Sermon for 1st Sunday in Lent, 03-06-2022
Psalm 91:1-2, 9-16; Deuteronomy 26:1-11; Romans 10:8-13; Luke 4:1-13
Today’s sermon is in honor of Fr. Sid Gervais, who was my priest, my mentor, and dear friend in Christ Jesus, who in his sleep last night, entered the kingdom of heaven. Sid, I love you like a brother and know you will be at the gate to welcome me some day and I look forward to the reunion. May God hold you in His arms and smile upon you.
Surely this entire psalm praises God as Savior. In saving us God responds to our love for Him. God provides protection for troubled people. This prayer functioned as a blessing by a Temple priest for worshipers seeking God’s help. Such intercession provides comfort and hope. The divine response solidifies the worshiper’s faith.
God honors those whom He delivers and He delivers those who love Him and know Him personally. As long as life was thought to be limited by death, then God’s greatest act of mercy was understood to be the granting of long life under His protection. In Jesus Christ we have learned that life is His greatest gift and that it goes on beyond the grave.
Prayer of the Day:
Oh precious Father, you now have taken our brother in Christ, Sidney Gervais, into the kingdom and though our hearts and minds are sad, we rejoice in his own resurrection from the grave and is with you into eternity. Therefore, we honor his life, his memory, and his family grieving at this time, and celebrate his entry into the Kingdom of Heaven. This we pray in love for him and his extended family. In Jesus name we pray this. Amen.
Israel’s worship centered on reciting her history of salvation with God. This is want Deuteronomy’s verse’s proclaim today. The precise words are not exactly the same, but the Israelites knew it was crucial to their deliverance by God, their salvation by God, and ultimately their response to His relationship. It is proven by our stewardship, our tithing to Him in response to our producing of crops and agricultural success; it was apart of our worship relationship with Him; in God’s help for us in many situations; for our revelation history together (the good and bad times together); and ultimately in our ability to know you through our prayers to you or intercessory ones for others, that our relationships with you become stronger. In relation to Fr. Sid, you touched his heart that he quite often became an example of one who would not look away at someone, rather he seek to make a friend, be a friend, and bring that friend to Christ, which we are all supposed to do in our own walks.
Finally we come to Jesus’ temptation by Satan, immediately following His baptism, he leaves the are and goes straight into the desert, when He already know what was to take place. The temptations reveals the humanity of Jesus and His faithfulness to the messianic mission God gave him. As Israel suffered forty years of temptation and disobedience in the wilderness. The primary point of temptation was the meaning of Jesus’ messiahship and lordship. Satan sought to keep Jesus from being a suffering Messiah who would die in love and obedience for God’s people. Satan suggested He be a “bread Messiah” or s special Messiah, gaining followers through displaying miraculous powers, or a compromising Messiah joining fores with the evil one to accomplish heavenly purposes. Jesus refused each time to follow Satan’s ways to accomplish God’s will. Knowledge and use of Scripture under the Holy Spirit’s power helped Jesus defeat Satan. Thus Jesus knew temptations in difficult to resist as those any human ever faces. He experienced the depth of human moral agony. His obedience and successfully resistance to temptation were the first steps to the cross. He chose to do the Father’s will, the Father’s way.
Beloved, the man I knew as Sid Gervais, was just such a man. He was not perfect as Jesus was, but when given a situation, he would take to prayer and then do the Father’s will, as the Father would want it done. Fr. Sid, I and many others will miss you, your yellow legal pad, but mostly your leadership as a Christian first and a priest second. We thank you for leading us to serve Christ along with you. Amen.