Sunday, January 12, 2020

The Baptism of Jesus

Baptism of Our Lord
Jan 12, 2020
Fr Phil Eberhart

Mt 3

Turn in your bulletin to the passage in the Gospel that we just heard read. A tiny few verses that starts with a protest from John, the Baptist.

The question i want to consider this morning is simply WHY? It's the question that John himself asked of Jesus! He protested at first, questioning the necessity of this act by the "Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" I think it's a good thing for all of us to question it and to consider Christ's response. And ours.

Let's pray...

Lord Jesus Christ. You are "the Word made flesh. " God incarnate, yet you came in the humility of a son who "grew in both stature and in favor, with God and with man." You intentionally identified with us in our need as you initiated your ministry among us on earth. Send your Spirit to open our eyes and ears, Lord. Help us to see all you want for us in the sacrament of Baptism, as we follow you step by step. Growing in our spiritual stature to a useful maturity and walking daily in your footsteps in this world. In the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

First of all I want to refresh our memory of the definition we have of what this sacrament is and what it means.

In seminary we had a whole semester, 3 or 4 hour class on this. You're getting a rock skipped on the surface in about 15 min this morning. Fasten your seat belt. Sacramental Theology .05!

First our definition from the baptismal catechism or teaching...

The two Sacraments of our Lord are Baptism and Holy Communion. Both have an outward and visible part ...
water... wine... bread. Common things that are now accompanied by God's Amazing Grace... they are carriers, doorways, touch points between the visible and the invisible... between the material created world and the eternal, uncreated world. "The means of Grace and the Hope of Glory..." from our Great Thanksgiving prayer.

A sacrament always has two parts...
The outer, visible, symbolic matter and the inner, invisible Grace of God - that which is symbol and that which is "real."
I like to call sacraments "matters of the heart."

So baptism... specifically Jesus's baptism...

In the creed which we will say momentarily we affirm our belief that Jesus was ... "the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father."

Of one being with the Father!

So why did Jesus, who we believe these things about, need to be baptized by John who was "preparing the way in the wilderness" with a message and a baptism of REPENTANCE. Jesus had nothing to repent of. He was the sinless, spotless, sacrificial Lamb of God. Why?

Let's look at Jesus words here... his answer to John's query... John's protest.
His answer to John was four words...

1st ... look at WHERE we are. We are at an intersection. The scriptures tell us that Jesus came in "THE FULNESS OF TIME. " May I suggest to you that this moment is the Intersection between Time and Eternity. This point in history is "The Fullness of Time." That point where the Eternal action of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit in the whole of Salvation History, meets the material created world with intention and ...

2nd. Identification!

Here is the WHAT in this moment. Jesus, at the initiation of his earthly three-year active ministry is being obedient to the purpose of God in Christ to fully identify with Sinful Humanity, here in our need for Repentance! Jesus himself must lead us back through from this earthly, physical and sinful universe to our rightful place with the myriads before the throne of God, enthralled in wonder, love and praise!

To Fulfill All Righteousness...

Paul, in one of the churches earliest hymns, tells of the emptying... the Kenosis... in Philippians 2:8. "Who being in the form of God, emptied himself..."

That process of kenosis actually begins in earnest here at the Jordan. Thus John's question and Jesus's answer. An interesting paradox were seeing. The self-emptying of Jesus was to FILL FULL ALL RIGHTEOUSNESS!

All Righteousness...

The word appears in the NT over 90 times. I just want to refer to two of them...

Rom 5:21 sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans is Paul's Gospel! He builds the case that 'God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself." That we cannot get to God on the basis of our righteous deeds, but must come through the Righteous One, Jesus his Son.

It's here that Jesus's baptism takes on the fulness of All Righteousness. The Great Exchange begins here...

2 Cor 5:21
"He who knew no sin, became sin for us so that, in Him, we might become the righteousness of God! "

Jesus identifies with us fully, even submitting to baptism as a sign of his Obedient Self Emptying, to fully "become sin for us" that we might fully, in him, become the Righteousness of God.

And we do that by following Him into the waters! The mystery of your baptism is this Great Exchange! Because of Jesus' self-sacrifice beginning here at the Jordan and ending at Calvary and in his resurrection from the dead, we have a pathway to become like him! It is our own baptism that is for us, just like Jesus, an entry point... a doorway... a portal into Him... into union with Christ Jesus, where and only where is found the fullfillment of All Righteousness. In Jesus Christ our Lord.

Let me pray again...

Lord Jesus Christ. You are "the Word made flesh. " God incarnate, yet you came in the humility of a son who "grew in both stature and in favor, with God and with man." You intentionally identified with us in our need as you initiated your ministry among us on earth. Send your Spirit to open our eyes and ears, Lord. Help us to see all you want for us in the sacrament of Baptism, as we follow you step by step. Growing in our spiritual stature to a useful maturity and walking daily in your footsteps in this world. In the name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. 

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Christmas II - Mtr Barb Russo

Audio file of Christmas II Sermon by Mother Barb Russo.

Christmas Eve 2019

Click for audio file of Fr Phil Eberhart Christmas Eve sermon


Saturday, November 23, 2019

Christ the King Sunday with Africa Pix

Christ the King Sunday
November 24, 2019
Fr. Phil Eberhart

I feel like I need to be three people this morning - a trinity ... or maybe just wear three hats.

The regular sermon hat... this is the last Sunday of the Church year and our subject is Christ, The King!

The missionary hat... having just come back last week from Africa... some want to see pics and hear stories.

And the big hat in the back... is the wrap up of our Giving ... our generosity campaign for next year's pledges. So far we've gotten in three maybe four!
If you want to be thinking about that, we're going to actually give everyone some time to pray and fill it out before leaving today! Every bulletin has a tear off last page for your use!

So let me put on my Africa hat first... actually my South African Rugby hat. They won the world cup in Japan three weeks ago!

Time in Africa was great. I went to attend the graduation of our medical student, Olivier, from the University of Rwanda on the 8th.

It was a soccer stadium ceremony with the Prime Minister as the speaker! There were several thousand graduating.

Our Olivier graduated with honors and has been chosen to represent the medical school with his professor at a symposium on Community Health in Istanbul in early December! He will sit for the national board's exam in March. 

That will grant him a license to practice in Rwanda, everything except surgical procedures.

Needless to say, we had a joyful and bumpy ride to home in Ngarama, with the diocesan Archdeacon, a friend since my 2007 trip, joining us. We were welcomed at the Parish by the new pastor and the old one, both Jean de Dieu! We grew in fellowship and partnership more deeply through this celebration of one of their native son's success.
I was also able to meet with Peter, our business student, who graduates next year. Both of our young men are anxious to get to work and make a difference in the world, and we're hoping they will work with us in their respective capacities in the Rwandan Hope Project.


Let me switch hats to the regular Rez hat. The thing about Christ, the King that I want to bear witness to is the concept of His Sovereignty!

We really don't have any idea here in America how to even think about having a king! We just need to say it.

Sovereignty means that God thinks He's in charge! That he's in control. ... like ACTUALLY in control!

We have developed a history here at Rez of expectation! We expect that God is going to set up what we call "divine appointments." Meet ups, new faces, God-incidences... things that prove He's in charge and in control, no matter what the circumstances appear to be.

Just one Africa story here... on the morning I was flying from Kigali to Johannesburg, I and Pius went to our favorite coffee shop for breakfast. I was scheduled to meet the new bishop of Kigali. He didn't make it. Fr. Stanley did make it.

But wait there's more!

There was a bible study with American business men going on at the next table!
We engaged a few of them in conversation on their way out and it turned out the three guys that talked with us were the owner and a board member of Asiili Oils, a moringa oil producer in Kigali that we've known about for two plus years. And a missionary who works in Rwanda with Farming God's Way. Both of these contacts are vital to the agricultural development that we're engaged with in Rwanda! And as it turns out was a precursor to my time in South Africa.

Nothing is wasted in God's economy, nor in God's time! As Oak used to say, "His ways are perfect!"

So let me key off of that thought to encourage you to consider your commitment for this next year. Because of all these divine appointments I was headed to the airport at 910 for a 1010 flight!

It was clear that all that had happened in the hour before was straight from the Throne! And so, rather than feeling anxious about possibly missing the flight I thought of what I've been preaching about for a month:

This is a Rez translation...

"Live, I beg you brothers and sisters, with your eyes wide open to the mercies of God! Give yourself fully to Him as a living sacrifice. It's the most reasonable response you can have as you worship God for his amazing grace, favor and provision."

I was suddenly at complete peace on the way to the airport. He had all of this "in hand! " And He has all of this "in hand. "
And everything that concerns you ... every one of you... is well "in hand."

That, my friends, is what it means for us to have Jesus Christ as King!

Let's pray.

Tear the back sheet off of your bulletin and hold it.

Great and holy God, our Father.

We declare our whole trust is in You.
With all our heart we trust in You Lord.
Say it...
With all MY heart I trust in You Lord.

We declare that we are not leaning on our own understanding.
Say it...

We declare our acknowledgement of You in all our ways...

We declare that Your ways Jesus, will be ours...

And so, Lord, work in us and through us as we commit our way to you.

For the sake of your kingdom, Lord Jesus, and the fame of your name.


Friday, November 15, 2019

Monday, November 4, 2019

2020 Giving Worksheet

2020 Giving Worksheet (PRINTABLE)

2020 Stewardship Commitment Worksheet

       Resurrection Anglican Fellowship
         P O Box 2127    Centennial, CO


(Note: If you desire to give anonymously, please leave the top part blank and mail to the above box number or return this portion in the offering plate by Nov 17, 2019)



City, State, Zip:

Phone numbers:

                (  ) please check if you text on your mobile

Email address:


Check all that apply;
        (  ) Member of REZ
        (  ) Regular Attender/Giver
        (  ) Occasional Attender/Giver
        (  )  Non-attending giver
        (  ) One time gift
        (  ) Special needs/projects giver
        (  ) Friend of REZ on Facebook
        (  ) I/We receive the weekly CC email or
        (  ) I/We would like to receive it.

My / Our giving commitment ;

        (  ) Annual          $____________________

        (  ) Quarterly      $____________________   X 4

        (  ) Monthly        $ ___________________    X 12

        (  ) Bi-monthly     $___________________   X 24

        (  ) Weekly          $ ___________________  X 52

        (  ) Special          $ ___________________

Total Giving Commitment  $_______________

If you desire to give to the building and the "Capital campaign" needs please do so by checking here [ ] and include a separate check with this worksheet.

(  ) I am interested in talking about giving non-liquid assets to REZ.  (Car, business interests or stocks/bonds/insurance assets) (This may be accomplished by setting up a donor-advised fund through the National Christian Foundation and can have huge tax benefits. Ask Fr. Phil or Pam Bradbury for info or to set up a consultation appointment)

(  ) I would like to give through my bank, bank card or other fund transfer methods.

We encourage you to set up a regular transfer through your bank's automatic payment system.  We can help you get it set up.

Please call with questions
Fr. Phil 720-219-0055.

God will bless you as you give.

Fr. Phil Eberhart+

2020 Giving Letter

Nov 1, 2019

Dear friend,

God has brought us nearly to the finish line on our building project. Some still remains for us to raise and likely some more to finance, as the year draws to its close. I can't even tell you how important your part in this has been! Whether giving sacrificially or praying overtime or, hopefully, both, we're all vitally important to the work that God is doing in and through Rez.

As 2019 ends we will enter fully into a new life as a congregation, one in which, we believe, God's purpose and plan for us as a congregation will be most fully revealed. We are a congregation moving into our destiny and we are all called to this journey.

2020 will be crucial for us as we transition from the mess and stress of construction to a more settled pace of "normal" life in our parish. I believe that our calling to be a worshipping, loving, healing, welcoming Family of God will remain central to who we are and what we will do in the coming years.

But even more than that, God is calling us to grow! Already we're seeing a number of new faces, many of whom are excited to be here and already finding their places of gifting and service in our midst.

All of this takes money! Big revelation! All of us have gone the extra mile, some 2 and some 10 miles, to get Rez to the place we're at right now. We cannot stop! As we move into 2020, I'm asking you to continue to give generously and hilariously! We have not finished, we've just begun.

Please look at the worksheet that is attached and pray about your giving in the light of God's favor and his supply. All that we have is from Him, and it's in that knowledge that we return a portion to His House, in thanksgiving and in loving obedience to his leading.

May God richly bless you as you give throughout this next year.

Fr. Phil Eberhart
Resurrection Anglican Fellowship