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Summary: I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us -- a communion sermon.

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The View from Here

Romans 8:18-39

Big Idea: I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.

Lectionary Readings:

• Old Testament: Genesis 29:15-28

• Psalms: Psalm 128

• Gospel: Matthew 13:31-33; 44-52

• Epistle: Romans 8:18-39

18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. 22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. 26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will.

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. 31 What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all--how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died--more than that, who was raised to life--is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered." 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Sermon:

It is really worth the effort but you might think otherwise half way up.

The Adirondack Mountains have 46 high peaks and those who climb all of them are part of the “46er Club.” Now I never had such aspirations but Vickie and I did climb a couple … including this one near Speculator, NY.

But as I said, making the ascent up the mountain gave you time and reason to doubt the wisdom of your choice. This was a difficult trek.

• Some of it was extremely steep.

• Other portions were simply dangerous.

• All of it required your attention and effort … and even some help.

I must admit there were times we considered turning back but we soldiered on. In the end … as we stepped out on a massive bald face rock overhang … my oh my what a view!

You could look down at Pleasant Lake and see a few canoers soaking in the sunshine. You could see the community of Speculator. And the colors … making this trek in the Fall was absolutely majestic!

It is really worth the effort but you might think otherwise half way up.

I would suggest that your spiritual hike may have some striking similarities to our ascent up the high peaks.

• There are times when nothing short of faith-full commitment will see you through.

• There are times when turning back would be easier than going forward.

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