What would you ask for in Jesus name?
What does your name mean?
Many times, there is a story behind it!
Has anyone ever told you a story about your name?
If not, you should look up what it means for fun!
My full name is Nathaniel
Nathan = He Gives, el = god,
Therefore Nathaniel = God gives, or gift of God
Which basically means - I was an accident! ;)
Jesus is the Greek form of a Hebrew name “Yeshua”
means: “God Saves”
There is a story to that one as well:
It means that Jesus came to save us from our own problems
And the problems of the world
Jesus came to show us God’s love is more powerful than all else
Jesus brings God’s mercy and forgiveness directly to us
And a direct relationship with God
If we are open and accept
Salvation and healing!
What would you do if someone was acting in your name
Or just said they were
But they were doing things that you would never want to happen?!
So, when we do something, or ask for something in Jesus’ name
What do you think that means?
What would you ask for in Jesus name?
It is an awesome responsibility!
To act in Jesus’ name…
to ask God for something in Jesus’ name
Yet Jesus says “do not let your hearts be troubled”
Reminds me of the song:
Don’t worry, be happy” by Bobby McFerrin
“Everyone has troubles,
but when you worry, you make it double”
Jesus makes it simple for us:
Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life
If we want to know what God wants from us
We just have to look at Jesus Christ
We learn about who God (The Father) is through Jesus
Anything we ask for (in his name) will be given to us
What does it mean to ask for something
in someone’s name?
In a legal sense,
it means that anything we do is credited to that person
Not to us
If we buy a house “in someone’s name”
that house belongs to them
Therefore, we do not do good things to earn salvation
The good deeds we do are credited to Jesus,
in his name
Anything we do must be following the guidelines
that Jesus has stipulated to us
Based on the Law of Love and Mercy
We do works that Jesus has assigned us,
and in his spirit of love and grace
But it all belongs to him at the end of the day
So, we can stop acting like they are ours
We can stop acting like any talent we have,
or anything that we do to help others
is anything but God’s…
We are clearly in the creation story of Genesis
“Stewards” of creation, and not the owners
But we just as clearly have that all mixed up
We constantly consider ourselves to be the owners
Which has led to a whole lot of problems over the ages
No different here and now!
And equally so when Jesus walked the streets of Jerusalem
What were their hearts going to be troubled by?
Because Jesus was going to be killed by the leadership
Betrayed and unjustly killed
I have been reading a compilation of writings of MLKJR
There is a whole section about nonviolence
as a form of resistance against injustice
Following in the footsteps of Jesus
This is one way to act in Jesus name
Our country is rife with injustice at this very moment
There has not been a real positive direction
on immigration reform
That was promised when, like 30 years ago?
We still have people working
at companies and corporations and small businesses
Still picking our strawberries and apples
But without the proper documents…
We have the largest incarcerated population in the world
And we have consistently taken away resources
for rehabilitation efforts
And focused more on penalization efforts
We have a growing divide between rich and poor,
People loaded with huge debts
Leading to rising tensions
And heightened racial tension mixed in with that!
And that is not even looking at the world as a whole
And throughout the ages,
the terrible things humans have done to one another
We so easily stop seeing one another as human beings
Created in the image of God
How sad it is today to still see this issue
cut through the center of our country
I was especially discouraged, disheartened,
and sickened this week
When a video of the murder of Ahmaud Arbery was leaked
Then two men were arrested for the killing
Look how can we stop seeing one another as human beings
This is a problem that humans have known since forever
Hatred and Fear and worry and anger
Leads to violence
Leads to injustice
Prejudice, racism, sexism, ableism,
All the evil and exclusionary thoughts and emotions
And systems and powers that hold others in oppression
Yet still Jesus comes and says
do not worry, do not be troubled
Do not let this lead to bitterness on your part
But always seek to move forward in love
And nonviolence, as Jesus did
Look at the example we have of Stephen the martyr
Who as he was being killed
Asked God to forgive the perpetrators
In a letter during the Montgomery bus boycott
MLK wrote this:
“Those of us who struggle against racial injustice must come to see that the basic tension is not between races . . . The tension is at bottom between justice and injustice, between forces of light and the forces of darkness . . . we are out to defeat injustice and not white persons who may happen to be unjust.”
“At the center of nonviolence stands the principle of love.”
MLK said that they could do their work because
“the universe is on the side of justice.”
To accept suffering without retaliation
Because God is on the side of justice.
Good Friday reminds us that “evil may reign for a day”
But it will give way to Easter
“So in Montgomery we can walk and never get weary, because we know that there will be a great camp meeting in the promised land of freedom and justice.”
We talked about last week,
being happy in the community of the faithful
That beloved, blessed community
Which we get to experience now, but only in part…
But ultimately, we might suffer
on the side of truth and justice
That is also a part of life…
Doing something in Jesus’ name
is like saying thy kingdom come thy will be done
When we can do that (which we can’t),
but when God works through us anyways,
We experience some measure of purpose,
peace, and joy even.
In Jesus’ name means in the name of love
“Stop, in the name of love, before you break my heart…”
We also ask God to protect us
and be our refuge in the work we do!
Life is so vulnerable
Love is so strong
“Ridiculously committed to love
in the midst of life’s cruelty”
Don’t let them take the joy from life!
The hope for justice and peace that MLK had
We still hold onto today
It is a hope that goes throughout the generations
And is realized in what MLK called the beloved community.
In the name of Jesus means in the name of salvation
Liberation, healing, and freedom from oppression.
Alleluia, thanks be to God!