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The Rev. William Klock: Sermon for the Fourth Sunday after Trinity (Romans 8:18-23; Luke 6:36-42)

July 24, 2011

From Fr. Bill Klock of Living Word REC in British Columbia we have a good Sermon for the Fourth Sunday after Trinity that is all about mercy.  This includes both the mercy shown us by God, and the mercy we show others because He has shown us mercy and we wish to imitate Him.  Fr. Bill tells us:

We can have confidence in the words of St. Paul in our Epistle: “I consider that the suffering of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”  Our Old Testament lesson from Lamentations reminds us that God is looking out for us no matter how bad things look to us: “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness.  “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”

This is a lesson we need to hear.  It’s a lesson that exhorts us to live as kingdom people—people living in grace and living in mercy.  Who here doesn’t have things going on in life that are hard to deal with?  Today the Epistle assures us as it gives us that reminder of our situation: the host camped around us, the misery of the world, the sufferings of our time, the futility of so much that goes on around us, and the inward groaning of the redeemed as we wait for deliverance from it all.  But the point of St. Paul’s words is that all this misery and difficulty are temporary things, in fact, it’s all part of God’s mercy as he works all things for our good.  Again, we come back to God’s love.  Last week’s lessons showed us how God’s love manifests itself as grace and this week we see how it manifests itself as mercy.  All these trials are a part of God’s plan, as he mercifully prepares us to be his redeemed children.  Our Gospel lesson takes it a step further.  As we hear St. Paul describing God’s mercy, we also hear Jesus’ words calling us to imitate our Father and to show mercy to others.  God has been merciful to us and has prepared amazing things for our benefit.  We need to take him as our model and Jesus gives us examples in the areas of judging, condemning and forgiving.  The loving mercy of our Father shown to us should be the motive and the guide of our mercy in our relationships with others.

If we are of the True Vine, we will bear fruit like Him – and mercy is one of those fruits.

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