Bishop Talton’s Easter 5 sermon – Tulare

As with Bishop Lamb’s sermon,  Bp Talton’s sermon is posted here for those who were not able to be in attendance.
This is the transcript of the 10 am service sermon. He makes reference to the children’s sermon, and later to the “sheet”, which was a large roll of paper left on the nave floor from the children’s sermon. It was described as the journey of life to the kids. The basic questions were, “Where do we want to be for ever?” The answer being “heaven”, and that was written with a marker on one end. The next, “Where does the journey start?”, the answer being “With me”, and so the word “You” was written on the other end. The next, “How do we get there?”, the answer being, “Through Jesus”. And a gateway was drawn in the middle of the sheet on the floor, with the name “Jesus” on it. The money quote was from the Gospel of John, as Jesus says, “I am the Way, and the Truth and the Life.”
Hopefully that should explain the bishop’s references.

Bishop Chet Talton at St. John’s, Tulare, May 22nd, 2011, Morning Prayer

As we gather on this day to sing praises to God, which we are doing,
even dancing our praises to God — I saw you dancing! [the bishop pointing to a parishioner toward the back of the church, laughter]
dancing our praises to God, who is the Lord of all might. (yes)
we gather this morning in all of our places in this diocese, this church of Jesus Christ,
to celebrate who we are, as we remember who we are.
This, the , uh, children’s sermon, and – uh – the …gospel reading for today, the singing, and the dancing, is the sermon that I have. And so I could sit. (laughter)
But let us pray that God will speak God’s word in some way through these words that I will say.

1:27 My wife asked me a question not long ago, she asked it of, about my mother, who has been… dead for many years, and who she did not know. She wanted to know, though, how do my children resemble my mother?
And I tried to think of my mother and think of my children. The truth is that my four children look differently from one another, and none of them bears a striking resemblance to my mother in any way, so that if you were to see her and see them you would say this is the grandmother of these grandchildren.
But then I thought more deeply about how each of my children might carry characteristics which are those that are like my mother in some way.
2:43 I have a daughter who has a wonderful sense of humor, and she tells stories just as my mother did.
I have another daugther who speaks slowly and she pauses as she speaks just as my mother did. (ed: and just as Bp Talton did in this sermon)
And then there is another of our children, who doesn’t…its not that she looks so much like my mother, but its when she looks at you in a certain way, or when you look at her from the side, when I do, then I see my mother, as she looked.

We do carry characteristics of our families. We might have the Johnson nose, there might be a Johnson nose, or a Smith chin. In my family its these ears… that I have passed on, I’m sorry to say, to grandsons and granddaughters.
And so we do, we do share similar characteristics with those in our families, to whom we are close, emotional, social, physical, intellectual, spiritual characteristics.

4:40 Now, Jesus is gathered in the upper room with his disciples and they are sharing a last time together. They have the Passover meal together and …Jesus ..knowledgable of what will soon befall him, however the disciples are not. They don’t know that Jesus is soon to be arrested. They don’t know at this moment that they will deny him, although Jesus will soon tell them that….that they will betray him, that they will run away when he is arrested. Yet, Jesus takes a towel, ties it around his waist and moves among his disciples and washes their feet.
And then he says to them, “Do you know what I have done for you?” He says, “You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If then your Lord and teacher has washed your feet, I have given you an example, for what you are to do also. What I have done for you, you should do for one another.” And then he says, “A new commandment I give to you, Love one another. By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

7:11 This is the family characteristic. This group has become a family. WE are a family, the family of Jesus. Jesus says, “This is how people will know you, by this family characteristic. Love one another. In this way people will know that you belong to me.”
Then Jesus says to his disciples, knowing what is to befall him, that he is going away, and that where he is going, they cannot follow. But then he says, “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house there is much room. If it were not so would I have told you, that as I go away I will prepare a place for you, a dwelling place.
The disciples would get this understanding..

8:50 In Jesus’ time when a young couple married, they didn’t leave home and go away the way young people do today and set up housekeeping on their own someplace. They would, they would live in the father’s house and they would build a room onto the father’s house,
and they would dwell in that room in the father’s house, so in the father’s house there were many rooms, there was room for everyone.
And so when Jesus says, “In my Father’s house there are many rooms there is a place for everyone. I am going away,
but I am going to make a way for you so that where I am there you may be, you may be also”.

There was, there would be a place for all,,,, in the face of all this trouble that Jesus is faciing. He tells his disciples now, let not your hearts be troubled.
For I am going to make a place for you in my father’s house.
It will be a dwelling place with room for all

10:19 How might this family of God as we gather here this morning knowning what trouble we face …trouble with our futures, health, survival even, some, for some decision made long ago that has caused trouble and struggle in life since that decision was made. … Trouble, concern with children, with spousal relationships, with the powers and principalities of this world which struggle against the children of God.
What trouble do you face?
Jesus and some of his followers — remember this?– in scriptures when they were being tossed by a violent sea, Jesus was sleeping, then Jesus awakens, Jesus says to them “Do not be afraid.”

12:15 The most often repeated command in the scriptures, I believe, aside from the commandments, is that: “Do not be afraid” “Let not your hearts be troubled.” “Do not fear.”
Jesus tells his disciples in this violent storm, “Do not be afraid”, and then Jesus calms the waters.
Do you remember when Mary discovers that she is with child in the scriptures and she is greatly troubled because of this… and then an angel comes to her and says to her, “Mary do not be afraid. You have found favor with God.”
Remember when Jesus was born in the shelter where he was laid, and the shepherds were gathered around, the scriptures says, and it says that the glory of the Lord shone upon them, and they were very afraid. And it says that an angel came and said to them, “Do not be afraid. For behold I bring you good news of great joy. For to you is born this day a savior, who is Christ the Lord. Do not be afraid.”

14:00 So here, Jesus says to his disciples, “Let not your hearts be troubled.” This is Jesus’ word to his discples, in the presence of the trouble that he was in, knowing that his followers would be plagued with trouble and struggle as they attempted to spread the good news of Jesus Christ. Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Let not your hearts be troubled.”
He said, “I am going ahead of you and I will make a place for you, and where I am you might come to that place on that sheet.
How do we get there? We get there through Jesus who is the way, who is the opening, who is the means of salvation, and Jesus says moreover,
“I do not leave you alone. I will come with you.
I am the way, and I am the means.”

15:38 So, …….. what are we to do?
Share the family characteristic: Love one another. In that way, they will know that you belong to me. And moreover, in the course of this life, Do not be afraid.
“Trust in God”, Jesus said. “Trust also in me In my father’s house there is much room. And I go to make a place for you.”
Not even death holds fear for us, for we know that we go to God.

Let not your hearts be troubled.
In my father’s house there are many places. I go to make a place for you.

So we gather in great joy to give thanks and to celebrate what God has done for us.
Through Jesus Christ.
In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.


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