Sermon delivered – May 27, 2018, Hall Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church Sparta, Georgia
Posted By Request
This is Memorial Day Weekend a time set aside to honor those who died in defense of the United States of America.
Across the country flags are placed on graves of our war dead
Across the country people visit memorials erected to honor those who die.
And across the county the flag our nation flies at half-staff in
recognition and tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice
The defense department reports more that 1.1 million Americans have been killed in all of the wars that we have fought.
We would like to believe that these men and women died in defense of the freedoms we cherish so dearly as Americans. Freedoms enshrined in the Delectation of Independence and the Constitution.
Freedoms expanded and clarified by the Bill of Rights, The Emancipation Proclamation, The 19th Amendment (Extending the right to vote to women) The Civil Rights Act of 1964, The Voting Rights Act of 1965, The Americans With Disabilities Act, and many more laws, court decisions and executive orders all designed to make us a more perfect union.
However, the freedoms those 1.1 million Americans died for are more than just amendments, laws, court decisions and executive orders.
The American freedoms that the 1.1 million Americans died for are the everyday values that we practice that make our union truly a beloved society where brotherhood is crowned from sea to shining sea.
-Values where we find the proper balance between the right to bear arms and the rights of our citizens not to killed in a wave of gun violence caused by conditions of poverty, disperse, lawlessness and mental illness. Fueled by a hyper sensitive National Rifle Association who have extorted elected officials in to protecting at all cost the companies that make guns. At the expense of common sense laws that would give some protection to innocent children in our schools from being slaughtered by guns designed for war instead of a peaceful society.
- Values where we understand that access to affordable healthcare is a right for all. And that it cost our country far too much in money, suffering and shorten lives when we refused to find solutions that provide greater health equality.
-Values where we understand that honoring American is not demanding that its citizens stand when the national anthem is played – but rather protecting the free speech rights of those who chose to protest by not standing.
That honoring America is not constructing a new Jim Crow system of second class life for the estimated 12.2 million people who have been in the county illegally, but rather it is finding a just and speedy path to citizenship along with an humane revision of immigration laws that reflect the realities of a 21st century world without borders, while understanding that the United States of American still holds a special place for as a land of shelter, hope and progress.
While this weekend is Memorial Day in the United States, this Sunday in the life of the Christian Church is Called Trinity Sunday.
Trinity Sunday celebrates the Christian doctrine of what we call the Trinity, the three Persons of God:
God the Father,
God the Son, and
God the Holy Spirit
Although the word “trinity” does not appear in Scripture. The concept of:
God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit Is taught in the Bible.
After being raised from the dead Jesus spent forty days or more on the earth meeting with and teaching the disciples.
Acts chapter 1 verse 3 (New Living Translation) tells us:
3 During the forty days after Jesus suffered and died, Jesus appeared to the apostles from time to time, and he proved to them in many ways that he was actually alive. And he talked to them about the Kingdom of God.
And after spending time with the disciples Jesus then ascended into heaven: Matthew chapter 28: verse 18 through 20 not only tells the story of his return to haven but introduces us to the trinity God the Father
God the Son and God the Holy Spirt
Listen to what Jesus said to the disciples before returning to heaven.
18 And Jesus came to the disciples the and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.
Here is the point
Soldiers die – in fact this weekend we are commentating the 1.1 million Americans who died. With flags on graves, flags flying at half-staff and erecting memorials and monuments.
Jesus died – in a painful and cruel death on the cross.
– But there is no flag on his grave
– The flags on Good Friday are not at half-staff in honor of his passing
– There are no memorials and monuments erected to his memory.
Because Jesus is alive, Jesus has ascended into heaven and Jesus sits on the right hand of God.
And while Jesus is in heaven Jesus the Father and Jesus the Son of God has promise to return: Listen to Jesus’s promise in John chapter 14 verse 1-4
“Don’t be troubled. You trust God, now trust in me. There are many rooms in my Father’s home, and I am going to prepare a place for you. If this were not so, I would tell you plainly. When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.” (NLT, John 14:1-4)
As we wait for the return of the Father and the Son – Jesus has made another promise – the promise of leaving us with the holy spirit as a comforter and a teacher.
Jesus said in John Chapter 14 verses 15-17 15 “If you love me, obey my commandments
. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. 17 He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth.
God the father
God the son
And God the Holy Spirt
And it is the truth of the trinity that correct America and make the county worthy of the deaths of 1.1 million of its citizens that we think about on this Memorial Day weekend.
It is the truth of the trinity that will make this nation rise up and live out the true meaning of it creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all of God’s people are created and are to be treated equally.
- So with the truth of the trinity we will stand up the NRA and crazies and thugs to stop the senseless Gun violence.
- So with the truth of the trinity we will bring 12 million of our brothers and sisters living in this county working, worshiping, and paying taxes out of the dark and into the light of full US citizenship – while proving a pathway for others to enter this country legally
- So with the truth of the trinity we will provide affordable high quality health care for everyone.
This week in Georgia the impossible happened – A Black woman Stacy Abrams is now an election away from become Governor.
Her nomination should remind all of us that with the trinity
God the father
God the son
And God the holy sprit
Nothing is impossible!
Let us pray together –