Bishop's Message

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Bishop's Message

Synod Sunday Service May 13, 2018

John 15:9-17

As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete. “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.

May my words honour you this day.
May my actions give glory to you this day.
And may my words and my actions reveal your love to the world
And may my words and my actions reveal my love to you and to those you have given me to serve.
Amen

The Theme for this Synod is Love in all things. This was chosen long before I knew what the readings for today was. I will accept it as divine providence. It could not have been better.

Love is without a doubt the most powerful force in the Universe. And God’s love is the most powerful of all. This morning I want to share with you what that love means in the life of a Christian and how that love is lived out in the life of those of us who make up the Diocese of Yukon.

What does it mean to love? If we look at the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross as the supreme example of God’s love, what do we learn?

  1. Love is a verb not a noun. It is an action to be lived in the world.
  2. Love put the needs and concerns of others before one’s own even a great cost to self.
  3. Love does not demand to be returned. It is one sided. God did not love us because we loved him, or we were good enough, or we earn it. He loved us simply because de chose to.

Remember these 3 points as they are the foundation for the rest of the message.

Our Theme is “Love in all Things”. If we have fulfilled this statement then our love for God, and our love for the world should be seen in our actions.

Jesus says “Abide in my Love” What does this mean? Jesus says “Abide in my love”. Why? He tells us: “So that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete”. So many do not experience the real you of Christ in our life because we do not “abide in Christ”.

So how do we abide in Christ?

The gospel passage shows us the way. “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.

There is a direct connection between obedience to the Word of God, that is obedience to Christ, and abiding in Christ’s love so that your joy may be full. Knowing the joy of Christ in our life is dependant on our obedience to Christ.

How do we know if we are obeying the word of Christ? Verse 12 says “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”

Love In all things. In our words and in our actions we are to love as Christ loved us. Over the next couple of years you may get tired of me asking this question. How do your words or how do your actions reveal the love of Christ? How do they show our love?

It sounds like an circular problem. We love by obeying Christ, and we obey Christ by loving others. It is not really circular because it is in the obeying and loving that we grow and become the kind of people God wants us to be, and in doing so we begin to experience the fullness of joy the passage speaks of.

So in all our words,
in all our actions,
in all our relationships,
in all our disagreements,
in all our acts of discipline
we should reveal love as Christ loved us.

in all our acts of Synod,
in all our acts in the church,
in all our acts in our families,
we should reveal love as Christ loved us.

So in all things we need to ask;

  1. ‘Have I put the concerns, needs and best interest of the others first over my own?’
  2. ‘Am I prepared to bare the cost of this act?’
  3. ‘Am I prepared to give without expecting to receive something in return?’

It is my prayer that we as a Diocesan family move forward together in love. I will be sending a pastoral letter to all parishes showing the direction the Synod has call for. The success of the directions will be dependent on whether we as a family and as individuals are prepare to act in love as Christ love us.

Come let us walk together in love and know the joy of Christ in our life and know it in its fullness. Amen