Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost: Proper 16

Track 1: The Glory of the Lord 

1 Kings 8:[1, 6, 10-11], 22-30, 41-43
Psalm 84
Ephesians 6:10-20
John 6:56-69

Today we read about Solomon dedicating the temple he constructed to God. From 1 Kings:

Solomon assembled the elders of Israel and all the heads of the tribes, the leaders of the ancestral houses of the Israelites, before King Solomon in Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the covenant of the Lord out of the city of David, which is Zion. Then the priests brought the ark of the covenant of the Lord to its place, in the inner sanctuary of the house, in the most holy place, underneath the wings of the cherubim. And when the priests came out of the holy place, a cloud filled the house of the Lord, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord.   (1 Kings 8:1, 6, 10-11)

And reading from 2 Chronicles:

It was the duty of the trumpeters and singers to make themselves heard in unison in praise and thanksgiving to the Lord, and when the song was raised, with trumpets and cymbals and other musical instruments, in praise to the Lord,

“For he is good,
    for his steadfast love endures forever,”

the house, the house of the Lord, was filled with a cloud, 14 so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord filled the house of God.   (2 Chronicles 5:13-14)

You know when the weight of glory has filled the house of God when nobody can remain standing. The Azusa Street Revival, beginning in the spring of 1906, largely spawned the worldwide Pentecostal movement. People who attended has a taste of God’s glory. Many could only move by crawling on their hands and knees as they experienced the weight of the glory cloud.

Solomon administered under the law of Moses when he came under the weight and  power of God. The Apostle compared this glory with an even greater glory under the Gospel of Jesus Christ:

Now if the ministry of death, chiseled in letters on stone tablets, came in glory so that the people of Israel could not gaze at Moses’ face because of the glory of his face, a glory now set aside, how much more will the ministry of the Spirit come in glory? For if there was glory in the ministry of condemnation, much more does the ministry of justification abound in glory! Indeed, what once had glory has lost its glory because of the greater glory; for if what was set aside came through glory, much more has the permanent come in glory!   (2 Corinthians 3:7-11)

The Prophet Joel wrote of this permanent glory:

Then afterward
    I will pour out my spirit on all flesh;
your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
    your old men shall dream dreams,
    and your young men shall see visions.
Even on the male and female slaves,
    in those days, I will pour out my spirit.

I will show portents in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes.   (Joel 2:28-31)

That day is fast approaching. What will it be like? Will we experience this glory? Yes, God is going to pour it out on all flesh. Will we be prepared for it? Will our churches be prepared for it?

That is the question. It depends under whether or not Christ is our head. Many Christians attend churches where the headship of Christ is not honored. The Gospel has been watered down. For what reason?

When Jesus was teaching in the synagogue at Capernaum he said:

 “Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live forever.”   (John 6:56-69)

He teaching was misunderstood by many. We read:

Because of this many of his disciples turned back and no longer went about with him. So Jesus asked the twelve, “Do you also wish to go away?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.”   (John 6:56-69)

Reading from the Book of Hebrews:

We do see Jesus, who for a little while was made lower[g] than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God[h] he might taste death for everyone.

It was fitting that God,[i] for whom and through whom all things exist, in bringing many children to glory, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through sufferings.   (Hebrews 2:9-10)

We must follow Jesus. He alone is the Lord of G;Glory. Seeker churches will not do. Churches who do not recognize the presence of the Lord in Communion service will not do. Those who rule out supernatural miracles and healings will not be prepared for the glory. Nominal Christianity will not prepare one for the glory. Will we say like Peter:“Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God?”

 

Track 2: Suggestions

Joshua 24:1-2a,14-18
Psalm 34:15-22
Ephesians 6:10-20
John 6:56-69

The Old Testament and Gospel readings speak of choices. Joshua challenged the tribes of Israel: “Choose this day who you will serve.” Then the people answered, “Far be it from us that we should forsake the Lord to serve other gods.” But they did what they said they would not do.

In the Gospel, after Jesu taught about Holy Communion, many of his disciples left him. Serving God requires us to follow his commandments and his teachings. What are some of the things that may stand in way?

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Filed under Eucharist, Gospel, homily, Jesus, lectionary, liturgical preaching, liturgy, Pentecost, preaching, Revised Common Lectionary, sermon, sermon development, Year B

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