The Windows of BFUMC
Excerpts from the Sermons of Rev. W. Aubrey Alsobrook
Sermons On The Stained Glass Windows
"Jesus in Gethsemane"
March 16, 1975
The agony that Jesus bore in Gethsemane is far beyond our ability to understand. He was certain now that each passing hour was bringing his death on the cross nearer and nearer. Let us never forget that Jesus was fully human. he wanted to live as well as any other thirty-three year old. Jesus' words, "My soul is exceeding sorrowful even unto death" are filled with pathos and struggle. On the one hand, there is the pull to cling to life, but on the other hand, there is the claim of a Father's will.
A question of ultimate concern for each of us is, "When are we in our Gethsemane?" There is no question about our need for a place to go for prayer. We need to take the struggles of our souls there and meet God. Your Gethsemane may not be among the olive trees, but in your own home, in the church, or at some secret place. But the need for us to take the burdens and struggles to God in prayer is essential for a victorious life with God.
"Annunciation - Tidings of Great Joy"
April 20, 1975
There is no joy in all of life like the joy of God's presence. When life is caught up in God and He is nearer than hands and feet and closer then breathing itself, there is the joy unspeakable.
The angel announced to the shepherds God's divine "Yes." "For unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord." Jesus Christ is God's divine "Yes" to the world. The Good News is for all people.
The light of his countenance shines upon us and His voice calls us to come and follow him. He stands at the door of our hearts and knocks. He will come in to cast out our sins and bring the joy of his salvation if we open the door. This is his mission from all eternity.
"Jesus and Mary at the Tomb"
March 30, 1975
Here is the greatest recognition scene in history. Mary is the first person that the Risen Lord appears to. It was a woman that Jesus revealed himself as the Risen Lord. "Mary, who appears to be the least sees the Risen Lord before the intimate disciples."
In these words of Mary "I have seen the Lord" is the essence of the Christian faith. Mary went for Jesus in the first place in that she gave herself completely to him. Her life and her love were surrendered to him. he was her Lord and Master. Being a Christian means more than knowing about Jesus. It means meeting him, seeing him with the eyes of faith and loving him.
"Love is the great interpreter." The heart of love has the power to grasp truth when the reasons of the mind are crippled by doubt and fear.
"Alpha and Omega"
February 2, 1975
Genesis 1:1-3, 26-28, John 1:1-5, Revelation 1:8, 21:6
Alpha and Omega signify that Jesus Christ is the beginning and the end of all things.
John is saying that the Word was already present prior to creation. 'In the beginning was the Word -- the Word was with God and the Word was God.' Here, the Word is the Son Jesus Christ. 'It was through him that all things were made. In him was life. That life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness does not overcome it.'
"The Cross and the Crown"
March 23, 1975
Luke 14:27, 9:23; II Timothy 4:6-8; James 1:12; Romans 8:17
It is clear that Jesus made it certain that the cross is not an option for his followers. It is essential. If we are to be his followers, there goes with that discipleship a cross. Cross bearing is the mark of Christian discipleship. If we are not willing to take up our cross and follow Jesus, then we cannot be his disciple.
The crown for the Christian is not a gold plated crown, but a crown of righteousness means to be clothed in the righteousness of God as Paul said, "And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness which is of the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith".
"Fruit of the Vine"
April 13, 1975
The vine always symbolizes in the Old Testament the degeneration of Israel. The vine has run wild, it is empty. Because of Israel's disobedience, she is not the true vine. Jesus is the true vine. Jesus is saying it is not because you are a Jew or belong to the nation of Israel, the chosen nation, that you are saved. Jesus said, "I am the true vine," therefore, salvation by [through] me and not by Jewish blood or belonging to the chosen nation. Faith in Jesus is the path of salvation. To abide in him is to know the fruits of his redeeming blood.
All of us are called to be branches of the vine of Christ. There comes the assurance of Christ: "He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit."
"Weighed in the Balances"
February 23, 1975
Micah 6:1-8; Proverbs 11:1, 16:11; Daniel 5:57
The Proverb writer expressed it clearly; "A false balance is an abomination to the Lord, but a just weight is his delight."
When we put on one side of the scales what we are and then on the other side what we have hoped and dreamed that we would be, we know that the scales do not balance. All of us have fallen short of the glory of God. "When we measure our lives alongside that of Jesus Christ, we must say that there is no health in us." So, we must come, not with a self-righteous spirit, but in penitence and faith. We must depend, not upon our goodness to stand before God justly, but when we are clothed in the righteousness of Christ, the scales are balanced.
"Jesus: The Bread of Life"
February 9, 1975
When Jesus said, "I am the bread of life," what is the life that he is talking about? Certainly, he does not mean the mere physical existence that bread sustains. No, he goes far beyond physical existence. The life which he gives has spiritual and eternal dimensions. It is life lived upon the physical plain, but all the while, there is the consciousness of the beyondness of life. There is a quality in the life that Jesus gives that transcends existence upon the physical level. The life that Jesus gives is the coming of eternity in our lives. And what a glorious coming that is. Jesus said, "I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly."
"The New Jerusalem - Heaven"
April 27, 1975
Revelation 21:1-6a; I Corinthians 15:35-58
St. John, the Divine, writes in the Book of Revelation, "Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth has passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband."
Jesus said, "Let not your hearts be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also."
"Harp - Gospel of Joy"
March 9, 1975
Psalm 98, 150; Luke 4:43
Praise the Lord for his might deeds in the life of Israel, his chosen people. 'He made known his way to Moses and his acts to the children of Israel.' God revealed himself to Moses as he gave the commandments. His deliverance of the Israelites from the Egyptian bondage was the source of great praise and celebration. His hand had reached down to them and delivered them out of bondage.
We should praise the Lord because he has not "dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities". he comes in his love to redeem us from sin -- to remove our transgressions as far as the east is from the west and to remember them no more against us.
"Dove - Peace"
March 2, 1975
Isaiah 9:6-7; Romans 14:17; Ephesians 2:14; Philippians 4:7;
Colossians 3:15; II Thessalonians 3:16
What the world means by peace and what the Bible offers are poles apart. the world falsely offers a deliverance from tribulation. the Bible offers a deliverance from self and sin. 'Worldly peace is man-made; true peace is God-given.'
Jesus said, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you."
The true source of peace is God. the prophet Isaiah pointed to the source of peace when he said, "Thou doest keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee, because he trusts in thee." When one's mind is centered upon God and his will, there is the gift of peace from God. This is not to say that there will be no struggles and sufferings, but it is to say that there is a deep inner peace that rides with one through the storms.
"The Ark - God's Covenant with Noah"
February 16, 1975
"But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. Noah was a righteous man. He walked with God. God said to Noah, 'Make yourself an ark of gopher wood, I will establish my covenant with you; and you shall come into the ark, with your wife and your sons and their wives,... and of every living thing of all flesh... bring two of every sort into the ark'."
When the waters had subsided, God commanded Noah to "go forth from the ark with his family and all the living things."
The rainbow is a sign that God is remembering his covenant with Noah and the earth. The rainbow links us with Noah, a man of faith in God and obedience to him. The rainbow proclaims that God still remembers his covenant.
"Anchor - Of the Soul"
April 6, 1975
Acts 27:27-37; Hebrews 6:19-20
The Christian life is not immune from the storms of life. Tragedy, suffering, disappointment, disease come to Christians as well as to non-Christians. How we face the storms and what they do to us is the crucial question.
There are four anchors [hope, the Cross, faith and the Word of God] for the Christian that are sure and steadfast. The first is the anchor of hope. Peter wrote, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy, we have been born anew to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead."
We have a living hope in Christ and that anchor is sure and steadfast. To hope in Him is to hope in the One who will reign forever and ever. He is the King of kings and Lord of lords.