9/3/06, P-13-B

The Implanted Word
James 1: 17-21

17Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. 18In fulfillment of his own purpose he gave us birth by the word of truth, so that we would become a kind of first fruits of his creatures. 19You must understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20for your anger does not produce God’s righteousness. 21Therefore rid yourselves of all sordidness and rank growth of wickedness, and welcome with meekness the implanted word that has the power to save your souls. (James 1: 17-21, NRSV)

oday we celebrate Holy Communion. I think it a wonderful thing that we Methodists emphasize the need to come forward and kneel in meekness as an expression of submission. We are acknowledging our need for God’s Grace or, as our text says, “The Implanted Word, which God has placed in us as a part of our eternal soul.

Kneeling puts us in the posture of acknowledging our need for help. It is great for kids to see their parents kneeling in a position of contrition. Our church kids get to see their “seemingly invincible” parents acknowledging that they need God’s Help in so many things, but one of the main needs that parents have is that super human wisdom to be able to answer all of the kid’s questions.

We parent out of weakness and not strength. We are not given magical, or spiritual, parenting skills along with childbirth. Indeed, nothing humbles us faster than the realization that we are suddenly entrusted with total responsibility and the information that we have read in books has flown out the window.

However, by the time our kids are in school or visiting back home from college, we feel like we have done a good job, and our young adults pretty much agree.

Child rearing knowledge is in part, a gift from God. Uneducated and isolated parents all around the earth do a pretty good job of child rearing. There are some differences in customs and cultural practices, but amazingly parents everywhere somehow do about the same stuff. Do you suppose that this basic sameness gives us a glimpse into God’s Implanted Word in souls everywhere?

“17Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”

Certainly, we all feel a spiritual implant in our souls that makes us want to know the God who stands behind His implantation.

It’s kind of like having a computer chip in our souls, hearts, and heads that “gives us a longing for God.”  He is called by many names but the basic awareness of the implantation of His Word is remarkably similar. There are some aberrations and distortions of the idea of God, but there are more things that are the same.

This makes the job of communicating the Christian Gospel simpler because human hearts are pre-programmed to get it. There are even families and individuals living along Mt. Paran Road who are waiting for some nice person to come along and share with them the Good News of Salvation through Jesus Christ. Their hearts are open and hungry.

Friends of ours were visiting their medical doctor last week. The wife noticed that the doctor seemed emotionally drained and extremely tired. When she made mention of his unusual demeanor, he just burst into tears. As it happened he was in a terrible situation with his son near death with a congenital birth defect. Here he was a great physician but faced with a problem that he could not make go away. So, the patient asked the doctor, “Would you allow me to pray for you right now?” He whispered, “Yes, please do!”

You recall the words from one of our children’s choruses, “Everybody ought to know, Everybody ought to know, Everybody ought to know, who Jesus is.”

Perhaps you are here this morning and you too want to know who Jesus is; or, we might say that you want to put a name on the God who has implanted a desire to know, and to make known to others who Jesus is.

Every soul is “pre set” by God to desire to experience the fullness of His Grace, whenever we discover who that has been talking to our souls for so long.

And right here today, as we kneel to receive the elements of Holy Communion we will each receive a conversation with The Implanted Word of God.

But, we must listen. Some refuse to hear the sweet small voice of the Spirit. Let’s not turn Him away for He always has some good things to say.

a sermon synopsis by C. Robert Allred, Th.D., Pastor
9/3/06, P-13-B