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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Burdens are Lifted at Calvary

This is the outline of a sermon I gave recently at the Parkrose Nursing Home.


                                                Burdens are Lifted at Calvary or
“he ain’t heavy,he’s my brother.”

On one of our recent babysitting days we had our 2 grandsons staying with us.
Lucas our almost 4 year old decided he could lift his 9 month old brother and proceeded to do so.
He struggled a bit and I had to help out.
Jaxon thought it was great but might not have been so happy if he was dropped.
It was a classic scenario I thought to try and bring in the concept which is my subject today with Lucas by telling him about the song. “He aint heavy ,he’s my brother.” (I won’t attempt to sing it for you.)
(I’ve been educating Lucas or teaching him some pop songs, mainly the Rock Island Line which he has declared that one day “grandad you and I will sing that on the stage together”.)
So today I want to talk about bearing each other’s burdens and the fact that burdens are lifted at calvary.

A friend and distant relative of ours is Graham Long who is the pastor of the wayside chapel in Kings’ Cross in Sydney.
He sends a weekly email newsletter.
I would just like to read a couple of lines from a recent newsletter.

“There is always a stream of people visiting here to check us out and they're always welcome. Just before Christmas, a man from a world-wide, well-known church agency was clearly impressed at the range of things that we do. He saw people, struggling with long-term mental health issues, working in the roof garden; he saw a small group constructing a mosaic tile artwork on the roof. He saw some people learning to cook with the herbs that they'd grown on our roof; he saw a discussion group for Aboriginal people taking place. He saw a busy cafe with people of all shapes and sizes mixing together as they ate. He saw a play group in action in our community hall. He saw young people in our youth area cooking their own breakfast. He saw street people being organised for showers and a change of clothes. As he was just about to leave, he came to me and said something like, "I love all these things that you're doing but what about God?" I was a bit taken back by the question because I guess I was wondering which part of what we do gave an impression that it wasn't about God. I've thought a lot since then about what I wished I'd said in that moment. I've come to realise that I've learned more about God in this place than I ever learned from any eminent scholar.”

I was discussing Graham’s newsletter  with a pastor friend who reminded me  that as Christians we should be about lifting people’s burdens not necessarily giving them wonderful theological sermons and teachings.
Listen to Jesus talking to the Pharisees.

Luke 11:46
Jesus replied, “And you experts in the law, woe to you, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them.

In a place like Parkrose, many of us, I say us because my turn may come sooner than I expect, bring many burdens of life with us.

We also have to make an enormous adjustment quite often from having our own place and being independent to being mostly dependent on others and having far less freedom than before.

For some though this place may seem like heaven compared to where they have been previously.


So here in Parkrose, how can we lift each other by helping to carry burdens.

For those who are able bodied and sharp of mind there is opportunity of course to call on and visit those who are not so mobile and may have few visitors.

The idea of pastoral visitation is  something that should not be expected to be only done by the Village chaplains.

You may want to share things of Faith that are uplifting but we should be careful not to expect a person to cope with deep theological insights if they are not capable of it .

By coming to this service and by encouraging others to come and worship together we may be doing wonderful things for someone.

We can be touched by the Lord Jesus and His presence here is guaranteed when we meet in His name.

Encouraging each other to take part in activities organised by the village can be very important not necessariy for the nature of the activity but because it is an opportunity for fellowship and a cuppa.

Remember when the Australian remedy for many things was a cup of tea, a bex, and a lie down?

The cuppa and lie down still appeals to me as I get older.

If we are not very mobile but able to speak fairly well and engage in conversation then we can lift burdens  by visiting.

We can stimulate conversation with each other by genuinely asking each ther about hobbies, family and life time experiences and achievements.

Many get so much out of someone just listening to them and taking the time to show their worth.

We can also create a happier environment with staff and residents by controlling our tongues

James Chapter 3:9

 “9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.”

In the early days of our marriage and being Christian, if Lesley was giving me some verbal harassment I would just say “James 3!” which always went down like a lead balloon

Folks we know nothing of the Love of Jesus if we continually find fault or gossip about people. By ceasing this,by controlling our tongues, we make a much nicer place for us all to live in.

Well burdens are lifted at Calvary ie. If we claim Jesus as Lord and Saviour by what he did on the cross he can not only set us free from all of life’s pain but as we allow Him to live His life through us in the service of others, that is also the outpouring of the Cross.

Lets resolve to continue to make love our aim, Christian Love , our aim and to share it with all.

 ps  Revisit the post "If" on this blog which is all about Calvary Love.Its in the index on the righthand side.



















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