Fr. Dave’s Homily for June 10th Proper 5

Pentecost #3…Proper #5B

Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church(June 9th&10th, 2018)

Title: The Unforgivable Sin…

Text: Mark 3:2-35

Truly I tell you, people will be forgiven for their sins and whatever blasphemies they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit can never be forgiven, but is guilty of an eternal sin…

With these chilling words Jesus reminds those who have ears to hear that there is a sin which is so grievous…so heinous…so offensive to God that it is unpardonable…unforgivable in this age or in the age to come.  And that sin is the sin of blasphemy against God… the Holy Spirit.

Now in order to appreciate the full weight of what Jesus is saying to us in today’s Gospel, it is essential that we understand exactly what Blasphemy Against the Holy Spiritis. Blasphemy is a technical term used in the Bible.  It means to dishonor or revile the name/being or work of God by our words or by our actions. Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is the willful and determined opposition to the work of God, the Holy Spirit. Jesus was accused of blasphemy by the Jewish religious establishment when he claimed to have the power and the authority to forgive sins.  Stephen (the first Christian martyr) was stoned to death for having committed “blasphemy against Moses and God”. And, in the context of our Gospel for today, it must be considered blasphemy to look into the face of Jesus (the son of the living God) and say, “this man is an agent and an instrument of the Evil One…the Devil…the Prince of Demons”…

So, with that as background, I want to say one thing about the unpardonable…the unforgivable sin.…and what I would like to say can best be expressed in the form of a simple question: have you ever worried or wondered if you have committed the unforgivable…unpardonable sin…have you ever worried that, at some moment in your life you may have (either consciously or unconsciously) blasphemed against the Holy Spirit?”. Let me suggest to you a simple test:

+ If you can stand on top of a high mountain on a cool, crisp October afternoon and see 100 miles in every direction and witness the beauty…the magesty…the splendor of creation and not be convinced that there is a God and that God is good.

+ If you can listen to the Soweto Gospel Choir singing “amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me…I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see, or hear our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry preach about the love and compassion and amazing grace of God (as I was privileged to do at the funeral of Bishop George Councell last week) and not have a chill run up and down your spine.

+ If you can look at a crucifix or walk the Stations of the Cross, or come to the altar to receive the real presence of the risen Christ in the bread and wine of the Holy

Pentecost #3…Proper #5B

Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church(June 9th&10th, 2018)

Title: The Unforgivable Sin…

Text: Mark 3:2-35

Truly I tell you, people will be forgiven for their sins and whatever blasphemies they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit can never be forgiven, but is guilty of an eternal sin…

With these chilling words Jesus reminds those who have ears to hear that there is a sin which is so grievous…so heinous…so offensive to God that it is unpardonable…unforgivable in this age or in the age to come.  And that sin is the sin of blasphemy against God… the Holy Spirit.

Now in order to appreciate the full weight of what Jesus is saying to us in today’s Gospel, it is essential that we understand exactly what Blasphemy Against the Holy Spiritis. Blasphemy is a technical term used in the Bible.  It means to dishonor or revile the name/being or work of God by our words or by our actions. Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is the willful and determined opposition to the work of God, the Holy Spirit. Jesus was accused of blasphemy by the Jewish religious establishment when he claimed to have the power and the authority to forgive sins.  Stephen (the first Christian martyr) was stoned to death for having committed “blasphemy against Moses and God”. And, in the context of our Gospel for today, it must be considered blasphemy to look into the face of Jesus (the son of the living God) and say, “this man is an agent and an instrument of the Evil One…the Devil…the Prince of Demons”…

So, with that as background, I want to say one thing about the unpardonable…the unforgivable sin.…and what I would like to say can best be expressed in the form of a simple question: have you ever worried or wondered if you have committed the unforgivable…unpardonable sin…have you ever worried that, at some moment in your life you may have (either consciously or unconsciously) blasphemed against the Holy Spirit?”. Let me suggest to you a simple test:

+ If you can stand on top of a high mountain on a cool, crisp October afternoon and see 100 miles in every direction and witness the beauty…the magesty…the splendor of creation and not be convinced that there is a God and that God is good.

+ If you can listen to the Soweto Gospel Choir singing “amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me…I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see, or hear our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry preach about the love and compassion and amazing grace of God (as I was privileged to do at the funeral of Bishop George Councell last week) and not have a chill run up and down your spine.

+ If you can look at a crucifix or walk the Stations of the Cross, or come to the altar to receive the real presence of the risen Christ in the bread and wine of the Holy

Eucharist , or if you can witness the Baptism of a precious child of God and see the grace of God poured out, and remember that at the font,  the “seed of Christian faith was planted deep in your heart…and the promise of forgiveness and eternal life was spoken over you and not be choked and absolutely overcome with a profound sense of gratitude…If you can do all of these things and feel nothing, then, I have to tell you that you are in danger…grave danger of grieving the Holy Spirit …danger of committing the unpardonable/unforgivable sin.

But here is the surprising truth imbedded in Jesus’ word … if your worried about having committed the unpardonable sin…YOU HAVEN’T COMMITTED THE UNPARDONABLE SIN!!  Let me say that again: if your worried about having committed the unpardonable sin…YOU HAVEN’T COMMITTED THE UNPARDONABLE SIN!!  That’s right…worry about having committed the unpardonable sin is convincing evidence that God, the Holy Spirit is still active…still working in your heart and in your life!!  My friends, the great Good News that we celebrate this morning…the great Good News imbedded in this Gospel story about the unforgivable sin is that today is the day of salvation…today…right Now…in this sacred moment, through the words of the Gospel (and, possibly, even through the words of this sinful preacher) that God the Holy Spirit is calling…tenderly, but earnestly/urgently calling…inviting you to a deeper, more satisfying relationship with God. Respond to that invitation…embrace that call and I promise you will experience the greatest joy…the greatest peace…the greatest freedom that a person can know and experience in this life…and that is the joy /peace/freedom of a life lived in friendship with Jesus and in the communion and fellowship of the Body of Christ…the Corpus Christi…the Church of Jesus Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of us all…

 

Amen…

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.