Having the Mind of Christ

 A sermon given on the gospel of John 15 - 16:1-15


happy feast of Pentecost everyone and
also want to wish you guys a happy
birthday just in case you know today's
your birthday because today is what we
consider the birthday of the church when
the Holy Spirit descended upon the
church the church was born so today's
all of our birthday the church is not a
building the church is you and I so
happy birthday to all of you and when I
think of birthdays I always think of my
kids which you know I have young
children and they can tell me 6 months
in advance what they want for their
birthday say daddy I want this for my
birthday and daddy I want that for my
birthday say son your birthday still six
months away but they can tell you
everything that they want for their
birthday but as they grow older when
they become young adults if they come to
me say daddy I want this for my birthday
then I think there's a problem here
right so as we grow we have to start to
switch our minds a little bit we have to
start to acquire a new mind we have to
start to acquire the mind of Christ and
the mind of Christ is different than our
mind our mind says what am I going to
get what am I going to receive but the
mind of Christ has something different
Christ says it is more blessed to give
than to receive it is more blessed to
give than to receive
and our goal in this life is to become
like Jesus Christ and not just to
acquire his mind but to acquire the
fullness of Christ as Ephesians chapter
4 says the fullness of Christ so how do
I become like Christ that's kind of a
hard task but today we received that
special gift that makes us like Christ
he told us today he said the Holy Spirit
will take of what is mine and declare it
to you so how do we become like Christ
it's only by the Holy Spirit the Holy
Spirit will give us what is Christ and
make it ours now we all have the Holy
Spirit it's not a matter of us not
having the Holy Spirit but there's one
but we don't let the Holy Spirit work a
lot of times we quench the spirit do you
know what it means to quench the spirit
quenching the spirit is like if you have
a candle or a flame and it keeps trying
to light or to
live and you keep blowing it out and you
keep covering it that's what it means to
quench the spirit and Saint Paul when he
said quench the spirit let's look at
what he said beforehand so I'm gonna
just speak in three simple points to
prevent us from quenching the spirit so
at first he said before he said do not
quench the spirit he said and everything
give thanks for this is the will of God
in Christ Jesus for you do not quench
the spirit so the first thing we need to
do is to be thankful okay be thankful I
know it's very easy for us to complain
it's so and especially in this day and
age of social media where you see people
everything comes out online everything
comes out whether it's Facebook or
whatever anyone who has a complaint can
let the whole world know about it right
and that help Foster's that spirit of
complaining and grumbling but the church
is not like that the church teaches us
the opposite in that everything we give
thanks and that's why the church starts
every prayer with Thanksgiving the
Thanksgiving prayer even in funerals in
funerals we start with what we we start
with Thanksgiving even in the liturgy
when abouna says let us give thanks to
the Lord even Christ before he broke his
body he looked up and what did he do he
gave thanks so during this season let's
make sure that we give thanks do you
remember the story of the ten lepers ten
of them were healed and it says and one
of them when he saw that he was healed
returned and with a loud voice glorified
God and fell down on his face at his
feet giving him thanks and he was a
Samaritan so jesus answered and said
were there not ten cleansed but where
are the nine were there not any found
who returned to give glory to God except
this foreigner can you imagine being
cured of leprosy and not even coming
back to say thank you and what does
Christ mean when he says this foreigner
when I look at myself when I look at us
as the church sometimes we act like like
we are the foreigners okay we are the
ones who should be giving thanks imagine
having leprosy leprosy in that time you
know that people were cast out they
couldn't talk to anybody they couldn't
be around anybody so imagine being
healed from that and not
even having the decency to come and say
thank you I'm reminded of a quote from
Saint Basil where he said he said never
start your prayer with requests because
lest it should be said that if you
didn't have any requests that you
wouldn't pray how many of us start our
prayers with requests Lord give me this
Lord give me that Lord give me this Lord
give me that let us change our mind to
have the mind of Christ okay so number
one let's be thankful let's learn to
give thanks number two is let's learn to
give not just to give but to serve and
what I mean by that is not just give
something small but to acquire a spirit
of giving a mind of giving because
giving makes me more like God when God
the Father loved the world what did he
do he gave and what did he give he gave
his son he gave the most precious thing
and the son when he came what did he do
he gave what did he give he gave his
life and the Holy Spirit gives also the
Holy Spirit is called the life giver the
Holy Spirit gives us the life of God
like we say in the Creed the Holy Spirit
the Lord the life giver and just like we
prayed in the litanies the the when we
dressed the Holy Spirit the comforter
the Spirit of Truth the giver of life so
what do we learn to give we learn to get
out of our selfishness today in the
Pauline epistles you notice that when
the Holy Spirit was given it wasn't
given for me you know was given for it
says but the manifestation of the Spirit
is given to each one for the profit of
all not just myself a lot of times I
want to receive from God for me but that
is not the mind of Christ that is not
the mind of the church that is not the
mind of God when the Holy Spirit was
given to us it was given for the profit
of all of us for the benefit of all of
us st. Augustine said something amazing
he says you are filled and you are empty
when he says you are filled a saying
that you have all the material
possessions you have all the things from
outside he says you are filled yet you
are empty fill your empty neighbor from
your fullness so that your emptiness may
be filled from God's fullness
Christ in his last prayer in the Garden
of Gethsemane he had one desire he said
that they all may be one as you Father
are in me and I in you that they also
may be one in us it pleases God's heart
when we are one that's why he said
blessed are the peacemakers so when I
say a spirit of giving it does or a
spirit of serving it doesn't mean that I
have to be a Sunday school and the
teacher in the church actually not
everyone should be a Sunday school
teacher and most people shouldn't be
some schoolteachers what does that mean
that I don't serve I don't give if you
can't serve in an official capacity
which is fine we have to learn to give
it another way let me ask you a question
is anybody here know any problems in
your family why not be a peacemaker why
not try to solve some problems in my
family why not try to be a peacemaker at
work when there's arguments why not try
to defuse the situation let me have the
mind of Christ in that I'm looking to
give and caring for the profit of all
you see in the early church it says now
the multitude of those who believed were
of one heart and one soul neither did
anyone say that any of the things he
possessed was his own but they had all
things in common and this is the mind of
the church not me but others and the
third thing is I need to learn to
struggle and I know that sounds weird
because we don't like struggle but there
is no Christianity without struggle that
is the essence of Christianity Christ
said if anyone desires to come after me
let him deny himself and take up his
cross daily and follow me take up his
cross daily I know it's not fun I know
we don't like that but it's a daily
struggle and when I learned to struggle
when I realized that there will be some
struggle I will be more thankful and I
will complain less and I will be less
selfish saying Isaac the Syrian says the
path of God is a daily cross no one has
ascended into heaven by means of ease
there is no easy way there is no sitting
on the couch doing nothing and hoping
that one day I'll get there but Christ
said it is to your advantage that I
leave so I can do what so I can send you
the Holy Spirit and he's the one who
will help you get there so I'm going to
challenge you something as you know this
feast is unique in that we start this
feast with a fast usually the end of the
fast is the feast but this one is
different and the church is telling us
to have a different mind don't think
about yourself
I know apostles fast is usually not the
the most highest participation fast in
the church but it's because we don't
understand it the Apostles fast is not
about you or I it is about everyone else
it is about the entire world it is about
what I can do for others so if you've
never fasted the Apostles fast or if you
had no plans to fast the Apostles fast I
encourage you to change your mind to
renew your mind to do something
different to try to acquire the mind of
Christ and think about others so if you
don't have a reason to fast I ask you
think of somebody that you know that is
think of someone that's far away think
of someone who needs help and dedicate
this fast to them and learn to acquire
the mind of Christ it was said about
Jesus that he went about doing good he
went about doing good and that's our
goal as Christians to go about doing
good I cannot bear the name of Christ
without doing good so if I want to be
like him I must act like him and I will
do so by the Holy Spirit so I wish you
all a happy feast of Pentecost I
encourage you during the season to do
three things - number one
be thankful give thanks every day not
just once or twice but in all things
give thanks as much as you can
number two learn to give learn to serve
learn to serve others in a different way
okay don't think about Sunday school or
serving officiating the church but
acquire the mind of a servant acquire
the mind of Christ and three learn to
struggle understand that there will be a
struggle involved and that God will
bless your struggle and allow the Holy
Spirit to work without quenching the
Holy Spirit