Be bold yet humble

Matthew 10:26-33
Rev. Leonard B. Oakes

“Be bold yet humble”

Today’s Gospel is part of Jesus’ discourse on the mission. Jesus reminds his disciples that they will experience persecution and rejection by their own people as they go forth preaching the Gospel. He encourages them not to be afraid of those who oppose the mission of Christ – and to proclaim the gospel with boldness. Through the power of God, the Gospel will triumph- no power will prevail against it. God, through Christ are to go out and preach what was first revealed to them by Jesus himself.

Before the disciples heard Jesus’ preaching they were in darkness, but now that they have heard the word and have accepted it, they have come into the light. Having come into the light, they are light. Disciples are the light of Christ.

Proclaiming the Gospel is not an easy undertaking. The proclaimer is vulnerable to hostility and suspicion. Boldness and fervor are required. The message of the Gospel is love. When lack of Love is exposed, those guilty of the failure to love often feel resentment and refuse to be confronted. Their failure to love is often the result of selfish pride, power, and prestige – difficult sins to overcome. The evangelical mission demands that the Gospel of Love be preached – even when it is difficult to hear. Today’s Gospel reminds us to be bold in the face of such a challenge. Discipleship requires some sacrifice. To spread the Gospel is not always a glorious experience, it could be an unsettling confrontation that disturbs the lifestyle we have learned to love and which we are not willing to give up. However, if we equip ourselves with the love of God, there shall be no fear, there shall be no doubt that we will get to where we are going.

During the feast of the Day of Pentecost, I was bold to proclaim before you that in 2015, Holy Child and St. Martin will become a Parish, just as what God intended us to be, a vibrant, self sustaining, self governing and self reliant community. I also reminded you of my message in 2008 when you elected me as your vicar, that without dreams and visions we will not get into where we are going. I also shared with you a dream a couple of Sundays ago, that in that dream we are all together sharing our talents, time and love to fulfill our calling.

Today, I would like to inform you with great humility, that we are having a foretaste of that dream. The Episcopal Church United Thank Offering (UTO), through the help of Bishop Marc and Kathleen Piraino have awarded Holy Child and St. Martin the amount of $37,500 for the elevator project. Those whom we have been praying to be able to join us at our social gathering at the Church hall, the arthritis exercises and our health and wellness center is now about to be fulfilled. Thanks be to God for answered prayers.

We also received the second part of the Grant for our Health and Wellness Center for the year 2014 the amount of $10,000. We are again ready to meet the community at our health and wellness faire and we need your love in helping us reach to the community at large, especially those low income, uninsured and vulnerable in our society, by distributing our flyers, by word of mouth tell everyone, your neighbors, at the bus, at the mall and wherever you may be, that we have a free clinic, free exercises programs that could benefit them, their families and friends.

We were also informed by the Diocese that the sale of one of the cell towers above our roof was sold to $320,000 dollars less the agent fee who sold it. Such money will be invested to the Diocesan Endowment fund named after Holy Child and St. Martin.

Today, we have with us Deacon Rebecca Goldberg who will help us with equipping our Sunday school program and the various ministries of our Church.

What are all these signs telling us? That we are having a foretaste of that which we are going, a full parish status?

For one who has a doubt and fear of what might be the possible things to happen in exchange of all these blessings, will only have to believe in the Love of God, for in God, all things are possible. We need to believe and we need to trust in God who is our strength and our help.

With all the blessings we continue to receive from God, I would like to ask you to pray faithfully as we humbly walk with God towards our goal.

Ponder upon these challenges I ask us all to share:

First, Be loving always, no matter what. The only job in the world is to love and be loved. When we do this, we don’t have to fear about divisions and fear of the end. When we live in unity and love, everlasting life is bestowed upon us.

Second, Be welcoming, being proactive to new people around us. Inviting people to come to our gatherings for in our midst is God who is love.

Third, Be always present on Sunday if you can. It is when we come together that we regather strength and hope in our daily lives.

Lastly, be a giver as well as a receiver. Share you time and talents to the Church. Suggest things that benefit us as family.

The rector announced on the pulpit one Sunday, “Brothers and sisters, I have good news and bad news for you. The good news is that we now have the money to do the needed repairs in our church, we now have the money to feed the hungry in our neighborhood, and we now have the money to hire a Youth Director.” What’s the bad news Father? , the congregation asked, “The bad news is,” he said, “the money is still in your pockets!”

It is always a blessing to be a blessing to others and the Church. and I would ask you to be part of this stewardship transformation and campaign because that is one of the requirements to be a parish, to be self sustaining, we need to be generous in our pledging. God blesses us more and more.

Let these words be our vision in our giving and our receiving:

“To relieve the distressed is a duty incumbent on all good persons who
are linked together by an indissoluble chain of sincere affection. To
soothe the unhappy, to sympathize with their misfortunes, to compassionate with their miseries and to restore peace to their troubled minds, is the great aim we have in view. On this basis, we
form our friendship and establish our connections.”

May the love of God be with us always. Amen.

“I have a dream, in my dream I am not alone, we are all together”

Pentecost Sunday
Year A 2014

“I have a dream today”

The Rev. Leonard Oakes

 

At Dinner time, the father noticed his son so worried so he asked him, “What’s wrong son?” The son replied, “I’m worried about my bicycle being left outside” The father said, “Don’t worry son, the Holy Spirit is watching your bicycle. Now carry on with your prayer over the food.” So the son said his prayer, “In the name of the Father and of the Son. Amen.” The father asked, “Where’s the Holy Spirit?” The son replied, “He is watching the Bicycle”

Good morning! Magandang Umaga! Naimbag nga aldaw yo! Gawis ay agiw yo! Buenas dias la todos. Aloha Mahalo

Happy anniversary Church! Happy birthday to you, the body of Christ in this God’s vineyard! Today is our 21st year anniversary!! Thanks be to God! Let us give God a round of applause!!

We have come this far with the help of the Holy Spirit our advocate!! Look around you, inside and out. What do you see? Who do you see? How do you feel? I said to you in the beginning of our journey in 2008, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” Those who have gone before us and those who are still with us, are surely happy to see the fruit of their labors from 1957 St Martin, to 1993 merger of St Martin and Holy Child, up to the present and the coming years, we are truly blessed.

We thank God for the many blessings he has given us in this holy place; the gift of friends, visitors, families and all. Thank God for the gifts of ministry; the Health and Wellness Center; the Bread for the world; all our partners in mission and all the volunteers, donors, and our supporters whom God continues to weave as a beautiful tapestry in this community. To every miracle that happens in and around us, thanks be to God. We are part of God’s grand plan since the beginning of creation. We are meant to come together as one family, one nation, different culture and traditions worshipping One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism, One God and Father of all. We are all products of the Pentecost experience, the giving of the Holy Spirit.

2000 years ago, a group of believers from different nations and different languages, gathered themselves in Jerusalem to witness the bestowal of the Holy Spirit by God as promised by Jesus Christ.

The experience of those who first witnessed this event has turned their faith from doubt to a promised greater responsibility to spread the teaching of Christ from Jerusalem to the ends of the earth. The Ascension of Jesus Christ was the inauguration of the new era of the spirit.

The Holy Spirit was first revealed in the Old Testament as the giver of life, the one who spoke through the prophets. The Holy Spirit has been present in the beginning of the creation known to be the one hovering in the face of the earth. It was the Holy Spirit who led Israel out of their bondage in Egypt. He was revealed in the New Testament as the Lord who leads us into all truth and enables us to grow in the likeness of Christ. The Holy Spirit was revealed in the New Testament when John the Baptist baptized Jesus in the river Jordan. It was John the Baptist who said, “I baptize you with water but Jesus will baptize you with the Holy Spirit. That promise our Lord Jesus gave to his disciples before he ascended into heaven. He said,
“Receive the Holy Spirit, if you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven, if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” This same Holy Spirit was given to the disciples at Pentecost, when they all experience the spirit like tongues of fire enabling them to speak the
word of God in different languages, thus the beginning of the Christian movement when they were all filled with the Holy Spirit baptizing people in every nation in the name of the Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit.

Today, we take part of that great experience by commemorating that great event and the result of the works of the Holy Spirit. Where churches all over the world celebrate the day of Pentecost, it was the
beginning and now a continuation of a mission to the world.

To the Jewish community, it is to them the feast of harvest where they celebrate the completion of the grain harvest. With Christians, it takes on an entirely new dimension: It’s the beginning of a mission to
the world, a harvest of people instead of agricultural products. At its heart is the gift of the spirit that established the church and continues to move people to undertake the preaching of the word.

It has been proven from the beginning of the creation until now that the Holy Spirit is alive in the life of God’s people. It is indeed alive in this church, in the life of every faithful. God indeed is for us! God the Holy Spirit is working in us, in every undertaking that we do in this church. He speaks to us in many tongues, the Holy Spirit is multicultural, enabling us all to work together, understand each other, help each other, forgiving each other, serve each other, reaching out to others and share the good news to those who have not yet heard and experienced the love of God in Christ.

We have received and continue to receive blessings from God with the help of the Holy Spirit in this Church.

The Holy Spirit is working! We must believe?
Let your eyes be open and your heart accept that indeed the Holy Spirit is alive in us, because we are a community who forgives the sins of any and not retain them. We are a community who loves each other and care for each other, a community who continue to grow in the knowledge and love of Christ. We are a loving community who continue to inspire others and welcome others to Christ. Let us continue to feel the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. We continue to make difference in this community and every community. Let us live and continue to inspire others and be inspired by others. Let us continue to dream dreams!

And so today my dear brother and sisters in The Lord , let me share with you a dream, in this dream, I am not alone, you are all there with me. God brought us all in this dream, inspired by the works of Christ and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. In this dream, we looked back at where we started from 21 years ago, when God breathe into this community the birth of a renewed Church named Holy Child and St. Martin, a mission station nurtured by the diocese of California under the leadership of the Bishop.
From childhood up to this year, we have experienced development and change. We have always been living comfortably with our parent, the Diocese. But in this dream, we have come to realize that we have to move on with our lives to become a self reliant, self governing and self sustaining community! We are now experiencing the awakening moment where God whispers in our ears, “Go and make a difference, do not be afraid for I will be with you until the end. I will send the Holy Spirit to guide and protect you. For as long as you keep loving and keep caring to the community entrusted to you, your dreams will come true and you will be my witnesses from Daly City, San Francisco, Pacifica, Colma, San Bruno and to the ends of the Earth.

Friends, come with us, let us build a new beginning, a new chapter in our life as a church. I ask you to stay with us and be part of this dream, a dream that next year, we will be called Holy Child and St. Martin Parish! It will be done because God is with us.
Let us therefor invite the Holy Spirit singing: “Come Holy Spirit we need you, Come Holy Spirit we pray, come with your strength and your power, come in your own special way.”

“Ti Spiritu Santo isu kuma iti mangidaldalan kadatayo amin ita ken iti agnanayon.”

“Ang Spiritu Santo nawa ang maggagabay sa ating lahat ngayon at magpakailanman.”

La Espiritu Santo…………..

May the Holy Spirit guide us all now and forevermore.

Amen.