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Description: How can we compare our earthly parents with our heavenly Father God?
God’s Sweet Separation
Sermon Transcript by Rev. Ernest O’Neill
Well, it doesn’t need me to tell you we’re all taught to believe that this is Jesus’ birthday and
this is when God came to earth as a human being. We all know that story but of course, we’re wiser,
we’re wiser because you know that it was God coming into humanity. It was God himself coming into
humanity and it was God declaring that, “This is my son who lives in each human being. And my son
is in each one of you, and that is the purpose of your life, to allow him to manifest himself.”
And you know what a change that is because each one of us are egotistical little creatures, who are
all taken up with my mother, and my father, and my brother, and my sister, all that silliness. And
it is silliness because that was only – it was just a way of getting his son into this earth, and we
are missing it completely if we think of ourselves first and foremost as Joe Selzler’s father’s son,
or Marty Poehler’s mother’s son.
I mean, it is a little easier, I mean I know it’s a hard time as dad slips on the driveway and mum
goes into the hospital and I know what you feel. But of course, what it is is God bit-by-bit
bringing us out of our preoccupation with what is – I know it sounds hard to say it but what is just
a temporary experience. And yes, I think in some way I suppose my dad in heaven will still be in
some relationship to me as a dad but it will be transformed. It will be transformed.
It won’t be uncomfortable or awkward for us but it will be transformed. We will be close to each
other because we’re part of Jesus and therefore part of each other but not because we were our
mother’s son or our father’s daughter. And of course, this is God gradually taking us out of the
unreality of that whole attitude that tried to find our security and often still, I dare to say to
you, often still tries to find its security in mum, and dad, and the brothers, and the sisters, and
And really what it is, as we come to this age, is God separating us from people. I dare not trust
the sweetest frame but wholly lean. And it’s really separating us from the sweetest frame. And
it’s important that we do because there’s a whole glorious life that Christ himself has planned to
live in each one of us here, a different life. And I do believe that there are things still that
Jesus has to do in each one of us that we don’t know of.
And that’s where I think we are boring creatures. We are, we’re dreadfully boring creatures because
we think, “Oh, this is great. Christian Corps is great and what we’ve done so far is great. And
the things that pastor has outlined in the web are great. And that is wonderful, and that will be
our whole life.” And yes, that could be a very happy life that could be a very good life. I think
that if that’s all we do that’s great, I’m sure God will be pleased with us. But it’s the other
attitude that is wrong, that that is all there is. Is that all there is? That that’s all there is.
That’s not all there is when Christ is living in each one of us, none of us can say, “Yes, that’s
all there is.” Not if we really believe he’s inside. Yes, if we believe we’re just little human
beings trying to do what we can for him, but if he is inside us, which one of us dares to say, “He
has done all that he intends to do in us, and he has revealed it all to us and we know it all and
there’s nothing further that will be a surprise to us.” It’s a whole wrong attitude.
It is a whole attitude that is not only boring but it is ungodly and it is missing the whole center
of reality. That Christ came to this little body in Palestine 2000 years ago so that we would be
able to have him living inside us. He came to humanity. It was simply the historical expression in
time of what had happened in eternity when God begot his divine son. He begot him and at the same
time begot humanity in him and begot him in humanity.
So of course you know fine well we have missed it, with all our dear old priests, and dear old
pastors, and dear old ministers, and dear old churches. We’ve missed it because you know the way
we’ve got it down to size. The baby comes and of course he has to be christened, he has to be
baptized, and oh you have to have the baby done. And we have him done and that makes him a little
Christian or a potential little Christian and then we take him back and he’s ours and we try to make
him what we want him to be. It’s all silly. It’s all upside down.
And we, of course, are the products of that and that’s why it takes a real rebellion. That’s why
Jesus was so strong, “Who are my brothers and sisters? Not these that you see around me who are my
mother’s sons and daughters but those who do the will of my Father in heaven.” That’s why he used
such strong words, words that bit into my heart that, “Unless you are willing to leave father and
mother you are not worthy of me.” I found that very hard but it’s vital because the mum and dad are
only his human way of getting us on to earth.
The one who owns us is the one within us, Christ himself and he is the Lord of our lives. And he is
the one who has plans for each one of us. I say that because certainly – Joe talks about exciting
dreams, I had a dream which I won’t tell you because I’m not to tell it at all, but it was plain to
me in the dream that God has not finished with us and God has things for us all to do that are
beyond what we think and understand. And I would encourage you to enter into that joyful,
wonderful, infinite possibility that Christ has something more to do in you.
I don’t mean just make you more like himself. I mean he has some more things to achieve that we do
not yet know of and we need to welcome him in like Mary, today. “Say behold I am a handmaiden of
the Lord. I’m at your disposal Lord. I’m at your disposal. I’ll go where you want to go in me and
I’ll do what you want to do in me.” And that for us is Christmas. It’s Jesus being born in us.
It’s not Mary it’s us that are there.
Let us pray. Oh Lord, we see that we are not our own, we have been bought with a price and we are
part of you and you are everything. And you are the meaning of our lives and what you want to do is
your right and our privilege. So we receive you Lord Jesus, anew today to be the center and the
heart of our lives and to be the focus of all our attention, and our plans, and our expectations.
And we hand over to you this life for it is yours and we are simply your handmaidens, your servants.
For you glory. Amen.