Potsdam United Methodist Church
Where we let Jesus shine! Where we invite, love and nurture ALL!
Sunday Worship
11:00am Service
12:00pm Fellowship
Pastor Rev. Brooke Newell
Secretary Donna McDonald
315-265-7474

Up - To Us Part II

Listen to the Sermon

June 15:

Call:    Matthew 28: 16-20
Text:    2 Corinthians 13: 11-13
Closing: Genesis 1: 27-31
Prayer:  W&S 79
Psalm:   None

         Up - To Us Part II

Today is Fathers Day
   A day important to me in part because I am a father
   But more importantly
      Because I have a human father
         Who loves me and set a good example for me
      And because I have a heavenly father
         Who also loves me and set a good example

Today is Sunday School Presentation Day
   A day important to me because I am a pastor
   And just as importantly because it is a reminder
      Of the gifts of our students and teachers
      Of the many years when I taught Sunday School
      And of the time years ago when I was in Sunday school

Of course, it is also important to me
because this is one the few Sundays of the year
when I am under virtually no pressure

After all, even I know
that what I say is not likely to be remembered
All the comments later today
will be about what the children did
   and rightfully so.
And finally, today is Trinity Sunday
   When we recognize the three parts of God:
      Creator  Christ   and Holy Spirit

Trinity Sunday is the day that we wrap up
   The Ascension/Pentecost story
   The story that completes the revelation
of the 2nd and 3rd parts of the Trinity.

We wrap them up today by reviewing the story
through the questions we ask when we try to understand
in the hope of storing them in our minds, hearts, and souls

I call these questions  "The Five Ws and the Lonely H":
   Who?  What? Where?   When? Why?     and         How?

This morning, we ask and we answer those six questions

We begin with "Who?"
Who are the persons for whom the stories are told?

That answer is easy
   "Who?"   "Who?"   and "Who?"
   The disciples  and Jim  and you

For just as Jesus Christ began his ascension into heaven
   He told the disciples
      And He told me And He told you
         That there was something
he wanted them       and he wants us      to do.

That of course brings us to the next question:  What?

What were the disciples to do?   And what are you and I to do?
If we paid attention two weeks ago, this question is also easy.

What did Christ expect the disciples to do?
What does Christ expect us to do?

He expected them to be his witnesses
He expects us - despite our being forever flawed and faulty
to be his witnesses.

Next in the examination sextuplet is   "Where?"
Where were they   and where are we  to be his witnesses?

Well,    "where" for the disciples was
      "In Jerusalem, in all Judea, in Samaria
and to the ends of the earth"

For you and me, that translates to our being his witnesses
   Right here in [Potsdam] [West Stockholm]
   And in St. Lawrence, Franklin, and Jefferson counties
   And throughout all of New York State
      And still again:   "to the ends of the earth"

In other words    the answer to "Where?" is everywhere.
   Everywhere we find ourselves

The final two "Ws" are "when?" and "why?"

And for them we look at the second version of the ascension story.

The first version was at the very beginning of Acts
The second version is found at the very end of Matthew.

And whereas Luke's telling of the story
Deals, as we have noted, with the "where,"

Matthew's telling in his gospel
Deals with the "when"   "to the end of the age."

On the time and space continuum
   Matthew deals with time    and Luke deals with place

Matthew's description of the ascension
   Which called us to worship this morning

Also tells us  "Why."
   It tells us that the reason we are to be witnesses
   Is to make disciples for Christ
      And the UMC Discipline adds,
"for the transformation of the world"

That leaves us with the "H."  our last question is    "How?"

A question we saw answered last week,  on Pentecost

For how
We the "who"      Can understand the "why"
and do the "what"    "When" and "where" we are
is only by the Holy Spirit.

And so, with the trinity complete, we close this reflection
        As Paul closed his second letter to the Corinthians [13: 11-13]

And as you and I prepare to witness to make disciples for Christ
We do so:      To the ends of the earth and until the end of the age.

It is up to us    to do this.