Summary: I do! A Sermon for Trinity Sunday
I want to tell you two stories this morning. The first is about my son, David, who`s 33 years old now, but this story happened when he was 7....... It was coming up to Christmas, and David didn`t have much money to buy Christmas presents, so he thought it all out, and MADE me a Calendar. All 365 pages of it! That calendar thrilled me. Every morning when I looked at it, I thought of how much he`d put into it when he made it. But, on Christmas Morning, when he came up to me and flung his arms around me and said, "I love you, Dad"..... THAT thrilled me even more. If I`d had to choose between having the calendar and having the hug, I`d have chosen the hug every time.
I`ve thought about that Calendar and about that hug from time to time down the years - the more I think of them the more I realise that God was speaking to me through them about Himself. It was as He was saying, "I wonder if you realise just how much I love you, Eric, and how far I was prepared to go to show you that love. And all the other people in the world - I love them too - I care for each and every one of them like I care for you................
now think about the Calendar that David made for you. I could have made someone and sent that someone to earth with a message saying `God loves you` - that messenger could have gone through fire and water to tell people that message, which would have been marvellous. But I went much further than that - I did something far more thrilling, far more exciting if you can only grasp hold of it. I didn`t make someone - I came Myself. I came in Jesus. I poured all of Myself into Jesus - and, in Him I threw my arms out wide - I welcomed everyone into them... ANYONE who wants to be hugged and held and loved".
Now here`s another story. I saw it in a newspaper some time ago. "Carol had been riding her moped one morning, and, just as she was about to turn right, the moped stalled. A lorry just behind her ran into her and she was killed at the age of 21. In Hospital they found a donor card in her clothes. It said that if anyhting happened to her they could use her body for spare parts surgery.... so, that afternoon, Carol`s heart was given to a man named Nigel Olney, whose own heart was in a terrible state.
What kind of a man was Nigel Olney? Some marvellous person who deserved a new heart? No! He wasn`t. He was a chiropodist who, 12 months earlier had been convicted of swindling the National Health Service out of a lot of money. He had continued to claim for people on his books when they died or moved away. He could have gone to prison for this, but, because of his bad heart the judge gave him a suspended sentence....... and now, the National Health Service that he had swindled all that money from was giving him a new heart, and a new life at no cost whatsoever! What do you think of that? It doesn`t seem fair does it? It doesn`t seem fair that the National Health Service, with all its lack of money should give a new heart to someone who had swindled it out of money for years. And it may not seem fair that God should fling open wide His loving arms to welcome everyone, both good and bad, but that`s what it says in the Bible. It says there that, no matter how bad we are, God still loves us and has compassion on us, and wants to remove our old stony cold heart and replace it with a warm and loving heart just like His. He wants to take away from us the self-focussed, destructive, purposeless way we live and give us a new, powerful, loving way of living through the presence within us of a new Spirit, God`s Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Jesus.