You Are Connected!

October 5, 2008

 

The Rev. Dr. Anthony J. Godlefski, Pastor

Montgomery United Methodist Church

 

 

 

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, good morning! Our topic and our title for this morning is ďYou Are Connected.Ē You are connected to the positive energy of Jesus Christ.

 

Iíd like to talk with you this morning about a subject that I am very enthusiastic about, a subject that is one of the most important insights that God has blessed me with in many, many years, and I want to share it with you. I pray to God that I might be able to share the thought underneath this concept with you.

 

There is an invisible but powerful energy that exists between us, that connects us all, that lifts us up and gives us energy. It is also the circuit through which spiritual healing flows. It is also the energy that we tap into when we pray for one another. It is the energy of Jesus Christ Ė the positive energy of Christ. I confess to you Ė I am still working on the wording of all this. But I have a feeling for the spirit of it, and I hope I can communicate it to you.

 

The positive spiritual energy of Jesus Christ is an invisible force that flows to us and through us, and connects us to one another and connects us to God. Hereís an example: on the altar, throughout the seasons, you see one of my favorite plants, the philodendron. Itís here for a reason. It just grew a new leaf this week, and this beautiful green leaf, filled with health to the very tip of it, is connected to the rest of the plant. The branch is connected to the vine, and itís all connected to the root. Everything in this plant is connected to the other through an invisible, spiritual energy field.  Now, beyond the chemistry that we can describe, and beyond the carbon elements that make up this plant, there is life. There is energy.

 

Itís the same way in our bodies. Doctors in China talked about chi. Have you heard that term? They talk about it as the energy flow that exists throughout our bodies, that holds everything together. When they treat for illness, they try to get the blockages of the invisible, spiritual energy flow out of the way. This particular modality of science is becoming more and more recognized in mainstream medicine. Itís what acupuncture and acupressure are based on. And I think weíd do well to keep a good lookout for that, because I think there are wonderful things to come our way through that medical discipline.

 

So, anyway, we have this life force that flows through the plant, that flows through our bodies, and I also believe flows through the church. The church is described in the Bible as the body of Christ. And it is through Christ that everything is held together. That is exactly the concept Iím reaching for. Jesus said, ďI am the vine, and you are the branches. Apart from me you can do nothing, but with me, you can do great things. You can bear much fruit.Ē I believe Jesus is alluding to this very concept of His energy that flows through us and connects us all.

 

So, why do we come to church each Sunday? We come to obey the law of the Lord. God says, ďRemember the Sabbath, to keep it holy.Ē But weíre also coming to get connected to the powerhouse, the ultimate source of spiritual energy. I tell you, my friends, I believe that this spiritual energy invigorates us and lifts us up and brings us together. It is this current, this network, if you will, of spiritual energy, that binds the church together throughout the world.

 

This Sunday is World Communion Sunday. People in nations everywhere on the globe are celebrating at the Lordís Table. Weíre all connected to the energy of Christ. And I tell you what Ė you can feel it! You can feel it right here, on a Sunday morning, when you come to church, when you do all that it takes to get you to church (and believe me, I salute you for that). You come to church and you come through the doors; youíre greeted. You come into the sanctuary, you read the scriptures, you think about it, and we pray together. Youíre connected to the spiritual powerhouse. Thatís what happens when you come to church.

 

So, there is this energy that exists between us and through us, through which God can do remarkable things. You can feel it. I tell you, Iíve felt it this week, with a person that lives halfway across the country, whom Iíve only met once before. She sent me an email, and she said, ďPastor Tony, thank you so much for sharing that essay that was written by my daughter-in-law, Kathy Brantley. It brought tears to my eyes. It invigorated my faith.Ē I felt connected to Lynn Brantley, the woman who wrote me this wonderful email, even though I only met her once at her son and daughter-in-lawís wedding, right here in this sanctuary. We were connected because we are one in Christ. The energy connects us all.

 

So my first invitation is to feel the energy, feel the connection. Enjoy it! Thatís what itís about.  St. Augustine once said, ďThe things of man are to be used, but the things of God are to be enjoyed.Ē So enjoy the connection. You are part of it. You are part of the spiritual connection. The positive energy of Christ flows through you.

 

Nobody enjoyed the spirit of Christ more than the apostles on Pentecost. When the day of Pentecost came, the disciples were gathered in one place, and they were nervous. They were scared. They were upset. But when Godís Holy Spirit came down, in the form of a dove, it was as though flames of fire rested upon the head of each one, and they became filled with energy. They burst out from the room, and they went out to share the energy of God with others. Thatís what happened at Pentecost, and thatís when the church was born.

 

Here in the church we have a picture of a cross emerging from a flower, the symbol of abundant life with the cross of Christ emerging from it. Itís the symbol of the energy of Christ. Itís something we share. Itís all around us. Itís something to be enjoyed.

 

Second, weíve got to maintain it. Weíve got to maintain our connection to the energy source. How do we do it? Iíll bet you know:

 

Pray every day.

Worship every week.

Read and grow.

Give as you are given.

Help wherever you can.

 

Those are all keys to being part of the flow of Christís energy. What Iím asking you to do this week is just think about it. Think about it and experience it, and realize that you are part of that energy, part of that flow. Your presence strengthens it and uplifts and carries the power of Christ. So, letís enjoy it, and letís maintain it within ourselves. You maintain it whenever you do the five keys.

 

I may have mentioned to you that I was in Amsterdam a couple of years ago. It was Sunday morning, and I couldnít bear to be away from church. I went to an ancient Protestant church in Amsterdam, a huge cathedral, and sat down in that church. I couldnít understand the Dutch, but I could understand that the pastor was talking about the prodigal son. I could feel the nearness of that congregation and their good will toward me. I felt connected to the positive energy of Jesus Christ. And you can, too. Do whatever you can to fortify that connection.

 

Third, my friends, we are called, as Christians, to share it. We are called to share the energy of Christ. And again, we do it through the five keys. But share it, please do, with anybody you meet, anybody in the circle in which God places you, who may need the power of Christ, who may need the energy of Christ flowing through them, who may need to feel the connection with the church of God.

 

A mother in our congregation spoke to me this week about how she is going to share the energy and the power of God with her daughter. It seems that her daughter is now away at college, and the nearest church that she can go to is a 45-minute bus ride away. Sometimes she can go, and sometimes she canít. But the mother has decided that she is going to send the sermons, the Visions of Hope sermons, to her daughter on her computer so, as she said, at least sheíll have some contact with church. I say bravo. I say praise God for that mom. She is keeping the connection alive.

 

And so can we. I invite you to find ways that you can help people be connected to the network of Christ and feel the surge of energy that Jesus Christ alone can bring. Letís enjoy it; letís sustain it; and letís share it, because God calls us to, and He is honored when we do. God loves you. I do, too. Have a blessed week. Amen.

 

© 2008 Anthony J. Godlefski