2017 Homilies (Written)

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Luke 20:27-38; 11-10-2019 (As Built; Amite #376)
 
A. Question… Question… As to question God… To question His existence… Whether He heard you whether He understands… 
B. It’s a 1980s… His name is Steven… Steven is a Texas boy he’s a Longview Texas boy… He is one of four children… And he’ll tell you he goes nowhere if it’s not for his mom… He said man she taught special ed she would take care of four kids and she went to night school and received two masters he said if it wasn’t for her man he doesn’t make it… He gets to high school he does two things pretty remarkable… He’s obviously a great football player… He’s also good in the choir… He’s so good in football he gets a scholarship to the University of California… As a result man he gets there his freshman year he gets hurt he is incensed with God… He begins to question God why bring me all this way if this is how this was going to happen… I mean You gave me a scholarship now what… Man he starts talking to his mom and his mom says… You know Stephen it’s not so much that it’s not OK to question God… It’s your lack of faith… Obviously He has plans for you… He said OK I was supposed to go in the pros I was supposed to be playing I was supposed to be doing this… She said maybe that’s not what He wants for you… It’s what you’re called to be… Man he goes back to school he’s in the university of California and he’s in the choir class and the teacher says you know if you put half as much effort into choir as you did into football you would be fantastic… If you put a quarter of the work you did in football and you put a note in the acting you would be no holds bar… Man next thing you know he’s decided maybe I should try it… He does give it a whirl… He gets his first shot in FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH… Oh man this ain’t gonna be good… All right as a result of going in FAST TIMES he gets another one PLATOON… Then he gets another little bit part in THE COLOR OF MONEY… He’s a black guy very stocky he’s got a little bit of a lazy eye… And then they started using him for like shows on television like witness protection THE SHIELD matter of fact brothers and sisters in Christ man they started getting him in all kinds of movies like he was in the movie GOOD MORNING VIETNAM… He was in the movie TAKEN 3… OK Brothers and sisters in Christ his name is Forest Whitaker… My brothers sisters in Christ you know what’s amazing is years later they ask him why are you always the one ‘b’ actor you’re not the one ‘a’ actor in other words there’s always a main or lead… He said you know ever since the proverbial day I’ve questioned God I said Lord I am going to give my acting over to You… You choose the movie You pick where You want me to be that way I’m not too far one way or to another… And that way I don’t question was been brought to the table I just believe You will take care of it… My brothers and sisters in Christ to this day you’ll notice that he’s always like the second lead and he does a phenomenal job… Why because it’s not so much that he questions the good Lord but he maintains the faith… 
C. That’s the gospel… Think about what’s happening… Sadducees are coming up now remember… Remember who they are they only believe in the first five books of the Bible they do not believe in angels and they do not believe in the hereafter… When you’re dead you’re done that’s it they’re very popular there very wealthy and actually they carry a lot of sway… Now my brothers and sisters in Christ now they are priest for the most part… Now here’s the problem they’re in the temple and you and I are here this day so they come up to Him and they ask Him Lord what there trying to prove is there no hereafter… This woman she marries her brother he dies the next brother gets in it he dies all the way to the end of the seven they have no children… So that when they get to heaven who is she married to… In other words if there is a hereafter that it’s already complicated… Now stop on a sidenote I’m in the seminary the teacher asked the question somebody explain this to me… I’m not gonna raise my head no need to bring more heat on me already I just need to get through the class… Well they’re answering questions some of them are being very theological some being very philosophical… The teacher seminarian Beard tell me what you think of this parable… And I said well I’m just gonna say if I’m the seventh brother I ain’t getting married she’s killed six people man let’s just be honest… I did pass I’m just telling you I did pass… My brothers and sisters in Christ… With that being said here’s what the good Lord is saying this is a Jewish tradition… A man dies and there’s a brother he can step they would actually put his sandals next to her at the wedding and you would step into his sandals… This is why sometimes John the Baptist says I can’t even touch of sandals for a Jew that means a lot… So as a result each brother steps in and at the end of the day now who’s married… And He saying what does God do only Christ can pull this off He quotes the book of Exodus to prove to them that there is a life hereafter He says you remember the story about Moses and the burning bush… And he asked the burning bush well who are you and He says I am the great I Am… So when I go and Moses says when I go and tell Pharaoh what do you want me to say… You tell him I Am the God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob… He’s speaking present tense… My brothers and sisters in Christ they died 1000 years before Moses… So what He’s saying is that I Am the God of the living and not of the dead therefore there is a resurrection and therefore there are people… And He said and you are going to be like angels they don’t believe in angels… He said yeah they’re like angels because you can’t be given in marriage why… Because one of the fruits of marriage is children to procreate and therefore if you’re given in marriage you’re going to be asked to procreate but there is no death so there is no reason to… Therefore you will be like angels… My brothers and sisters in Christ there is no way that they walked away with anything other than a better understanding… For them to remain a Sadducee is sad in and of itself… 
D. My brothers and sisters in Christ so much I think for second… Think go back in scripture it begins with the Garden of Eden think about it my brothers and sisters in Christ… The garden of paradise what is it man and woman are in the garden remember this… They don’t get their names until after they get kicked out of the garden… Adam‘s name ‘Adama’ means out of the ground… Eve is just called woman and the fact of the matter is she doesn’t get the name Eve until after their kicked out… So in the Garden He referred to them as a man and woman why is that important… Because brothers and sisters in Christ because that is why you and I are named… because we are accountable for our own actions… That’s why if you hear a name written in scripture it’s not a parable it’s a proper name… My brothers and sisters in Christ when the good Lord walks through the garden what does He say… He turns and says man where are you… I’m just saying what is the first passing of the buck oh no it ain’t me it’s the woman You gave me He goes to the woman… Oh no it ain’t me it’s the devil… Brothers and sisters in Christ at the end of the day how does the devil get Eve to drop her guard and Adam too for he was standing next to her he asked the question what did he really say… That you could not eat of any tree no no not any tree just the tree in the middle of the garden… But why because he knows that you won’t die that you’ll be wise like God… He’s putting doubts… My brothers and sisters in Christ it all begins right there that’s how the devil works he puts thoughts and you and my head to see if he can get us off-center… To stop praying to lose our faith… You know who is a great miracle of this… The holy mother… You’re 14 years old and an angel appears to you and says the Holy Spirit will come upon you and you will bring the Messiah the Messiah into the world… You’re 14… And what is her first thing… well how can that be for I do not know man… My brothers and sisters in Christ listen to me she’s already betrothed to Joseph for her to make the statement I do not know man she’s already made a proclamation that married or not if you will that I will remain ever virgin and what is she say at the very end His will be done… She had a question because she did not understand but yet His will be done… So there’s not a problem with questioning the question has to do with whether or not you lose faith… Or the attitude that you use when questioning… Now stop go back to John the Baptist is dad Zachariah… He is in the temple praying he does exact same thing like her… Angel says man your wife will now be pregnant Elizabeth… My brothers and sisters in Christ he had a little attitude with him well that’s great… You know how old she is I’m just kind of running it by Angel there… Because there’s no way that this is happening she’s barren… And as a result he’s mute for nine months… You can question God but it’s the attitude it’s a lack of faith… My brothers and sisters in Christ and there in lies the point… 
E. Here you and I said 2000 years later… Let me ask you… When you question God how does it go in other words do you question Him like when you go to work Lord I’ve been at this job for God knows how long I need this I need this I need more income, need this I need them to back off on this… And then we pray to Him and then all of a sudden when He doesn’t answer our prayers we go Lord how did you miss that one I put a date stamp on it I needed it done by this date… Did He not tell you that I know the hairs on your head… Did I not tell you that I will be with with you to the end of time… Well Lord you don’t understand I’ve been praying for my daughter and I’ve been praying for my son and my in-laws and my grandchildren and I’ve been praying for my son and my daughter and look at them Lord the more I pray the worst trouble they get in I mean what’s the point… I’ll tell you what stop praying… Stop… Call it good… Come on in… Because let me tell you the day you stop is the day you and I are gonna find out where bottom really is… You think they hit bottom well you don’t understand Father there and they’re out of jail they’re in and out of trouble… Or they can’t hold a job we can’t do this we can’t do that… They’re not listening they’re sarcastic through this though that… I tell you stop praying and we’re going to find out where bottoms at… It’s your prayers that have kept them from not falling all the way… The problem is that there’s nothing wrong with asking the good Lord a question it does beg the question are you losing your faith… Will you continue to pray and knock on that door when everybody else will tell you what’s the point… Will you continue to pray about that doctor visit and saying Lord I need good health I got this test coming up things are going my way… I just I just I’m not gonna pray Lord You’re not hearing me… My brothers and sisters in Christ He is either the great I Am or He is not… You are either in with Him or you’re not you need to believe Him or you do not… You can’t back-and-forth… Oh I believe because it’s a bright sunny day there in lies the whole point… There’s a story one day a man prays to the good Lord… Lord you just don’t understand what waits for me I’ve got to make this journey and this is the back in the time of Christ… And if You do not help me there’s no way I can make it… He says tomorrow when you get up I want you every day out there to push against that boulder from morning noon and night I want you pushing it with all of your might with all of your strength every day rain or sunshine whatever year it is you’re out there pushing every day out there for a week that man is out there pushing that rock he is great and he is grown he was sweating profusely he is doing all he can and after the week is over he is beside himself… Lord… I came to You and asked You to help me You told me to go out and move that rock and I have been pushing for a week and it hasn’t even budged… That’s how You help me… He said My child… I didn’t tell you to move the rock I told you to push the rock… Because it would make you stronger… it’ll give you endurance it will give you the gift of perseverance… Now you’re ready for your journey… My brothers and sisters in Christ where do you sit in the world… You want to question God so be it but do it in the right way in the right manner but don’t let your faith waiver… You knock on the door till your knuckles bleed… You knock on that door until someone comes up and answers that door… I don’t care if they pull it out of you’re dead hands you make sure you pitch it and you let Him know… You’re the Messiah and I agree and I love you infinitely with my whole heart my whole mind and my whole soul… And I will not give up so whether it’s a bright sunny day or it’s in pure darkness I will continue to believe… 
F. And I leave you with the words of all people Albert Einstein… He said if you have faith then you must have faith you can’t have partial faith a little faith some faith…  you either have faith or you do not… And if you have it on a bright sunny day then don’t be a hypocrite and lose it on a dark day… Keep the faith… 
G. Amen
 

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