John 15:9-17


I believe in God the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth.  How many times in your life have you said or heard that sentence.  It sounds simple if you say it fast, but there is an awful lot behind that one line statement.

When Martin Luther asks what this means for us he says that God created us and everything that exists, has given us everything that we need and continues to take care of us.  And why does he do this?  Because he is our kind and loving Father even though we don’t deserve it!

We heard in our Gospel reading that Jesus also loves us, just as the Father loves him, he also loves us.  So much that he was willing to lay down his life for us, his friends.

The first commandment tells us that we are to have no other gods but the one who created us, and we confess in the creed that we believe in him.  He had the power to create the entire universe and everything in it, he did it for a purpose, it didn’t just happen by mistake, it was all planned.

Our afternoon ladies fellowship group are currently reading through the book God on Mute and at our meeting on Wednesday this week I showed them a DVD which discussed prayer and why we pray.  In the middle of that DVD was an interesting discussion on the power of the Father who created the universe and how when Jesus prays he is tapping into the same power, just as he was doing in the Garden of Gethsemane.  It also mentions that the Father gave trees and all living things, including human beings the power to continue to create, to regenerate and continue to fill the land.

As we confess, God the Father created heaven and earth and everything in it.  He also gave us ‘dominion’ over everything, to care for it and to continue creating.  That is a powerful thing to give to us.  We are his partners in the ongoing creation of his kingdom, with his help we are able to play our part in caring for the earth and everything in it.  He has given us access to that power.

Our Psalm for today affirms this, the Lord is our dwelling place, he has always been our God, even before he created the earth and us.  The prayer within the Psalm is that the Lord would continue to reveal his work to us and show his power to us, enabling us to be used for his glory and for our good.

When I think of using our hands for creation I can’t help but make the link to creativity.  Look at Dorcas or Tabitha, whichever name you prefer works.  She had spent her life creating, through her sewing, tunics and other clothing.  It was these things that her friends were looking at as they were mourning her death.  The work of her hands was important to them, God had given her the ability, the gift of being able to sew and she had put it to good use. 

Peter used the creative power of the Lord to raise Dorcas from the dead, this power was enough to create the universe and in this case to re-create, to give new life, to raise her from death.

Now I’m not sure that any of us gathered here have ever told a dead person to get up and it has happened.  Maybe that’s why sometimes people become sceptical of the power of prayer or the power of God.  Because we don’t see such amazing miracles we don’t have that much faith in them.  But God has given each of us gifts and abilities to put to good use for the building up of his kingdom.

Are there gifts and talents that you have and put to good use to build up the body of Christ?  This morning we have the young musicians and singers helping to lead our worship at Croydon.  This is using the gifts that God gave them to enhance our time of worship, to help us hear and sing God’s Word and encourage us in our faith.  We will probably never give them the full recognition they deserve and they may never realise how much their gifts are appreciated, but when you look at it in simple terms, they are creating as they play and sing.  Creating faith, showing love for us, their neighbours, sharing with us what God has given them.

We have others each week that put sometimes great effort into preparing and delivering our worship services, but also others who through their service make things run smoothly behind the scenes.  You know who you are, and thank you! 

What about out in your daily lives, as you teach your children to be creative?  I know we have parents who sit and read with their children, or teach them to ride a bike or drive a car.  Maybe you’ve taught someone how to look up a verse in the Bible or maybe taught them how to pray.  All of these things are serving through the gifts that God has given you in building up the body of Christ and giving thanks and praise to God the Father Almighty, who created heaven and earth and everything in them, you included.

You too are a new creation, remember reading in 2 Corinthians, “if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!  At your Baptism you became a new creation, the power that created the universe re-created you through the death and resurrection of Christ.

If we agree with the DVD that the world is unfinished, that creation is ongoing, then there are plenty of other people out there that need to be re-created too.  They have their role to play, they have their place in the kingdom of God, but unless they are made new through the power of the Father Almighty what will become of them?

This is more urgent than any of us probably realize.  Each day thousands of people are born, and thousands die.  If they die without hearing the good news of the Father Almighty who created them and his Son Jesus who recreates and restores them to himself, through the power of the Holy Spirit then we have failed in our calling to go and make disciples of all nations.

We have a role to play, we have been given gifts by God for the building up of his kingdom, we are his re-created people, we believe that he created the earth and heaven and everything in them, lets ask for God’s continued help in the ongoing creation of his kingdom.  So let’s thank, praise, serve and obey God.