KEEPING YOUR BATTERY CHARGED

MARK 1:14-20
ST. AUGUSTINE’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH, MORROW, GEORGIA
THE REV. BARRY GRIFFIN, RECTOR

Today is “Call Sunday”.  Maybe you picked up on that already.  In this morning’s collect we prayed: Give us grace, O Lord, to answer readily the call of our Savior Jesus Christ.

And in this morning’s gospel we heard how Jesus, walking along the Sea of Galilee, called the fishermen brothers Peter and Andrew.  “Follow me and I will make you fish for people,” he said.

A few steps later he called two more fishermen brothers, James and John.  Jesus called them, and they left their father and followed him.

Peter, Andrew, James and John: they were called, and they followed.

Calling has been on my mind a lot lately.  You see, I own an old IPhone [the preacher holds up his phone], and my battery is just about dead.  If you have an IPhone of a certain vintage, you know what I’m talking about.  The Apple people were trying to help us out, so they say, and our phone batteries croaked.

I choose to believe that Apple meant well, but my battery begs to differ. He’s just about shot.  To use my phone for any length of time, I have to keep it constantly plugged in to a charger.

This is the charger I use in my home.  [The preacher holds up his charger.]

This is the charger I use in my car.  [He holds up another charger.]

And this is the charger I use in my office.  [He holds up a third charger.]

My battery is weak, so it takes a major effort to keep it charged.  If I don’t keep my battery charged, I can’t send or receive calls, or texts, or emails.  That’s just how it is these days.  I wish it were different, but that’s how it is.

Being with limited phone service is strange.

It reminds me of when there’s a thunderstorm and the lights go out.  Even though I’m stumbling around in the dark, when I enter a room I still flip on the switch.  Do you do that?  Now, it’s dark.  I know the electricity is off.  But I still flip the switch.  It’s a reflex.  I expect the light to come on, but it doesn’t.

It reminds me of when the water is cut off.  A pipe has broken or whatever, and there’s no water.  Instinctively, I still try to wash my hands.  I put soap on my fingers, but when I turn on the faucet, oops- oh yeah, there’s no water.

Truth be told, until I don’t have it I take phone service for granted. Until I don’t have it, I take electricity for granted.  Until I don’t have it, I take running water for granted.

Truth be told, I take lots of things for granted until I no longer have them.

By the way, day after tomorrow I have an appointment at The Apple Store.  I’m going there to get a new battery for my phone.  Hopefully, I’ll no longer need to charge my battery at home, in the car, and at the office.

But maybe something good has come out of all this.  Maybe I’ve learned something.  Maybe I’ve learned the importance of keeping my battery charged and not taking phone service for granted.

It’s the same way with my spiritual battery.  I have a spiritual battery.  We all do.  If I don’t keep my spiritual battery charged, it eventually weakens and I lose contact.  I lose my connection.  I become isolated and alone.  That’s a bad place to be.

But here’s the good news.  I’ve learned how to maintain my charge.  I can’t speak for you, but here’s how it works for me.  I need to receive Holy Eucharist regularly.  Because when I don’t, my God connection weakens.  The church teaches us that Sunday communion is essential for every Christian.  That’s certainly true for me.  I need to receive the body and blood of Jesus every Sunday.  And if I don’t get re-charged on Sunday morning, my battery begins to weaken, and frankly I have a lousy week.  I don’t go in peace to love and serve the Lord.  I have no energy for that. 

Maybe it’s that way for you, too.

And there’s something else.  On Sunday mornings I need to be around my brothers and sisters in Christ.  You give me joy and strength and peace.  I need you.  I need you to re-charge my spiritual connection with God.

God loves us through each other.  Do you experience God’s love through the love of others?

I think that’s how it works for most people.  The church calls that love the Communion of Saints.  We need each other.  We depend on each other.  We draw energy from each other.

We need Holy Communion and we need the Communion of Saints.  At least, I do.  I need to be in church on Sunday mornings.

There are those who cannot be here.  Because of illness or infirmities or circumstances beyond their control, they cannot take their place here on Sunday mornings.  Like phone service, electricity, and running water, they no longer take Holy Eucharist and the Communions of Saints for granted.

Today is Call Sunday.  Today we prayed that the Lord would give us grace to answer readily the call of our Savior Jesus Christ.

Jesus calls each of us.  If you want to receive his call, then do your part.  Keep your battery charged.  Show up at this battery re-charging station every Sunday that you can.

Amen.If you would like to respond to this sermon or receive future sermons by email, contact me at barryqgriffin@earthlink.net

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