The morning sermon for May 1, 2014 was delivered by Tanya Scheff, ’14, a senior MDiv student. Ms. Scheff delivered the sermon at the Chapel of St. Mary the Virgin at Nashotah House Theological Seminary. She is from the Diocese of Central Florida, the Rt. Rev. Greg Brewer. Her current parish is Trinity Episcopal Church, Wauwatosa, WI, and her calling church is Trinity Episcopal Church, Michigan City, IN, the Rt. Rev. Edward S. Little.
The Gospel text was John 14:6-14. Ms. Scheff’s senior sermon is below:
Jesus said to Thomas, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, `Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.”
Sermon delivered by Tanya Scheff, May 1, 2014
Nashotah House Theological Seminary
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.” John 14:6
In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Happy National Day of Prayer!
Did you know that According to National Day of Prayer web site, this day is a vital part of our American Heritage that was started in 1775. This is when the Continental Congress asked the colonies to pray for wisdom as this Nation as it was being formed.
In 1952, a joint resolution by Congress, signed by President Truman, declared an annual national day of prayer.
To make it even more official, Hallmark Cards also recognizes this day.
Now, it’s not like me to point out the obvious, but for Christians EVERY DAY is a national day of prayer.
Indeed, an INTERNATIONAL Day of prayer!
But today, Americans everywhere are encouraged to stop and pray in our schools and public places… as long as we do it in a way that does not bother someone else.
However, today is also the day set aside by the church to commemorate Saints Philip and James the Less. Two apostles who walked with Jesus.
It was Philip that asked Jesus to reveal God to us so that we may believe… and it is here that Jesus Christ, our Lord and Redeemer, very clearly and without any hesitancy tells us … that to see him was to see God.
Jesus, Son of Man and also Son of God, is GOD!
What an amazing thing! Our living God walking among us, in the flesh!
And with this statement, to see Jesus was to see God, came the introduction of the Trinity concept to humanity.
Now, as a seminarian, I am here to tell you that if you think that you have this whole Trinity mystery thing figured out I invite you to go and have a little chat with Father Holtzen. He will let you know where you are wrong.
But, what we do KNOW without ANY hesitancy or confusion is that Jesus told us:
“I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.”
I am THE way… says Jesus.
Not A way.
Not some way.
He is the Truth and the Life.
Jesus is not just some good guy that did some pretty amazing things like feeding the hungry, healing the sick… teaching us to behave ourselves and to love one another.
He was also conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilot, died on the cross, walked into the gates of hell, then three days later rose up from the dead and ascended into heaven.
Because anyone can do that… right?
No… He is not an option
or some choice among many others in our quest to find redemption.
He IS THE way.
The ONLY way to the Father.
Paul, in his letters to the Corinthians, tells us that it is in this truth that:
We, as believers, refuse to tamper with God’s word.
And even if this gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing.
In their case the world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Jesus Christ.
For what we preach is Jesus Christ Is Lord.
See, Jesus is not some bouncer at club Heaven keeping out the undesirables. God LOVES us and it is through Jesus that HE has thrown OPEN the doors of heaven for our salvation so that we may worship and glorify HIM!
God wants you. He created you and you are so very precious in His sight.
On this National Day of Prayer… and indeed on every day of prayer… rejoice and remember that
Jesus is the way
And the truth
And the life.
Rejoice in the Lord!
For He is our Salvation!
Tanya Scheff, May 1, 2014
Nashotah House Theological Seminary