can call it your worship center." Well now 
ramemter, they were moving around, they were on the mrefe, they were not 
an established people yet. Where would they get these things? — only as 
th©y esuld sake them end fashion them themselves, and in the Book of Exodus, 
certain sections of it, does make valuable reading as to hew they prepared 
the tabernacle 9 th® place of sssstisg. 

And now - - bear with me - - on® of the items that they had to have as 
a part of the furnishings of the place of as. ting would be involved in their 
ablutions, that is, it was simply a basin that was filled with wstsr, a hi- 

"To A Nobler Use" (£) 

basis ao less, to accommodate all the administering servants and pilgrims 
who might come from some distance. Aad this basis — lavar ~ was so be 
a regular item. A&d in it they would bath® their haads aad their feat. It 
was part of their rliual. 

How, j&i &nd I can't appreciate it very much because, we don't use 
that sort of thing today. Bat for them it was esseatial. Aad I can well 
imagiaa the buildiag committer g®ttisg together aad say lag, "We've taken 
care of tMe...,we'vsss taken care of that.,..," Aad God bless them 9 they 
wouldn't have to worry about permits in those days! 

. ...and tfeaa Hoses says., How about this laver? For 
the life of me I don't knew asw we're going to get it made, 
bat we've; got to hava ®s.®." 
And some fellow spokss up aad said 9 "Well how &b©ut takisag our battle-axes 
and the like aad getting them melted down?" 

...and I suppose a fellow saitL "Man, you're crazy! 

We haven't arrived yet — we still have a lot of 

enemies with whom we have to deal. That isn't & 

very good idea*" 

Aad then in all likelihood a woman stands up, aad ©he says s "I've got the 

answer!" And they all look at her.. .and she reaches under hssr garments sad 

pulls out this hand-polished mirror..,. reverently she puts it ©a the grosaad 

is front of her, aad she says, "And now I challenges every woaaa hare to do 

the same thing. You fellows can melt these into this big basin that we 

need. That's the way we'll gst it!" 

Now let me read this for yens 

"And he a-ada the laver of brass, awl the foot of it 
o f br ass ■ j out of th® look ing-g l asse s of the wsmea 

rm.ii.niwii - .■ ■ ui -.-im* ■ ni mil rii i i in mm wumwiiri na minimi 1 i nn— Jrlfm iTfti mil ■— iii.i i imm. i>.« mi i u i m. imu»miii «■ ii m 

who wer«i assemblsd at the door of the place of 

"To A Sobler Use" (6) 

And I think that's the way it was. Shat they had they gave up to a nob 

Mow s?hy whould I &ek ye% to pay attention to this text today 
X come to the sacred desk? Thar© &z® two reasons. 

One, I think it is an exceedingly salutary thing for ©very one of us ? 
every now asad then, to sit dsen and make an inventory-of-sorts of very 
precious things that have been gives, to us, that s©pr«s®st sacrifice on the 
part of those who love us. And the gift is itself represents their person- 
ality m.& their devotion. I can well imagine s as the husband might have 
been killed la battle or as he may have died along the way, that there 
were those precious msms&ts when the woman would reach for that hasHd-polished 
mirror , as&d as® it as a silent emblem of precious love and devotion. 

You and I are the recipients of many kindnesses os the part of peo- 
ples, asad some of them represent the very essence of their foeiag* In this 
family of God which we call the Christian church we recognise that repeat- 
edly whenever we cmm, to receive Holy Communis!® - - "Our Lord Jesus Christ-, 
on the night in whieL He was betrayed, took bread, and when He blessed it 
Me broke it and said, Take ; eat; this is My body given for you - - Take s 
drink, this is my blc>od given for you - - this is 1 — all that 1 as I 
offer you." How fortunate we are within this family ©f Ged to recognise 
how God give© Himself for ua, and sacrificially. 

It's a salutary thing for a person to take stock of what h© has that's 
been given to him out of sheer devotion sa&d with a degree of sacrifice. 

I'm wondering if you'll indulge me for & moment as X do occasionally, 
share with you & page out of my osm life. When X began my ministry 1 had 
the good fortune to follow a m@a who had feaea in that parish for almost 
fifty yaars n a man wfeos© heart was as big as the world — every inch a 
pastor and a good sh&pherd of souls. About forty years ag© now he gave me 


a present for Ghrlst&as. And when h© gave, it So me I was disappointed. I'll 

toll you what l£ is — Z use it almost ©very Sunday Etersisg 9 it's part of my 
Sunday morning getting ready for you. 1 have it here in ay study at the 
church: it's a shoe-shine bosu Xt 5 s made out of black walnut* He liked to 
work with Ms hands.... it has soma vary attractive carving on it. For some 

of the hinges he took some of the old church carpet and fashioned the hinge 
out of it that way. But when X first saw it I thought to myself , why, this 
is something old — it's bees used! For heaven* 8 sake* why did he give me s 

(He never knew that I reasoned that way, but I did) 
...why couldn't you have gotten me something brand new, something that you 
■ v"/.a ";'V;-.-: ;■;■■ . ' '■:•:• . ■',-. ■' 

Now that I'm older, I realise what a precious thing it was that he gave 
ae. It was something that fee had made, and he had made it well. It was 
something of himself that he was giving to me. And 1 prise it so ouch that 
I hope some day to pass it on to Pastor David, or to Jon g and I'll tell them 
the same thing that I'm telling you. Again I say, w© need to sit down and 
reeognis© how much we have that's be®n given to us that represents the indeli- 
ble stamp of the personality of the giver. 

And the second thing — you may never have thought of this* and I'm 
reluctant to give it to you because you may misunderstand me* But no matter 
how prised nay be the possessions that we have, w® need to ask ©arselvss fre- 
quently, is there a nobler use to which it can be put? What right do 1 have 
to keep it for myself and for myself alone? These women of the looking-glass 
came to a particular point im time when they knew that there was a nobler use 
to which this thing could be put e that it could bear the stamp of God in none 
other way than by having the parson relinquish its use to a nobler and greater 


do we ask ourselves* are we reJ/ansing this life of ours to a nobler and bet- 
ter us® than is new being served? God has given us the capacity to love 
aad to ear® - - how frequently do we ask ourselves* since this is an exceed- 
ingly precious thing — to what noble end do I love? And I who have the 
gift of life — to whet nobler purpose do 1 live? 

Dear old Ellwood DeLong, that octogenarian who left his stamp of beauty 
upon this chancel and the Chapel of the Grateful Heart - - he used to say, 
"Raymonds, whatever you do* don't ©ver live just somehow* but learn £© live 
triumphantly! " Every now and then you and I ought to sit down and say to 
ourselves, It is true that we're simply existing, going through the baaa-drum 
monotonous routine of one day aft©- another - - - life was never meant to be 
lived that way. It was meant to be lived for a nobler purpose! And there's 
no nobler purpose than where it b©ars undeniably and indelibly the stamp of 

She did a far nobler thing than she had ever done before* that woman 
with the lookiag-glaijs 9 the polished mirror* wfeea she gave it ^p 9 for God. 
How you fehiak about that you think aboat it. 

(This sermon transcribed as recorded) 

Sermon - Pastor Raymaad She! 

The Fourte enth Sunday After Pea£a eo£;S 


GRACE, Mercy and Peace from God •tit" 

our Father aad from His Sou Jesus r } £'' 

Christ , our Blessed Lord. Amen. jU^l 1 ^ 

The text is from the 5th chapter of the Gospel according to Lirice, 
verses 27 asad 28: 

" After this {meaning Jesus) he went out and 

s aw the teat collector named Matthew, sitting 
at the tax office* He said to him. Follow me. 
Aad he left everything and rose sad followed 

...and I think it happened just like that. Aad sons© of you here this morniag 
perhaps envy him a great deal, to be able to walk away from the place where 
>/■;.;: ho'iro 'br^::^ va-.-kiag and not ever to be able to return again. Just thi k 
of it..... to gather up all the material frosi your desk,, stuff it in your 
brief-ease , walk away, aad say, "That's it! I woa't go bask. I don's: have 
to go back. 31 

Matthew was able to do it. But chances are y©u caa't. So what"? Well 
lot's first just say to ourselves that if you should be the kind of person 
who finds yourself in that situation, it may be true for a euA^ s*fi differ- 
ent reasons. 

First,. . .you're bored. 'The work is no longer chall^sgiag* 

....or it could b® the type of psopls -with s?h©ss you have t® work s 
they're stot very compatible and certainly not very congenial, 
sad so you wish that you were somewhere else.... 
....or it could be that you have beea at your work so long 
that now you find it a rather monotonous routine thing that 
as> laager brings a ch&llenge to yets. . . . 
....occasionally, bow, it could be that you're a misfit, and 

* y Ca Hakiq ! lost Ot It" (2) 

« shouldn't have beea in that position to begin with! 

and maybe th® answer does lis isa moving on sad going on 
somewhere else* 
Whatever may be the reason, if you should be numbered among those who 
wish that they could walk away, when you think of your w©rk —~ its frustra™- 
tioa after frustration, maybe a degree of failure after failure, and most 
certainly one disappointment after another. 

If you were to press me as to what might be the prevailing mood in the 
minds of a number of people that I know* I would have to say that they have 
to wrestle with a series of disappointments. Somewhere along the line we c ve 
allowed ourselves to believe that in this business of living we would roach 
a time when everything would fall into place.. But «rise indeed is the man 
who sees that life is just one series of problems after anothsr* 

But be careful that you don't become cynical; as indicated in tha colum- 
nist in yesterday morning's paper, who said that she had seen a bumper stick- 

er that had read simply: LIE'S. IS A FAILURE OFPOSTUHITf — which means get 
rssady for it — you're not going to get very far, and you're sot going to 
produce vary much, find, in all likelihood you won't succeed. Now that's 
cynic's way of looking at it - - Life is a failure opportunity. 

Asad if this mood should prevail in your mind where you happen to be, 
you could envy Matthew, who could walk away from it, and improve his situa- 
tion. But you can't. Is that true? 

I kaes? a measure of satisfaction is feeing back asd reading some of the 
things that were written when I began my ministry and when I was still in 
theological seminary, It's surprising how much that I read then is releve&t 
to what you and I ssKperiesce today, hut me read this for you»,o.the person 
who had written this was observing the tafias scene, and he emu® to the ess- 
elusion that the characteristic ©f his generation (about four decades ago now) 

i-:; The Host Of Xt" (3) 

was that people were suffering froza disappointment. He said, "We have lived 
through one long series of major disappointments, to go no further than back 
to the great war (World War #1). We pluagsd into that, hoping t© sake the 
world safe for democracy, only to ^acognisse later that the outcome was 
futile. And then to plan to organize people la th© World Court ™ League 
of Nations. Many of us turned to these with high hopes, and we have lived 
to see the fereat buildings oa Lake Geneva become empty shells while millions 
march off to war all over again. Then there was a day of economic affluence. 
It seemed a dawn fillsd with hope of abundance of life for all psople . . . .only 
to fade into widespread penury that at that time no help could reach. Even 
s© we did not believe that the nations would madly head to this, another 
world conflict. But today Europe and Asia are aflame.- We have lived through 
a generation of successive and colossal disappointments , one frustrating hope 
piled upon another . . , " 

...and if I gave you time* some of you could stand 

up and say s "1 can update that for you, Fastor P for this is the 

story of my life today!" 
And so it could well be that you might give anything if you could, as Matthew 
did, walk away from where you ar@, and believe that your situation eeuld be 

But suppose you can't? And that's the thing with which we need to wrestle 
right now. For any ® amber of you, you've got to go back Tuesday es where you 
were. Friday. And you're the oae who left assd said, "Thank God it's Friday?" 
— because you welcome the respite. Now what's to be said for a person who 
can't change his situation? 

Wells as a Christian you can deal with your predicament, and as a Chris- 
tian you begin to do this sort of thing; you analyse as b®st you eaa why it 

:- •'.-.. ' i 


Is that you're ineffective, unhappy, ©r incompatible. You do that as best you 
can. And then you examine the possibility, where could I go? and what would 
I do? And if there are no ©pea doors and you find that you have to stay where 
you are, than you ask God to give you the grace sad strength to make the most 
of that situation. And the answer nay act lie in changing the situation as 
sauch as it may lie is changing an attitude,, 

I can give this to you o& good authority. Take our Blessed Lord as an 
©sample. Bo you think that He found Himself in a happy situation every &<-?$■ 
of His life? lie most certainly did not, 

....and think how frustrating it must have beets for Him, who at the 
age of twelve said, "I'm going to be about ay father's business . . . "...and 
then for eighteen years lie worked in a carpenter's shop before lie could preach 
His first sermon. This same Christ who dealt with people as He did, and kept 
His eye oa the ultimate goal and the purposes to be served in His life where 
He happened to be. Was He less honest when He delivered yoke for oaten than 
when He preached the Sermon on the Mount? Has He less compassionate when He 
dealt with a youngster who came with his father to have a lintel made for a 
house in Joseph's carpenter shop than when He touched the man with the in- 
firmity and gave hisa a healing miracle? 

...said the poets "'What was He doing all that time, 

Froia boyhood then to early prime? 
Was He then idle, or th© less 
About His father's business?" 

So w© d® the best we can by the grac® and strength of Jesus Christ, realising 

that perhaps there is a ministry that w® cast offer as we're fulfilling a part 
of Cod's plan. And if this is to be true, then God gives th® grace aad the 
strength that we might be able to stay where we are, if there are no other 
spaa doers. 

It 5 a as homespun mow a© I can make it for you. Little Annie King — many 


' ,: O 

of you remember her and recognise her of course. She fractured her hip, she 
was is the hospital , and now she* a is a nursing home for rehabilitation. . . . 
...she's the one who gathers up the bulletins at the close 
of the service and straightens oat the bests in the pew recks,, 
talks to you, takes csrs of the Child Cars Room and the Sunday 

Well Annie isn't asking a very easy adjustment* She can't get up and go. 

She can't bs the independent thing that she's always been. That 5 a ©a© reason 
why she left the convent, yau know — she's like a bird that was saver mea&t 

to bs caged. 

When 1 saw her yesterday she had tsars in her eyes - - shs jest couldn't 
quie«s make the adjustment to her present situation, fed then I tilted to 
hmx as strongly as I could, ami I said, "Now listen, Annie , you're crying. 
How in heaven's name can you see the beauty of the faces of people around 
you when you're crying? And && long as these tears are in your eyes you're 
going to be blind to the people who are standing by trying to help you s a&d 
to encourage you. Sow Annie, for heaven's sake, you &zm *feas?e you are, md 
just as you were meant to be a ray of sunshine to people in Saint Luke Church 
whes you casta to us, for tfea time being you're msanfc to b© a ray of siaisaine 
to these people lim:®V lou do the best with what you can, ^hers you are, 
until by the grace of Gcd something else may happen. In Matthew's ease, ha 
could m*<® cm, Ma^s in your case ymi can't. But by the grace of 6&d s b<s 
faithful to Him, where you are. 

* * ft 

■ ; :;:. ■■.,'-rc2':'0.-.--i ';: : ' ■'■■.•', ;^' 

Samoa - The ilev, Raymond Shaheen 

The festival of harvest October 3, 1377 



C2ACE, Mercy and Peace from God 

oar Father and f roia His See 

Jaaus Purist., our Blessed Lord, Amen. 

There are sense advantages to lining is a city, of course. There are any 
number of advantages living 1 , in a rural area. Thar©' a a great deal to be said 
for living in a paster? X situation, where people live very close to the °:ood 
earths where what they would washer at the harvest dep&sded upon what they 
sowed in the spring-tir^e, the way they cultivated it, watered it and fertilised 
it. There are certain lessons to be learned as one reflects upon the good 
earth and the productive field. 

Here in Saint Luke, despits the fact that we are in a metropolitan area, 
we cling tenaciously tc the concept that the Festival, of the Harvest should be 
celebrated. For some of us, it is reasiniseeat of what we experienced in the days 
of our childhood and youth, when w® lived In a village or in a rural area. But 
for anyone who laarks the path that leads to this place this day s let hisa recog- 
nise all over again by this the evidence of the fruits of the good earth, that 
it is by the Lord's hand, it is frota the Lord's bounty, that we are sustained. 
iiature, if anything, tc the spiritually sensitive, reminds man of his dependence 
on God« 

Suppose you were standing now where I s si standing and you were t© be the 
preacher for the day, £nd even though the bulletin that you have is your hands 
indicates the fact that the sermon will deal with the theme, what would you 
detect as the theme-of- themes tisafc ought to be dealt with on a iUwApx ;:V;..>. 
marks the Festival of the Harvest? t-Th&ther or act you 8 11 get some hint as to 


:f C- - natieat " (2) 

what you're about to hear by the. reading of the text, allow me to read it now 
without further delay. It's from the First Lessoa that you heard, from the Book 
of Deuteronomy, the 11th chapter, the 11th vers®; 

" ' * But the land which y ea go la to possess, it i a_ 

a of .hill s and valleys f and drinks water by the 
gala fr om heaven ,_. * ._ " ' 

God chooses His words wisely and carefully. And if you were In my shoes 

this morning, you'd recognise the responsibility that rests upon the preacher 

to share with you the element of truth to be gleaned from this particular text: 

" • * . drinks i water, t he rain, fro m 'heayea • . fT 

Let me give you a bit of background. It's very real to rae because a number 

of years as© when I fi:?st visited the Middle East and then went down into Worth 

Africa and into Egypt, on the outskirts of Cairo I scaled,; to a certain measure, 

the Pyramid, the Great Pyramid, and from that vantage-point I looked round about 

jae. And it seamed to Hie as though I'd deliberately drawn a demarcation poist — 

it was green thus far, and then the dssart took over=, 

I was fully aware of what this meant. In Egypt they irrigate their fields. 

Whatever harvest they would gather was dependent upon the arrcnsat of water that 

they would churn into the field from the irrigation ditches 

. . . I remember so well seeing alse , there along the road , 

an Egyptian peasant, lying down alongside of an Archimedean 

screw — actually churning water from one channel into the 

mala irrigation ditch into the field. By his feet he was 

propelling, so it would seem.,.. 

And as Mr. Shaffer read the Lessons for you, you heard again "water by foot",., 

....who hatm't traveled in the East and seen the water boy, with 

a rod across his shoulders, suspended on either side the bucket 

filled with water which he carries out into the field? 

This is primitive ~ - it eaa bs seen this very day,,' And God, now, is speaking • 



to tae Cnilcirea of Israel and Ila's saying - - r, Icu remember how it was? — when 
you were down there la Egypt £©u carried by foot the water into the field. .. you 
churned fay your feat the water into the f ieid . . . . . you «sad@ the irrigation pos- 
sible., It was fey your efforts that these things happened . «, . knt ia the 
Promised Laad, It's win?, to be differaaf; — a land of hills and valleys by 
which the rain will bring the water from the heaven . . . "'..... aa much as to 
say, 'You will be conpletely dependant upon tae — you'll have to trust so. The 
raia will c©;u?e when I see fit. You'll have to trust ma. 1 ' 

But that's alright, you see, if nan could do it easily. And this is the 
problem of probleias thai; <?od always has with us — f?«ttiac us to trust lita, 
getting us to believe 'dim. That's one of the lessons that God was trying to 
teach through .toses, the leader of the Children of Israel, but every now and 
then man becomes inpatitint with God. And if it's s title for this sermon that 
you're wanting, titers it is: : '0a ielnp, Inpatient.' - ' 

If nature teaches us any lessoss, it's the lesson of patieaee. Honestly 
now. I'ta so grateful that when I grew up I could grow up as a kid ia a ssaali 
tow&„ where almost every person in town had his vegetable plot isa the back yard. 
They used to smile broa&ly when they'd say that the influence of the Pennsylvania 
Dutch extended up into Northern Central Pennsylvania because when people built 
their houses they built them. very close to tha street. Thsre was no large ex- 
panse of lawn in freas of the house betrreen the house and the street, ifo, be- 
cause they built the hotise close to the street so that ia the back yard practi- 
cally every foot could fee givea over to the gardes. 

1 can remember ay father getting the saed catalogue, making the aelectioa 
in winter, and then sending off tha order to the post office,, waiting eagerly 
for the seed to be delivered.... .and then, bless Ms soul, he himself would 
spade the entire plot and plant it. And once the seed was in tha ground, cursed 
with this measure of impatience that seems always t© have characterised ay life, 


un {*■) 

I expected the plant fee be blooming the next day, Bui it didn't happen that way. 
Patiently we waited. The harvest titas cane only in due season. It was ©aly 
a fter a whil e that we could gather the tcsaatees... ,it was only after a while 
that we could gather the potatoes ...... it was only after a wail© that we dug 

the hole in th® ground 3&d placed the barrel and stored there for winter use 
the cabbage* the celery, the carrots....... only after a while. 

I€ nature teaches us any lesson by God's design, it's the lesson of pafeieae 
It takes a little while until soae things grow and develop a&d mature. And as 
Sod reads history, as God reads life, that's the way it's laeant to be. 

itow what God is saying to those Children of Israel as they're wandering 
through the wilderness toward the Premised Land - - v '¥ou ! lI have to learn this 
lesson of patience - - I ara in control, and I will alwpys work for your welfare. 
But trust He. The rain - - it's going to coai® frora the heaven, according to ry 
tiiua- table/' But God has always had on ills hands a rebellious people and as 
impatient lot. There are some folks who when they read the Old Testament say 
that's one reason why Moses nevsr sot into th® Premised Land, because as the 
leader of the Children of Israels, right is front of that* one tine, ha took issue 
with God, becawe iianati-snt with Ilia, and allowed them to see a display of temper 
which was unbecoming of their leader. Iher© are those who say that God says, 
"Alright, Hoses, because of this the time will come when you will see the 
promised Land but you will not aater into it." 3e that as it nay, it's God's 
attempt to teach us again and again in one way or another to be patient and t© 
trust Hin. 

How to be patient simply doesn't wean that one stands by passively ~ it 
isn't to iosan that on® stands by and says, *'I will not be concerned." - - it 
doesn't mean that I will not do my pars. To -.wait for God to accomplish His 
purposes, God uses us in the meantime. Doss God ever accomplish anything witfe- 

And to be patient doesa't tfflean that os© stand® by ©ad say®, x 'l throw 
tayseif in neutral.." 3ufc it doss saaass. that one has a continuing eoncera sad 

relies solely up©& the wisdom aad the provide®©* of Qsd. And that's one of 
the lessoas that God was trying to get over to the Children ©f Israel through 
their leader. 

But l'ia about to suggest to you that we're always ©a the edge of a bi 
new world. That's oae of the lessons that life has taught sag recently. 1 wa 
foolish enough to believe at a certain time in life that one would reach a 

Bug i.±/i.t Isi^K fiV;;-;, 

Again and again God brlags us to the eige of a aew world — new experiences, 
new demands, new challenges. And Ged is saying to us; r 3e patient r now, aad 
trust jne. :iy purposes will be fulfilled.'' But you and I are inpatient. Said 
one wise man, "The trouble with me is that I'n la a hurry, and God isn't." Cod 

can afford to take His tins® because tie's always dealing with the eternal dteen- 

Soiie of us are cursed because we're in a hurry. Honestly now, X read it 
way. I don't kapw how you read it. That's one of the prohletns "«?ith pre- 
marital s®& — ~ in a ha: fry. That's oae of the problems with our strained rela- 
tionships with other people — - we're la a hurry. VJs want things the way wa 
want then, and we want them by tea ©'clock yesterday morning. Aod psopie doa't 
always jusap through the hoops for us..... just as we don't always juop through 

tile hoops for them. ......'s one of the problems ■wm have as parents — we're 

ia & hurry with our children. We waat theta to be grown up 
©vernighs ...... 

. ... it '9 ®se ©£ the problems that I have with sor-ia ©£ you 

parents aossetioes , once. your youngsters are confirmed — you 
©xpect h:ha the Sunday after he's beesi confirmed to be like an 

■ . ■ -■ 


an^si fcii F dropped down fraa haavan, as thounh tiiara ia 
soaathiog magical about this ConHwiation axparlaaca to 
taake us fully-gro^is saiats ovarainht. 
It just doesn't happen £&&£ KS y„ Xt £skQ3 elne t0 Mj:ab li8h truat and sa 
It tak @g tliaa to m t m know a Ise rso S; to knot* h W to vork with that parsoa. 
And this is why, whila I'a not faulting my coHaagaaa l n tha ministry, 1 
couln novae f«* tfca lif. of M andamand how .o« pastors could j«ap froa 
ana pariah to aaothar a«a*y 2, 3, 4 B 5 y*ara. It tatoa tfaa to know your 
paopla, and to zimsz your loads*. 

1 a!ioulc! &® TO^y gratafel ladaad, w I say tkis vl&h tedKey, if y^ 
could faal as I faal that parfcapa Vm eomliig now ± a£@ m ? groatar nsafulaaaa 
la my ralati^Mp ^ fe h you, M God lias gi^ a «. jiga to grow, Emry Sunday 
whan I a» gi^ tba Important privil.g, t^ pvonottaca tha absolution: "Tha 
^ Almighty sad marciful God grant you, teiag p 3Eto ,, s paCd oa gad r#BliMl0|| of 

....£fe£ fosr saeadiaent of life . . . « j e Sakss ge32a of ^ a 
e £© bmsmsm battar. Honestly it itoaa. 

• & & & 

(This sarmsn transcribed as raeordsd) 


Sermon - Pastor Raymond Shaheen 

Twentieth Sunday After Pentecost October 16 _. 1977 


GRACE, I'ercy and Peace from God 
our Father and from His Son Jesus 
C hrist;, our Bl essed Lord. Amen . 

You're entitled to know, of course you are, that any pastor worth his 
salt would covet for his congregation certain things. 

To begin with, he would covat for them that thay would ha a people who 
when they gathered together would receiva the Word of God, that it would be 
preached with clarity and with conviction;, and that the Lord Jesus Christ 
would be exalted. 

He would also covet for his people that when they come together , they 
could come to a place that was made ready for them, a place where it would 
be made easier for them to think the thoughts of God. . .. .where the very physi- 
cal structure would be reverent and help to create an atmosphere of reverence 
....that the staff with whom he would work would be committed to a pastoral 
ministry, where each person for xfaom they have a measure of responsibility 
would be precious in their sight, even as that person is precious in God's 

He would also covet for himself that his people would be a congregation 
with a social consciousness;, that they would be aware of the fact that there 
are others to whom the precious Gospel of Jesus Christ must be made known — 
in word and in deed. 

Now if these are the things I would covet for you and for myself in our 
relationship together, I use them something as a rule of thumb, that if I should 
find myself in the strange situation of no longer being able to stand in the 

''Festival of Praise" (2) 

pulpit to preach and to shepherd a people, and yet find myself in a situation 
where I would want to affiliate with a congregation, and I went visiting one 
congregation after another until I could make the decision as to which would 
be my hhurch home, there is one thing that I would mentionothat would tilt 
the scales as far as my choice would be,..., wouldn*t be alone where the Word was preached, nor 
where the building was kept in good order and where the 
staff had a concern for people, and where there was a 

social consciousness 

...if there were three or four congregations that net ail of this criteria, 
the scales would be tilted in favor of the congregation that was made up of 
people who sang happily and heartily unto the Lord. For this.,, too, is the 
measure of the vitality of the congregation, if they sang happily and heartily 
unto the Lord. 

Turn to one page after another in the Book of Psalms, and again and again 
and again the Psalmist invites people - - "0 cone, let us sing unto the Lord; 
let us sing unto the Lord a new song. r * Tennyson said^'I do but sing because I 
must. 1 ' I'm not so sure that you can make people sing. I've never had a 
measure of enthusiasm for a song leader who would stand up and almost brow- 
beat us into singing - - I've never responded to that kind of a song leader. 
But I have responded to a song leader who, as he stood up, just by the dynamic 
of his personality, where I could respect the integrity of his soul and found 
him believable, he could make me want to sing. "I do but sing because I must n 
. . . Christians are people who sing.... and you know why, don't you? 

3ut quite parenthetically now, let me inject this thought. He said 
"Call me llr. Lucky*' ~ - that's what Bing Crosby, when people pressed him for 
the success of his life — he called it lucky. And in return he went his way 
singing. He admitted not so long ago that perhaps he'd never again have 

"Festival of Pra ise" (3) 

another hit, but he did say, as long as he could he'd go on singing, because 
helfelt that life was good to him, that the cookie crumbled, in his manner, 
favorably, and that gave him reason for singing. 

Bing Crosby didn't intend to be a preacher , and maybe his response 
didn't hold water with some theologians, because Christians don't sing be- 
cause they're lucky. Christians sing for these three reasons, if you don't 

-- ~ one, ye sing b&csaan w h«y something to stag about . Every single 
one of us knows himself to be the object of God's love, What is it 
that puts a song into a man's soul, if not on his lips, but the 
realization that he's taefng loved, that he's r'mportnnt to someone, 
that somebody cares. In years gone by, I smile when I think of that 
figure of sneech. it was the farmer's daughter — they discovered a 
change in her personality. . .she began to blossom. And the old ex- 
pression was. "Somebody's been paying attention to her." Christians 
are people who are being paid attention to by God. Cod loves us, He 
gave His Son to die for us, we have the hope of Heaven. And while we 
live we can find meaning in our years. Christians are people who sing 
because they have something to sing about. 

- - two. , . ...jjg. .Christians are people who sin g because they have someone 
t_Q. .whom., they can sing. We lift our hearts and voices in adoration to 
Almighty God. the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. We know not onlv 
what He is, but who He is. We have a close relationship with Kim, and 
when we sing we can't help but sing to Him, in adoration and in praise. 
Z .1 Sll^sgiang __ ar e people who sin g because they have those withjwhom 
thmf g^ g**l « and as they sing with one another they take heart and 
they know a measure of encouragement as they find themselves within a 
company of singers. A year ago today some of your fellow members of 
this parish winged their x*ay to South America as your Senior Pastor was 

"Festival of Praise (4) 

on special assignment to some of our missionaries in Chile and in Peru. 

Part of the assignment was to bring a measure of support to those repre- 
sentatives of Jesus Christ because theirs is a lonely lot and a difficult as- 
signment. We discovered that when our words would fail us, and when perhaps 
we were not being effective in the presentation of certain studies, on occa- 
sion I played the cassette that I took with we — a recording of last year's 
Festival of Praise in Saint Luke Church. And that did soiaething for those 
faltering spirits that we were unable to do ourselves when we ministered to 
them. When we hear the songs of fallow Christians we take courage. 

I have rsason to believe that this service is being recorded. Your voi- 
ces are becoming a natter of record, and in all likelihood a cassette will be 
sent to a woman who used to be a member of this parish, who still wants to be 
an associate, even though she lives half a continent away. She measures her 
life now day by day, and when she hears you singing she'll take heart. 

In Liberia, West Africa, Gene and June LeVan are our representatives for 
Jesus Christ. Gene is the pilot of our plane that's 30 indispensible there - - 
they'll get a recording and they'll take courage in their difficult assignment 
as they hear you sing. 

Christians are people who sing because sing they must. They have something 
to sing about, someone to whom to sing, someone with whom they can sing. I've 
lived long enough, whether fairly or otherwise I cannot say, but all other 
things being equal, I do judge people by the singing quality of their soul. 
Pastor David is not aware of -this — when he directs our summer camp for junior 
high age youngsters, that I don't have to ask him "What kind of a staff did you 
have — how did it go? — what do you think?" I have only to expose myself to 
a bunch of youngsters who have been there, and if when I'm in their company I 
can be close enough to find that I can hear them sing the songs that they sang 
at camp.... then I have reason to believe that it was a good experience. 

Today is the Festival of Praise in Saint Luke Church. Now it's time for 
us to sing ....... (Transcribed as recorded) 

Senaou - Pases?? Raymond Shaheea 

riafortaatioiajgunday {W ""<••■- %n 1077 

-.W - Wl . I ' ll .. . 1 .»M W, .M «>,H ; — w,.,.*^.^^.,^— -^ - TWI.1--T If TH-i, a I -1 M l» I ■ ■»■ III Ml HH .1 1 1, ■■■ ..., ^*" *" "* *L " ^ ^ ^ T) -6*-/ / / 

"A 1 

'A 2-fl& CQIIE F.?.OH_Gq&'' 

GRACE, 2-Iercy and Peace frora God .. (, 

oar Father and frosi His Son, Issue » J. \ ' 

l i Is Iial)L. gtfr Blessed Lord. Ama* p 

Allot? It to cross back and forth upon the horizon of your nind, a* this 
mtma continues to develop, these words frora tha first chapter of the Goapei 
according to John; 

"Thftre waft « m eej&t frott Goy!" 

Constantly yoi and I ttUftfe raiaind our selves that God's preferred instru- 
ment, as He saaks fcO work in and through this world, is alvyayti a imam being. 
God, who is all-pof'Tsrf ul , of course* tn«y MM fit to work through the earth- 
quake, fetal wind and the fire. Bus any study of history and any study of the 
Scriptures indicates so clearly that His preferred instrument is a huaan being. 

There are many Weye of appraising the Scriptures. It Is God's Word Co OS, 

ef course it is, ic'a God's truth. It's God at work is history, it 8 . 3 God at 

work through His Chosen People, It's God at work fehrenafe His Church, But m 

matter how you look at this Bible, there is always lo«ftd&g upon tha horizon the 

figure of a parson-, or a group Of people, Still a* of old Gad's preferred 

instrument is a lumen beings 

Xhe Writer of the lines was absolutely correct when ha said: 

"God has no hands but our hands, 
No feet bet our feet, 

No lips but our lips «, . . M 

When Cod waata to accomplish His pur,;. ;. be rescues for a human being. 

The perfect axdiapea of fehat, «sf Bourse, ii la as Christ;, When lie c&m to 
us, H© hus&lad Uineelf and took On the for* of a temm hmtn%. tad to that ead 
fee fcaeefted for a Mary». t »IiB reeohed for a Joseph* There was a nan — etsss from 

» .. history f 
but for our purpose this teaming I as is duty bound so reialnd you that not aU 

m God" (2) 

human beings serve Him faithfully* We csn. disappoint Him. .fine, even the Church 
which He cherishes can b&xme corrupt, And that's the sad truth with which x-ie 
deal today, because when we talk about reformation, when we talk about renewal, 
we talk about something that went wrong, that had to have a restorative touch. 

Bear with me: as I recite for you what might have been in this manner. 
In the name of Jesus Christ there was a solemn assembly. A stage had been erec- 
ted;, and on this stage stood a man, with the vestments of the Church adorning 
his body — with all the prestige and the honor and the glory of the Church he 
stood, among these people. But he did not preach -the Gospel* He came to them, 
so he said to them P as a representative of Jesus Christ and His Holy Church. 
But from our vantage-point we now call him a -tool of the Devil, because what 
he was doing was this: asking people for money and allowing than to believe 
that just because they ga^se the money, they could be guaranteed a seat in 

The scheme was sc diabolical, even though it was being offered in 
the name of the Church, that the coverage i-zas being increased , to the extent 
that I could buy a guarantee for a relative of mine, eves* though I had no as- 
surance that 'that relative of mine really wanted to go to KeavenS But because 
I would pay a price, I could be led to believe that I could gat him there 2 

That's a dbspter of the history of the Church' — that's an incident that 
occurred, among people who called themselv es the Bride of Christ. It did happen. 
Even the instruments that God may call forth, the people en whom He may rely, 
may fail Him. A realistic; reading of the Church is that it does and has be~c 
coma corrupt because God depends upon us — people such as you and me. 

that's one side of the story. She other side of the story, however, re- 
mains. ISnti that's exactly why we* re here today, because we celebrate the fact 
■that there were such people as the Jtefformers, who were able to have the Church 
renewed because they allowed es to hs used as instruments of God faith- 

22 ■'• 

fully s and with conviction. 

If human 'beiges can disappoint God, human beings can also please Mia and 
serve llim. Xhe true treasure of the Church is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, 
and aha?: treasure is entrusted infeo their hands. We are the earthen bessels, 
but it is possible for us to please and to serve God. 

You may not like this whan I tell you this, but the force of evil can 
invade the Church. Whii& Z am perfectly aware of the fact that Jesus Christ 
aaid to a iaaa naued Peter: "You are Patar. ami upon , -this rock I shall build 
my church and tha cra tes of hel l shall not prevail against it. ,! - ~ not because 
of Peter's steadfastness, but because the Church happsss to he the Church of 
Jasu© Christ and Jesus Christ will see Chat it tfill not; be destroyed, f?e may 
fail til_a, but Christ will not fail us. And again and aver so often lie reaches 
for someone whom He can use effectively as he was not able to use other peo- 
[■■ ■■■ 

Now the truth that neads tc grip your soul and mind en this day is this: 
m we find ourselves within the Church, the Fasr&ly of God, are wo Hi* obedient 
servants? or art. we unwittingly becoming the tools of the Devil? Again X 
must tali you that the Devil can invade the Church. In fact it's his happy 
hunting ground — - honestly, I do believe this! For here within the Church Is 
where the jf_r__z68 are to be found* lie can get almost anyone outside the Church 
vary ©sally, fat for those of us who follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ, 
to get some of us into his grip — that's where he knows a great measure of 
delight. Why should lie waste tine oa those he can gat easily? lie steals him- 
self for the battle that he has to wage against us, lie does it with a great 
deal of persistence. And again and .again throughout history of the Church he 
seems to have hm his moment, if not his hour. ....he seems to have had his 
''■'■■■ v--i -v- JX'ri 'xia .■ .- ,. ,;-\,i-f h:j : .;.- y:,\ ■;:; ; ? :■;";.:-.■. \. : ii ;>.;.:.,:, ..;':. >d.~-; ' twz -lis zmx-izy„ 

- 7 ■."• (jrQCJ 

Out aa over against that Jesus Christ says, "You are £&£ Church. 3; will not 
allow you to be destroyed." And to accomplish his purpose lie calls here asid 
there this person and that parson to bring the reformers* fire and to offer 
the restorative touch. 

Today we pay tribute to a »an named llartin Luther, who became a man of 
God and faithfully served Him. lie did not destroy the great Kins and Head of 
the Church. How how was this possible, and to ail practical purposes you and 
I Bust remember this - - Martin Luther rooted and grounded himself In the 
Scriptures. You may remember that great moment in church history* or the 
history of the world, if you please , whoa he stood shere and he was asked to 
take back, what he was saying . He was asked to change his mind t if. was sug- 
gested that perhaps it was oaiy a figment of his imagination. And it wasn't 
•imply German stubbornness that made him do it. It was something far greater 
than 'that. "liere I stand," he says, H I pon't change my mind!" (I have given 
you a reckless translation - - "You can't get ma to sake back what I've said, 
I am gripped, held captive, by the word of God! It is in and through the 
Scriptures that I say and think these things , sad if you can prove me wrong 
by the Scriptures, go ahead! But otherwise, her® I stand!" 

One of the thinga that I covet for this congregation is, as laany of jou 
may discover all over again, a greater appreciation for Biblical truth, And 
that's why I'a especially pleased to know that on Wednesday nights there's 
going to be this new emphasis on Bible study in mid-weak.. It. isn't enough to 
know that we come together on Sunday for study of the Scriptures — we should 
DO con stantly searching the Scriptures. 

How having said to you what J'vs said, about the Devil being at work with- 
in the church and allowing it to become corrupt, and how Jesus Christ continues 
to prevail ov&t and above the Devil as lie resehea for human beings to be His 
instruments - - every single ©s»e of us ought Co ask himself the question: 
How do I knew wh ether even as a msnibsr of the church. I should be a fc©ol of 


the Devil or on instrument .^_^ffi*a,,M^„_itoSligJLJ^g£l 

Front one of the Lsssoas that £r« Hesse read for us tills morning, 
J-?.sus Christ says, r, I£ you continue in my word - - "....and this Ha was saying 
to those who balieved in Ola. .... "then you will be say disciples." The grge 
i\sark of tits identity of Jesus Christ within the church is the person who 
believes? in Jesus Christ, who knows that his commitment is to Jesus Christ. 

That a why in Saint Luke Churah whenever a group of new members meets for 
the first time, I find myself in duty bound to say to them, as s«s of you 
jaay readily recall, "We're happy to greet you acre tonight in this Mew Mem- 
ber Group sariss, and to talk with you about a possible relationship with Shis 
congregation. But that's not our primary interest. Our primary interest is to 
talk with you about Jesus Christ. For the day when you bacon* a member of Saint 
Luke Lutheran Church, it* a a day when you commit yourself anew to Christ, with 
the understanding that that expression becomes related in a corporate way to 
this Family in God that beers the name of a particular congregation* 

Somebody one© came to John 'wesley and said, "Do you know that so-and-ao 
is leaving the Church sf Eaglaad aad is going to become a manner of another 
congregation?" John Wesley replied very curtly, and properly so B "A man can 
be saved in any church • . a nan ca& be darned in any church," Ha was saying 
that on good authority because it was Augustine, one of tit© greatest of the 
early Church Fathers,, who said something like this; ' ; Ths church has many on 
its roll whoa God does not have en 3.1is roll - - aad God has many on file rolls 
whom the church does not have on its roll." It* a a sobering thoughts ay friend. 
You may take a measure of pride and aatiaf action in knowing that you're a mem- 
ber of the Christian Church - - aad isay your number increase. But the thought 
remained Am I, ev«sn within the church, an instrument of Christ?.. ..or could I 

fce used by the Cavil to allow the Church of Jesus Christ to beconv--. corrupted? 
You and I must constantly ask ourselves that question, because as Martin Luther 

said, speaking of our disciplaship, "At best we of far Jesus Christ rotten wood 
out of which to carve, aad a lama horse to ride * * * s< 

ft ft & 

(Transcribed as recorded) 

Sermon - The Rev. Raymond Shaheen 

The Second Sunday In Advent December 4, 1977 


V' 1 

our Father and frost His Son, Jesus ftP' 

Christ, our Blessed Lord. Amen. |hr 


Since with God all time is as an instant 9 suppose now He gave you the 

privilege of an instant replay for what moment would you ask? Suppose 

God said to you, "I'll play hack for you now anything that was exceedingly 
wonderful that happened since the world was created" - - what moment would 
yea want recellad? 

— would you like to have God put in front of you right 
now the time He called Abraham to be the chosen leader of 
the Chosen People? That really was something, when God 
had an old man act in faith, to see a promise fulfilled. . . 
and when his wife laughed at the possibility of giving birth 

. ■:. ■.:• ■'.:■ - '■■ l'::r -."-:/:■ ?;/■:• . , 

Tell me, what would you like to have Instantly replayed? 

Since with God all time is as an instant, would you liks to have portrayed 

in front of you now God calling Moses to Mt. Sinai, and giving him the tablets, 

the Ten Commandments which have served us and serve us so well, which can never 

be ignored? 

Sail ma now that instant replay •— 

— would you choose tha time the angels sang, and heralded 
".. ■. ~r : '■ . :,.: c: J:v j:.- v:;~:';.~ ;..v' : 

— or is that the moment that you would like to have replayed •■ 

Jesus Christ coming &®&o the world? or Jesus Christ 
going out of the world? pay your money and you take your choice, maybe . Vbttt would you like to 


What may be your choice I don't knot*, but let me tell you mine. Inspired 

by today's Gospel lesson, the very mention of the man's name, surely I would 

want to choose this, at least today — the replay of the appearing on the 

scene of that eccentric — ■ in the jargon of today's youth, an oddball to be 

sure — « a am named John the Baptist., I'd like to have him played in front 

of us now. Hear the words of the text, she first verse of the Gospel which 

Mr. Eeder read for us today, recorded ia the third chapter of Matthew: 

"In those days came John the Baptist c preaching 
ia the wil derness , of , Judea, "Re pent ,, for the 
kingdom of heaven is at hand*. . . " 

John really was something else. Peppla really didn't know what to make 

of hia, they had never seen h£& kind. And wherever he went he put the fear 

of God into people's hearts. He really shook theta up. There was lightning 

in his eyes, there was thunder in his voice. l«e kept harping away on one word: 

"Repent I You're a bunch of sinners, that's what 

you are, and you'd better gat squared off with God 

for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand!" 

I don't know when I've pyaached to you a sermon from beginning to end in 

a twenty-minute period striking that note of repentance. I said to Winifred 

as I was finalizing the preparation of this sermon, Why is it these things 

that are so essential to what we believe, we shy avay sometimes from trying 

to interpret them in a way that people can easily understand? You know, it 

takes a bit of doing to talk about the fundamental doctrines of the Church. 

Really now. And even when John the Baptist casaa talking about repenting, he 

didn't bother to explain it. He simply struck the note, and did it repeatedly. 

During sheas Sunday mornings in Advent I am talking with you about the 

Key Words of Advent. Last Sunday morning, you may remember, the key word 

was "WATCH." Today the key word is "RBPENT." 

How let's begin in this manner, with somthlng you yourself may have said 


at one time of another, convincingly and repeatedly 30 - - "You just can't 
change human nature." You have more than one person who comes readily to 
mind as Exhibit A to prove your point. You are in a' position to recall all 
the efforts that wars made in one way or another to exert upon a particular 
person a positive and a constructive influence, and no matter what was dene, 
a llat a&d a thief that scrsca scv':i:"c : - >'o -'.;..-:.■. c ■.-:;. :■ ■ . ■ •.-■■; 
a leopard just doesn't change his spots. Mot that; you want it that way, but 
then Chat's the way you've known it to be time and again. Small wonder, then, 
that it's been said so often - - feuasaa nature Is human nature — you can't 

Saving said this, however,, let us now turn our thoughts to what I suggest 
to you is the most fascinating and the hottest aspect, if you please, of con- 
temporary Christianity — this "born-again" bit. Nothing on the current scene, 
religiously speaking, is evoking greater attention than this whole business 
of people having a change of heart,.,...* 

— - listen to the way the preface reads in a recently 
published best-seller: "Today being born again is big news . , " 
"«" 7T ! -'*$ rj .-;-.'- ; ■•: ■->.» hack in 1976* carried a feature story on 
"Bora-Agftia Faith" , . • 

— » political candidates give the subject as much attention as 
the latest economic statist ice or the energy' crisis.*.. 

— a former Black Panther, a radical of the 19'60'e, returns 
from exile and announces, "My life is turned 180 s — I have been 
born again" . . . 

"- a man who was deeply involved in one of the most publicized 
political scandals of our time — ha writes a best~sell<5r s 
explaining the change in his life as a result of being born again... 

— & Oa&lup Poll comes up with the astonishing conclusion that 

±a the Halted S Kates, mora than one-third of those who are 
old enough to vote have experienced bom-agaia religious 
conversion . • ." 

— in the face of all this, Dr* Billy Graham, who has a right 
to speak, wrote ft book entitled « "Hew To Be Bom Again." More 
than a million copies have been sold, This is what he says: 
"The expression: 'bosia again' is not a new tars invented by 
modern journalists to describe recent rallgious trends. The 
term 'born again'* is about 2,000 years eld. One dark night la 
the ancient city of Jerusalem Jesus turned to one of the best- 
known Intellects' of his time and said, 'X say to you, unless 
one Is born again he cannot see the Kingdom of God' ..." 
In those words Jesus told us both the necessity and the possibility of new 
birth, of spiritual transformation. Since that tins untold millions through- 
out the ages have attested to the reality and the power of God in their lives 
through being bom again. They have been changed S They have had a change of 
mind, a change of heart, a change of attitude. They have become different 

Whatever evidence we have to support the idea that human nature can be 
changed, we cling tenaciously to the contrary. Our Christian faith subscribes 
wholeheartedly to the concept that man not only can experience a change in 
heart, but that until he doss he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God. 

1 think I have to tell you that I don't think it's a good expression, 
this "bora-again Christian" thing. I don't think it's correct. For you can't 
be a Christian without being born again. Aad once you're born again, you be- 
come a Christian. It '3 really as simple as all that. 

Now let me tell you what I told you at the beginning I'd like very 

much to have John the Baptist loom on the borlxon again, because 1 think his 



squared off with Sod I - - allow a great and glorious change to take place in 
youx life!** And autil it does, you'll never see God as He really is. 

Cm inclined to think that for many of us* we've settled in too easily 
with this whole religions ssperience of ours. For some' of us, the Christian 
experience is touch as our political experience. We happen to be Republican 
bec a use that's the way we happen to be by way of our family relationship or 
the situation in which we found ourselves some people happen to be Demo- 
crats the esse way.,,. and sons people pride themselves in not registering with 
either party, because that's the way their father happened to be. 

Some people limp along with their religious experience, pretty much 
the same, year in and year out, without any pronounced change taking place. 
Which leads me to ask the question: Have you changed any lately? — in your 

thinking about God in your thinking about yourself? in your thinking 

about people with whom you must associate? That word repentance from the 
Greek means: "a ehang* of mind — a turning around". Now I have to be honest 
with you, I've wrestled with this quite a bit. I don't know what I ought to 
tell you this morning about this. Does one have a change in heart and a change 
in s&ud because he's dissatisfied with what he's experiencing, and says surely 
there must be something better and I'll start to look for it.... 

> one reaching the place where ha becomes so dissatisfied 

that he says, "Something's got to happen!" ..... 
... .or is it because he knows something is happening that makes him dissatisfied? 
la it the weight of his own sin, the weight of his own misery - - or is 

it She pull of Heaven, is it the goodness of God that triggers 

all of this? 
I'll tell you why I wrestle with this. Take that wonderful story that 
Jesus told, about the man who had two sons, and the one son was so restless he 
couldn't stand the old man any more, and he got fed up with what he was expert- 

~ (6) 

encing at home.... and so he says to himself, "I'm going to get sway from it -- 

it's getting to isei I can't stand it!" And so off he goes. Just because he 
happened to have a father who was wise enough to give him that measure of free- 
dom, and paid a price. She father paid a price - the son surely paid a price. 
But you remember how the story goes... there in that far country, after 
the life had become wasted, the blush of youth had faded from his cheeks, his 
sex Ufa was spent, he was out of a job, he had no money...... the Bible eays. 

"He came to himself and said, I mil go to my father." Bell now, does ho decide 
to go hose because he's xnn out of feds, run cu;: of health and run cut of 
frieuds? Or does he decide to go home because that eternal pull of where he 
rightfully belongs was always at work upon Ms soul? 

That's where I'd put my money, my friend. Says John the Baptist: "Re- 
pent I" But why repent? - - the Kingdom of God is at hand. God is coming toward 
us - God's never given up on us. God is always asking us to think in terms of 
something that's better. God wants to give us Heaven because we weren't meaut 
to go to Hell. That's how wonderful God is. That's why I wish John the Baptist 
were around, to strike that note again and again and again — it's cornel It's 
available! It can be ours! But w»»U never fully appreciate it until we have 
turned around and facad it, and desired it - - reach for it.... accept It. 

I am grateful for the fact that we belong to a church that sets aside 
these four weeks before Christmas as a time of getting ready to receive what God 
wants to give. And in that manner and in that mood I say to you: 

— are you fed up with the overpowering influence of 

hate in your life? - - there can be love, you know. 

— are you fed up with trying to go it on your own, to live 

your life independent of God? — ycu can be God- 
_ inspired, you know.... you can be God-directed, you 

•- - r ; ~ .- 


—- are you weary of inching coward Hsll? There could be 

a change, you to». » * .you could be facing Heavsa! 
I think that's what John the Baptist was trying to tell people: "It caxi b« 
ours - - - bat it won't be ours u».til you sake ready , you z\ixn around , 
Until you face God." This I rsost certainly believe. 


Se-srasoa ■» 'Pastor Raymond Shehaea 

The Thigd Sunday tm Advent . Beeesfoer 11,, 3.977 


GRACE * Mercy and Peace from God !) ' 

our Father, and from His Son . .fjXA 

Jesus Christ, our Blessed Lord. (i^ / 

This sermon* much to your surprise* perhaps * begins with a personal ad- 
mission. And here it is without further delay. 

Seldom,) if ©mitt have I been reluctant to preach a sermon on a given 
text. X cannot remember when I have ever gone to the sabred desk except with 
the driving impulse to say what I felt needed to be said. For this I am 
pro f oundly grateful . 

The dynamic ©i' such iapuise gave ma the needed comfort and courage which 
I dare say are essential for any approximation of effective preaching. I wish 
it ware so today, I stand before you as one not fully qualified to preach on 
the given text or ?:h«s theme assigned for today. 

Months ago «hen this schedule of preaching was being arranged; 1 made the 
decision that I would speak about some Key Words that belong to the Advent 
season,, inspired by the Lessons which were scheduled for these Sundays during 
Advent* The Epistle for today ? that letter written by Jesses, has the 7th 
verse of the 5th chapter reading in this manner: "Be p atient . . . " 

X am sot by nature a patient person. The truth of the natter is, X 
suffer greatly fro?i isjj&tie&ce. „,»«,* 

— X am impatient with myself. X have my moments 
when X recognise that God has given tm a aiaasur® of talent » 
sad X co not always make the most of what God has given me* 
end 1 become terribly annoyed when upon reflection 1 know 
that this is absolutely true. ...... 


— I have a short fuse, which means on occasion I 
become impatient with people* » »«..! become impatient with 
people who are lazy ...I doa s fc easily tolerate people who are 
dishonest* . . .1 become infuriated by people who ought to 
exercise a measure of responsibility which fch®y 9 re ssesiat to 
exercise, and they fail ethers miserably by not doing; what 
they o^ght to do, or perhaps very easily allowing other people 
to fill the gap and to suake up for their inadequacy.. • »* . .. ..I 
am' not by nature patient with such people . ,'•«•'. . 
if you'll bear with sas — and it takes a bit of doing oc, say part to 
tell you this — 1 have my moments when I'm not very patient /with God. There 
are times when 1 think God ought to act in & far speedier manner than He 
does, and I can't quite easily understand why Ha allows soiaa things to hap- 

When I turn through ths p&gas of my own life, I learn how again and again 
and again 1 have asked God to da soma one thing in particular, and He hasn't 
&o&& it* 1 believe that Hs should. And I knot? that He can. But He hasn't 
even to this day. Oh, I've learned to trust Hi© for His infinite wisdom, 
but, human as I aa s , I've become impatient with Him* 

X remember once in particular . . . she had the fees of sm. angel, and 
she already had beatific qualities. She was our office secretary is the parish 
that X first served. At forty years of age it was evident that &h& was going 
to become eventually iasjobilisGd by arthritis, and crippled as she was., she 
came day after day to that small office, bent over the typewriter, and in a 
most awkward way got the typing done. 

Impressed by liar spiritual sensitivity, impressed by the fact that there 
was no end to the $;ood that could come from this life if only she ware free 

^SSLg&*£3t£L (3) 

from such bondage, I suggested to her that we go to the Little Chopol of 
the Good Shepherd... That va» that asms for that quiet comer in God's 
House in Manaiab's Church in South ViUlmpert .....and I said to her , 

"Esther, I'« soiag to ask God to haal y01J „ I M suir€l He will." ^ d TO ' 

«* had our -men in th. Chapel oi the feod Shepherd. I prayed as earnestly 
m I knew how. ** ftS t thlak of l£ Mi ^ ^^ ^^ ^ j ^ ^ 

tating to God. She wasrs't healed. 

Physically shaking, her conditio, wowtenad - so ruuch so that »he had 
to be institutionalised. I reiser how Winifred and I want to me her in 
Bethphage Hianion * Wl , Nebraska.... and ehe S£ £d 9 "I can't think of an 
hour ®£ the .day when I'b ta* from pain, and l»« wracked by it by night/' 

M**y of you ase unaware of this, but she was a prayer priest, that's 
what aha wa.1 a, ^ ^ foot ^^ £his ehurehf bu£ . ^ w ^ ^ 

«.. She read Bint Luke Z&tfKHBBR earnestly, There wWt anything that we 
engaged iss but what she didn't make it a natter of prayer. 

Ml. myba in God's infinite wisdom He fi^rsd aha' could 8 «rv* as a 
better nwywr priest in the faca of bat af flicsion than if she were physi- 
cally S hoIe. I naked God to bgal her. Ha didn't dc lit on ay term. And 
I was irsry inpatient with His. 

I »i«h I could tall yen the name of the cOd-fnohioned novel in which the 
two characters W , bat I oan't. I only know that it was one of the two 
of then who, tried by Ufa's frustrations and failures, turned to the other 
and asked: 'What docs ona end fey doing when all the b-t is' taken sway from 

a person, wh®a life is growing triir? *1 of» n <.°.^ . . ■, 

y-wwang trxviai, stunc&d, and narrow; when the sun of 

one 5 ® happiness is sat?" 

*ha othar. thank God, p 3 :s^bly a ^cb older and wiser pa„on, replied; 
"After a ttes £ not at once - that would be asking too much of poor human 
nature - but after • tin.. E y dear, one ttghtn a candle called Patience, 

and guides one's footsteps by that 

t - (4) 

Have you mastered it yet, my friend? Perhaps the acid test of charac- 
ter is how aueh you f ve mastered the art of being patient., not 00 much with 
yourself, not so catch with other people. . ».« bat you've mastered the art of 
being patient with God. 

Shea 1 read again what happened is the days of the Old Testament — how 
the Children of Xsrael tried the patience of God just because they had basons 
impatient with E.a - - they' could never quite understand what Ee was up to , 
and why He always insisted on having Ms own way. Again and again they wanted 
to try a short-cut* but God remained firm in the decision; "You've got to 
get there round-about t by way of the wilderness , " And who among us hasn't 
experienced that sojourn in the wilderness, but all of the time we were try- 
ing to think of short-cuts* 

There is n© lesson more urgently needed today than the one. that teaches 
patience. Men in this modern age are everywhere eager to get results, and 
to get them at the greatest possible speed . . . 

— we fly through the air on wings..... 

-*• we cross tfee earth with swift wheels ..... 

— wa travel through the seven seas in record-breaking ships.... 

— we 're impatient with slow methods cf education* which only 
can yield substantial results..... 

— we insist on cramming the adolescent mind with only those 
facts which can be turned im mediately into practiea.", utility. 

— we're impatient' to make money quickly, and 1 suggest to you 
that half the sins of the money world with which you and I 
have to deal, such as profiteerings gambling, and reckless 
speculation, are directly attributable to our eagerness t© 
aacura quick financial results. .. . . . 

But hear se and hear me. wail as I say to you» nothing worthwhile, nothing 

"Be Patient" (5) 

that lasts and permanently enriches human life is done la a hurry. 

And that's why God, who deals in eternity, is forever asking us to 
learn, to be patient. And when He gives u3 an obstacle course, the obstacle 
course is ours to run because in His judgment," the big thing' about as is the 
kind of person we become a s we live out the days of our years. And the acid 
test of life is in the kind of character that you produce, and patience is 
the way of learning to trust God. And as we become patient we develop the 
kind of character that's acceptable in His sight. 

I remember seeing the old codger.... he was a precious black man 2 1 
presume of plantation stock. He sat alongside of ma on that bench in one 
of those plantation gardens in Alabama a number of years ago. And as you 
might presume, I engaged him in conversation. And I'm numbered among those 
who honestly believe that if you talk with a person long enough you even~ 
— tually get around to the subject of God. And we did. And ha gave me his 

own precious philosophy.. ... out of his years he said to me,' "I^ve learned 
to trust His. It hasn't always been easy. But I can tell you this, brother 
He has His own schedule. He won't always esse whan you call on Him. But 
He's always ©n time, and He's never 1st©!" I plead with you to believe that 
about God s in your life. 

I say this to you as strongly as I can because I've reached the point 
where, when I assess Judas Iscariot, I think that was the besetting sin of 
Judas Iscariot - - not that he carried the money, X don't buy that one. 
But I think Judas Iscariot: did what he did because he became impatient with 
Jesus Christ. He couldn't wait for Jesus Christ to accomplish the way Jesus 
Christ knew the thing had to be accomplished. And so he tried to force the 
hand of Jesus Christ, to jut Him into a position where He would have te 
declare then and there His Kingdom, to call down from Heaven the mighty 
host that would put the Eom&ia Empire to the march. 


But that wasn't God's plea. And you can never force the hand of God. 
And you oaa*t make God jump through the hoops just because you think Es 
should • 

X plead with you a® earnestly as X can to be patient with Sod* Because 
in the final, honestly now, that's the thing we want most from God i 
And if you sad 1 could only remember it, since we want God to deal patiently 
with us, siaybe we'll learn to deal patiently with other people > 

I must read it for you now. It's Coventry Patmore's lines „ . . 


My little son, who looked frost, thoughtful eyes 

And moved and spoke in quiet grown-up wise, 

Having soy law the seventh eliae disobeyed * 

I struck him, and dismissed 

With hard words and unkissed, 

— ■ His mother, who was patient, beiag dead. 

Then, fearing lest his grief should hindsr sleep, 

I visited his bed. 

But fouad him slumbering deep, 

With darkened eyelids, and their lashes yet 

From his lata sobbing wet. 

And, X, with moan 

Kissing sway his tears, left others of ay own; 

For, on a table drawn beside his head, 

He had put within his reach , 

A box of counters and a red-veined stone, 

A piece of glass abraded by the beach. 

And sis: or seven shells 

A bottle with blue bells, 

And two French copper eoi&s, ranged there 

with careful art, 
To comfort his sad heart. 

So when that night I prayed 
To God, 1 wept, sad saids 
Ah, when at last I lie with 

tranced breath. 
Sot vexing Thee in death, 
And Thou remembrest of what toys 
He made our joys, 
How weakly understood 

Then 9 fatherly not less 

Than X whom Thou hast mou&ded 

from the clay, 
Thou wilt leave Thy wrath, and say, 
"I will be sorry for their 
childishness . . . " 
(Transcribed as re- 
corded; „ e ,and with that thought I turn tsy back and walk away fr- 

this sacrsd desk . * . . 



.- .•.:- raator Raymond Shane 
The F our th Sunday in Advent __ December 18. 1977 


God \ l i + 

A )"t - rCTl 



If *i£ e 3 a warning that you'll be needing, let me give it to you now, 
for I frankly admit that what you're going to hear in these introductory state- 
ments to this sermon you will not find in Scripture. Oh, there's a text for 
the sermon , of courses thara is, end the text, as has been our custom during 
this Advent- tide, is based upon one of the Lessons for the Bay. Today it's 
the 23rd verse of the 1st chapter of Matthew: 

"They iihall call his nam e EmaaEuel, which being 
• inte rpre ted, is God with us." 

Ho^'^jese prefatory remarks that you'll not find in Scripture, 
Your' re beiag called upon now to exercise a sanctified imagination, mid 
- X-a going to suggest to you that you call this imaginary character Joshua bea 
: Israel. , He was the prosperous farmer who lived on the edge of town which was 
called Nazareth. Ha had progressed so well that he decided to build for hire- 
self, in his latter years, a very resplendent house. And he made up his mind 
that he would have the finest craftsmanship in that house that would be pos- 
sible. And that's why he was led to a carpenter's shop in Nasareth that was 
v.'- ■ : ::: . ■ .:; ■ ; . ' ■■■■■■;■., 

And when he came to Joseph he said, "Your reputation has preceded you 
and Ive'seen some of your work. Now with what money that I can afford to spend 
on this house, one of the finest investments that I have yet to make in my life, 
I'd like to have somn of your quality workmanship. I want you to design and to 
make for me a very special threshold ..... I want you to design and make for me 
the staircase that will lead on the outside of the house to the roof-tot? where 


we will recline on warts, summer nights. •....<." 

" . . . » and than, Joseph, I have ©na sore thing 1 

want you to make for me — a very special table. We won't 

have much furniture, but what we have I want to be very fine..*... 
Joseph took the order and was pleased, and assured him that he would give 
hist the best possible workmanship. 

They arranged upon a schedule of delivery. The time catte to delivaj- 
the first item, the material for the doorway. Joshua ben Israel remarked to 
his wife: "JS? lands, that man seams happy! I can hear him whistling as he 
headed our way even before he came to the place where we were standing.. .and 
I detected in his eyes a light, and I dare say a glow in his soul that wasn't 
there when I went to his carpenter's shop, Something happened to that man!" 
....Joshua ben Israel said to his wife. 

How what Joshua ben Israel did not know, and what Joseph did not tell* 
was the fact that he had become engaged. Now tradition has it that Joseph 
was a nan up in years , vp in years to the extant, perhaps, he was 20 - 25 
years older thai the girl he was going to marry. It made him happy, of 
course, to know that the prospect of marriage could be his, aad that the 
marriage would mean, as it was meant to mean,, a family..... and that among 
the children that she would bear him would be a son or two to earry os bis 

- - no wonder Joshua ben Israel saw In Joseph something 
he had not seen before. For even though the engagement 
had bean arranged for them, neither the bride nor the 
groom was displeased * 

The time came for the second item to be delivered, and the third » 
- And this time there was a difference in the man named Joseph. And 


Joshua bea Israel was somewhat troubled. He hardly spoke, and when fee was 
paid ha took his sonsy and barely said 'shank you. 5 He had a far-away look 
in his eyas, the look that comes into a man's face when his soul has sees 
something indescribable - - and if he were to recount it to somebody, the 

-rsci'i ;:be rauld ass? 1c swuld say s,t'f-: tL^vil^evd^Ilo. Kg -::.. . :.;. :'. .;'.-.=:; sat 

10 2." '.1< ■.-.:- - 

....and Joshua ben Israel had reason to believe that when 
hs looked at the quality of the workmanship, that it 
was the workmanship of a man who seemed to have been 
p ceseeupied while he was doing the work, . , . . « 
He didn't say anything about it, nor did Joshua ban Israel probe. He had too 
high a regard for Joseph. And Joseph went away. 

Joshua ben Israel was absolutely right - - Joseph was a different man. 
What he didn't tell Joshua ben Israel was this: that the girl to whom he 
» — had been engaged three months earlier had been away for three months now, 
visiting her cousin Elizabeth, and when she came back she told Joseph "I'm 
■.<■■":-.:.--.■■;> ■■'-':' ■ - '.-• •- ;■■:". :a ' !.v, ; .M. s: 

Joseph, a good and honorable man, found it extremely difficult to cope 
with this. His ismediate reaction would have been your reaction, and natu- 
rally so. It was:a*t his child. 

Being a just and honorable man, he thought he'd do the decent thing by 
her and make some kind of an arrangement where she could be put aside. How 
they'd do that he wasn't quite certain, but at least he wouldn't censor her, 
end he wouldn't try to find excuses. But they'd both get out of it as honor- 
ably as they could - - - honestly now, you can read it that way I You heard 
the bold way that it was put in the Gospel lesson that Col. Gleraans read for 

Then while Joseph was trying to figure this thing out in his raind> God 


speaks to him — just as Ha had spokes to Mary — ard God gives him to under- 
stand that this, is tsrue 8 and the truth is such that it shatters the imagina- 
tion of a man' s mind. 

The writer of the record, Matthew by nasse, when he reflects upon this, 
isn't satisfied to say the babf will be called Jesus. But he also says, 
. > his Ksmamsai,, Khich means cfed with us.", that's why Joseph walked away as lie did from Joshua be 
Israel - - he was wrestling with" this idea that God was going to esse — God 
was go±ng to be very near to them — that God was going to use them as instru- 
ments in His hsEd* It takes a bit of doing to get used to the idea that God 
could do something that doesn't make sense to us. 

I " always takes & bit of doing for us to accept the fact that God's 
wisdom is greater than ours. It always takes a bit of doing on our part to 
finally accept the fact that God will do sosething. Strange, isn't it ~ we'n 
^, the ones who are always asking God to do something, and Joseph was numbered 

among those who in Ms day kept. asking Gods "Why don't you rand the heavens!" 
— as the prophet had cried out — "and visit your earth - - why don't you 
come as Esekiel prophesied,' that 'Behold, I, even I,' says the Lord, will eoise 
s-3 my people* . , . " Joseph was numbered assong those who thought in those 
terms, and t© believe that on® day God would come. ' And now it takes a bifc of 
doing on his part to accept the fact that that's exactly what God had chosen 
to doS So Joshua ben Israel found on his hands a man named Joseph with a 
look in his eye, the look of a man who had experienced something that's ab- 
solutely indescribable, and once he were to relate it to another man, that 
/" '■-■■■'' ■■'■ '■■■'■■ ':■: -'i ?X '.-.ri' :.!:"," --.'A'.... 

Wisely the church includes in its calendar, it seems to me, these four 
Sundays in Advent, to get us ready for the very thought of Christmas itself, 
because Christmas is God's idea! It takes & bit of doing on our part to gee 

accuetomsd to eh© idea that God hisaelf will corns, to us, and be near us, 

ad dwell with us Identify with us. 

0dd 9 isn't it — odd indeed, swat any man is' willing to accept the ides 
of a God removed from this world, or a God detached from His world. You know 
What, don't you? - - you' and X really don't have laueh trouble with the God-ef- 
Abraham and the Ged-of-Xsaac and the God-of- Jacob.' We can read the Old' Testa- 
meat — that was the God who was, the God who acted then and there. We can 
accept that. But for a God 'to become one of us! For a God — and please allow 
me to use the expression, crass as it may seem — for a Sod to get messed op 
with us! How else can you explain that identification which was so eenplate ' 
that we laid hands upon that God, spit in His face* and killed Kim? It takes 
a bit of doing to adjust to' an' idea Hiss that — a God who would come to ss, 

But the God in whom we believe as the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ la 
the God of love, and love is always reaching cut for its own. Love will always 
w complete its rendevous with those whom it loves. And so God comes to us. And 
what God &nkB from us in return' is the willingness to believe sad to respond, 
And as he accepts us as we are,' He asks In tun* that we accept Him as He la, 
a God who stoops to our level.' For that's the only kind of a God who can save as 

Tell me, now ~ what is the miracle-of-miraeltse? Please don't begin and 
end by simply saying: the miracle is thai fact of God Hisself . Putting it Shst 
way just isn't enough. The miraele-of-miyaelas' lies' in the kind of God that we 
know Him to be: He is God-comer- to-us — aed that's really something! It is ever 
so mush more than a 'Sod-Iar-away or a God-detached-f rom-His-world : no satter how 
greet, good or majestic He may be in His absenteeism.' It 'takes a bit-of-doing 
for God to get so close to us as to get 'messed up* with us. But then that's 
the kind of a God that we have ... and that's why we lava Him. 

£ * a 
(This sermon transcribed as recorded) 


raott - Pastor Raymond Shaaeen 

atmaa Eve - 8:00 p.m. December 2 4, 1977 


GRACE, Mercy and Peace from God 

our Father and from Ills Son, i] 

Jesus Christ, our Blessed Lord. Amen . 

God isn't given touch to shouting, but I presume if one ware to think of God 
as shouting, the word that fie might shout laore often than any other word could 
be "Surprise!" For Christmas, I suggest to you tonight, is God's shouting to the 
worlds "Surprise! Surprise!" For Christmas really is one surprise after another. 

That's the way it was then, and I dare say that's the way it may be for you 
tonight, because when you go to sleep in all likelihood you may be thinking about 

people that you want to surprise tomorrow morning when they reach for 

-> resents under the tree. And isn't that one reason that you wrap them the 
way you do? — not just to make thoa attractive, but that you might keep that ele- 
ment of surprise until, the last wrapping has been taken away. When you think of 
that first Christmas, let me tell you again, it's really as the company of the 
surprised. For no matter which one you may MM, in all likelihood you'll find 
a surprised look on that person's face. 

Begin with Mary, if you will. .... ......imagine how surprised she was! — when 

God put His finger upon her and said, "Mary, of all the people on the face 
of the earth, you're the one! You will cradle in your arms my Beloved Son! 
You will sing Him to sleep at night.... you will bathe Him.,.. you will feed 

Hiiu...e«you will guida Hi?:. ,.,,you will be as Mv. anas, you will love Him 
for Me. Mary, you're the one!" Surprised, of course, and as long as 
fc there will be a Christendom, whenever they sing the song of Mary, it s 
the song of a woman surprised by great joy..*. 
lake Joseph....... what a surprised look he carried on his face. He knew fee 


loved Mary. But he never knew how touch that love was meant to be till 

God revealed to him the responsibility that he was to shoulder for 

one day there would be standing by his side that olive-skinned, dark- 
haired, dark-eyed youngster, standing ankle-deep in shavings, watching 
Joseph in the carpenter's shop..*.. learning from him so many precious 
things. Joseph, you have a surprised look on your face, don't you? 
You are the one= Of all the people on the face of the earth none can 
fulfill your role except you! Who — me?. „ . . , -.presumably that's the way 

■ v ',v: rph. ":,:.- ;;:■ '. :■ : . .. , , , 

Christmas is the Oonpaay-of -the- surprised. . ... I 

Shepherds. ...... rough and rugged men, who seldom if ever, because of thair 

job, got to church. Who thought of them as those to whom holy things 
would be revealed? And yet there in the field, one night, they not only 
saw an angel J. but they heard a bunch of angels sing. Surprise! — that's 
right. God was shouting surprise in their very faces —"you are the oses! 
you're meant to hear the angels sing!" 
Wise men..... learned, astute, sophisticated. They leave their books, they 

leave their ivory towers, they take a couple years of their lives, and 
they wander. ..and wander, guided by an ir reels table star. And then they 
end up in a dirty stable, with a crying baby! God shouts "Surprise!" — 
"This is the way it ends!" 

Think of Christmas *.nd all who are involved, it's the Compaa&j-of-the-eurprised, 

Z •'.■-■,v,l :.v:ru .-,<„:• 

Zvzalr fey vii\: ::; :~2r; - - - :>.-:'"'■: r-..:-". ■■■•.: .. ay.? '"::.:..': •.'.;,.• .'"■:'■■ ■■■." i^scP. 
iMr^i (.::■■ IvJ.s "■;/.,- ■••■- ":";v-.-- ■ ••: '. -y '■'■'.' ','L •■■- :v v ■':•;' : '. '.:.■.■ •:":: v:; : v'l 
Is it a couple of foreigners, lately arrived in Jerusalem, who tell mg 
trs: : : -->:'■■■; Lz :?i :.:=,; • : \-:. '::■? :-■:;. '• ^^' ;*.i?>f ;* " ^z-rr.t.vv.-, ■■■ -}o:J :. -m:y 
of shouting surprise in the face of a wicked king Herod. 

ouM you believe me when I tali you that that inn-keeper got a surprised 
look on his face altar a while. The word was chosen carefully — "after a 

while" I'm willing to believe that he knew nothing at all about what was 

happening in the stable. He was too busy making a quick dollar that night. And 

when he catered to his trade, aa had many a patron who stayed too long with the 
cn.-3 and would spin an idle tale...... and as far as some poor people stopping by 

ioor? — he'd seen many a poor person in his day, and he and his kind would 
say, "You see one poor man, you've seen them all!" So chances are the inn-keeper 
knew nothing about vhtit was happening that night. But after a while be got the 
surprised look..... ami I dare say, only after he died. For this is one of the 

elements of Judgment •• - - on the other side of Death, it could be that the trauma- 
traumas is to have all of our life played back in front of us, and then to see 
aa it was! — not as we thought it to be, but the reality of it all ..... and 

then the inn-keeper for the first time gets a surprised look on his face to realise 
it *as happening there within reach! — and he didn't know it. lie missed his chance. 
. . .Who was it who said, "Hell is the truth, found out too late" , . . 
God perhaps seldom shouts, buC if Ha does, I'm willing to believe the voxd 
that cobm luiokest to his lips again and again is "Surprise!" Surprise! Surprise 1" 
GnA* 9 |Wm dstling mrpdMSi Small wonder, we don't know His mind, we can't 
match His wisdom, and whatever He sees fit to do may be far beyond our ken, our 

!:•;?.:.. v.v;-;;-,g, -:i: nv.o -' ' -'■ ■■ - 

There's a test for this brief meditation tonight didn't read it for you 
at the ««7 beginning, honestly I didn't, and I'll tell ycu why. You might have 

— ^^,. Let me read it for you now, the 14th verse of the 1st chapter of the Gospel 
according to John: "And the word became flesh and dwelt among_us. . . " 

It's not your favorite Christmas text, I know it isn't. You'd much rather 

~b.e text that touches upon sageis, and their singing.... about wise 
-£».„... about the magi, and the gifts of gold, frankincense and 
rrh. You '4 much rather h&va r«e deal with a text that tells about Mary and 
Joseph, and the Babe lying is & tcanger - - these we can romanticise so easily , 
honestly we can. But X suggest tonight with all the strength X can command, 
these are the incidentals of Christmas. Thas--*, and X say it advisedly- ar<3 the 
trappin gs of Christmas. They're not the real stuff. 

Who was it who *:old ae about the parents of their pride and joy who chose 
very carefully what '-.hay thought was a gift that he would like, only to discover 
that when he got it «sut of the box, he spent all of his time playing with the 
box! He wiis fascinated by it. X warn you, say friends, don't bacons too fasci- 
^a- - td by a star, about angels and their singing, about wise men and their trek — 
;eae are the incidentals. John is right when he. c«nes to the very core of the 

natter and he says "The word became flesh and dwelt among us" this is the 

meaning of Christo&sl — thig t is God's great surprises "X njyaelf will come to 
;;'■?;-•- ,.::■'. 7.' : XI c,:::'-:-:\. •'.•■■ >, ".;■. ' ■. ...::=. '■■'■:■ ': c. •,. ; - ■'■• sk-::-::.... /'" 

....-a free find reckless translation of that sublime text is: 

t: • > « and Cod became a human being - - and God became like 

.... ~ ... •■ 

Surprise f isn't it? To think that God would stoop to our level J It's much easier 
to think of & God hiuh and exalted, majestic and glorious. But to think of a God 
who would cose and traffick in this world and get 'messed up 9 with it! 
surprised us that night by doing it that way. Because we couldn't possibly asder- 
eteed that that's she ocly way it could be! For God wanted us C understand that 
n_ "^„ v ■ it surprise pacings (and X say it with sh<3 utmost of r e v e re nce ) — la fcbet 
surprise package which was Jesus Christ, He shows us what man wan ri^aat; to be. 
Gaza is a wieked world, of course It is. But itrs a world, fxao. ;/•=;:; v ; < vvlut si 



view, that wasn't meant to go to Hell. From God's point of view, we weren't meant 
to be the C©sspany~of~Satan. From God's point of view we were meant to be a com- 
pany of angels. And so to prove the point God surprises us by becoming one of us 
and showing us how it can be done. He takes on human form. He becomes Love incar- 

Why is a man truthful? Mot because he's In love with truth, but because he's 
mat a person who was tr ithful. 

Ihy does a person : aspect love? Because he's either been the recipient of 
love, or he's been related to someone who is pure love. 

So God, who doesnt delight in dealing with abstracts, deals in flesh and 
b'ood, and gives us Exfcibit A, and says, "Let me surprise you, and I'll show you 

'•■<-. -.~ - 'md so He gave us Jesus Ck^zsz - - turned Kim loose in 

wicked world. The world has never beac the saass since. ImA that's why to 
the day you and I die wj' 11 say "Love is stronger than let* - - and Life is 

«• vsat b«& buau vafi 1QSX I 

I thank God that I ve never allowed myself to get to the place where I'm 
not on the verge of beicg surprised by something that <kj&*e about to do. And 
that's why I keep myself sensitive to the way God might see fit to surprise soaa 
sf us here. And that's wisy as I conclude this sermon I want to tell you about 
one of God's noblemsa wio was a member of this parish, known to few of you, how- 
ever. He used to sit, am Sinwaechter, where you're sitting, about the third 
seat, fourth seat from the f:;oat. He was 90 years of age. I used to ©ay to 
aim, "Arnold Peter Jorgeaeen! - and he'd say, "Himself, in person!" And 
that's exactly what i» was, every bit that God meant him to be, with the stamp 
o* "?K2 divine clearly evidenced. 

low listen to this. He kept himself busy, even when he reached the eunsee 
slops of life. Ha was an accountant, and downtown he went to a certain restaurant 

■za. " ■■Kd-1 .';-.:.: - ■•■-.; .,-; '■ '--■ : •" "c . ' .. ' .:" ... .. .;;., . >."; 

at<*. lunch with him. ....and he did that again and again aad again. It went from 

ask to a maiath, and so on. And one day Chat nan didn't show up. He confided 
in ma, end he said, "1 never knew the sum's name* hut X enjoyed talking with his. 
and pacing attention tc him, and he paid attention to me." But then that d&y 
cane when he didn't show up. And Arnold Peter Jorgensen found himself with that 
strange assignment* looking for that nan whose name he didn't know. But as God 
would guide a seen who's nobly intent ioned, he found out the nan's name. Then he 
also found out that the man had died in his room, and they'd taken his body m&j 
to the city morgue. 

Arnold Pet©? Jorgensen went to the morgue aad identified that body, and then 
he also foaad out that the relatives in another state refused to claim that body. 
Arnold Peter Jorgensen made arrangements with the local undertaker. He purchased 

lot out of his ovm money in a cemetery. . .he arranged for a preacher to come 
and say a few words, and he gave him a decent €&,:[/:. '.-.:::■■.,-.. ...,„ 

Surprises I - - you didn't think that kind of thing happened in this wicked 
world any more, did you? You didn't think that kind of, thing could 
happen in this impersonal life which is the metropolitan area? 
Surprise! God is still alive! God is 3till at work. And because He's 
alive, our world will be studd&d with surprises. It is possible 
to he God-like, and Jesus Christ proves the point. 
'" , . , and the word became flesh • • • " Surprise! Ha lived right hers! 

•this I most certainly believe. 


■ ;■..:■: : v : ■-:,■■ --■ 'I ■'. ■. ? ■; ; ■--;-.; ^