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Easier Done Than Said - By Pastor Thomas Engel

Somethings are easier said than done.

Here’s my short list of those easier said than done things:

1. Wake-up and get out of bed on the first alarm and not hit the snooze button several times. I’m looking for a tow truck that will yank me out of bed in the morning.

2. Stop thinking too much about what’s happening in the world. I’ve been waiting for the world to settle down, but it’s not looking like that’s going to happen. I would be happy with one slow-news day.

3. Save money for a rainy day. Somehow the money that I get catches fire quickly and wants to burn a hole in my pocket. For fire safety, it seems best to spend my money as soon as I get it.

4. Eat my fruits and vegetables, but if eating vegetables means eating peas and brussels sprouts, it’s not going to happen-they don’t go well in a smoothie.

5. Cook more at home instead of eating take-out food. Although I’ve taken a first step to cooking at home instead of ordering food online, I eat my meal that I’ve ordered online while I’m watching one of those shows that teaches how to cook food.

6. Make the most of my day, think positive, and let go of old hurts. I wonder how many cups of coffee that it will take to do all that. I’ve tried yoga, but I got stuck in a position, and it took the rest of the class to pull me out of it.

To be honest, my list of easier said than done things is really quite long-about the length of rolled out roll of toilet paper.

We can have the best of intentions; we can talk about what is right; we can have a vision of what we want done; we can make plans all day long about how to get it done, but when it comes down to getting it done, it can be a whole another story.

What is that story about getting things done? Why is it so difficult to get something done? How do we go about getting things done?

As a reason for not getting things done, we can talk about not having strong motivation. It’s the kind of thing about how “The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.”

I’m mean that I’ve tried so hard to relax why should I get myself all worked up to do something. Is anything worth so much sweaty effort and the use of so many brain cells?

For the things that have deep meaning and purpose in our lives, we usually need to put our backs and minds into it.

What comes out of something is usually what we put into it.

When doing something, we can talk about perseverance. To get something completed, we have to keep after it until it gets done.

But, doesn’t it seem that we tend to want to give-up when we are about done?

Is it because we are tired, we have faced so many set backs, and too many challenges along the way that we tend to give up?

I have to admit that I get so tired of dealing with one problem after another.

After climbing for so long, we are almost to the top of the mountain, but a narrow ledge is keeping the top from our sights. The top is almost there, but it seems to be out of our reach, so we we have tendency to want to give it up and slide back down.

What would happen if we gave it one more big push?

On some of the big topics of today like social justice, the end of racism, and the goal of equity for all-if I can be so bold to say-most people want these things.

We can point to many places in Scripture that God wants these things, too.

God wants us to be fair and to love and care for one another.

I think we can say that there is a lot of talk about the most important issues of the day that we do all agree need to get done in some way.

So, why is it when it comes to getting things done that we all agree are good things that it’s all easier said than done?

Of course, when it comes to getting things done, I will be carefull not to be so naive, for I know that we all have different ways how we want to get things done.

But, we always have to be thinking that people throughout the world as we do want the best as we are able to do when it comes to fulfilling of the needs of our lives.

Throughout the globe, don’t we all want good homes, food, basic needs like clothing and running water, and the feeling that we are safe, even when we know that there is so much that wants to harm us.

For ourselves and are loved ones, we want overall well-being as we should want.

Again, we ask, “Why are these things when it comes to getting them done so much easier said than done?”

Well, to cut to the chase to that answer, we can sum it up in one word, “sin.”

Scripture has a lot to say about sin, so We can talk about sin all day, too. Sins like arrogance, control, jealousy, and vanity.

These sins tend to make us want to talk about ourselves that boost our egos with their own agendas than to to do things for others.

A person because of his or her sinful nature does not work and play well with others.

And every person has a sinful nature.

So, what do we do with these sinful natures that we have?

How about if we look first at what has been done for us already?

As the world, our country, our communities, our families, our schools, our places of work, and our own lives have all things that need to be done and as many of those things as easier said than done, we need to look at all that has been done for us already.

One more time about taking all day and maybe we should some a good amount of time looking at what God has done for this world and His people. After all, God has created everything and is doing all that needs to be done to care for His creation.

For this morning, let’s look at the analogy that Jesus gives us today about vines and branches.

One of the strongest verses in Scripture about getting things done is from our Gospel reading, “because without me, you are able to do nothing.”

Jesus goes on to say, “If you are in me at all times, and my words are in you, then anything for which you make a request will be done for you.”

How is it possible that the world, our country, and ourselves are not seeing the connection that we have with Jesus?

Are we not seeing Jesus as who he is and then from who he is to what he has done and is doing for us?

Jesus is the one who gets things done.

When it came time to come down from heaven and become a human to show the love of God the Father to people, Jesus got it done.

When it came to teach about the kingdom of God, Jesus got it done.

When it came to heal and show compassion to all people-men, women, children of every race and culture, Jesus got it done.

When it came to battling evil by driving out demons, Jesus got it done.

When it came to take the punishment for sins by dying on the cross, Jesus got it done.

When it came to defeating sin, Satan, and eternal death by rising on the third day, Jesus got it done.

When it comes to forgiving our sins and giving us new life in his glorious name, Jesus gets it done.

When it comes to giving those who die in the faith the gift of eternal life, Jesus gets that done, too.

Jesus does all these things well because he is all of these things.

Jesus is love, mercy, and grace.

I didn’t make a typo when I made the title.

For us, as humans, it’s easier to talk about getting things done than actually to go about doing them.

But, for Jesus, as both God and man, it’s just as easy to do things as to talk about them.

Jesus’ words are so much different than our words. When he speaks, actions take place.

For instance, Jesus can say to a lame man to get up and walk, and the man gets up and walks.

And to that same man, he can say that his sins are forgiven, and they are forgiven.

By his words, Jesus can tell a storm to become calm. By his words, Jesus can feed thousands from a little bit of food. By his words, Jesus can tell how we are connected to him like a branch is connected to a vine, and we can see how well that we are connected to him.

As a branch is all about the vine that it’s connected to, we are all about our connection to Christ.

Jesus words are words that get things done because again of who he is-Jesus is the Word of life now and forever that lives in us.

Jesus can say that bread and wine is his body and blood, and they are his body and blood that comes into us when we eat and drink.

At our baptism, there is water with the Word of God, and by that, we become our Father’s beloved children forever.

When we are seeing how we are connected to God the Father in Christ and how our God through the Holy Spirit is in us, we can do awesome things like love others as we want to be loved.

When we love one another as God has first loved us, things will fall into place quite well for everyone.

What’s on your list that needs to get done? I’m not talking about the list of chores like washing windows and pulling weeds.

Let’s make a list of things to work for in places like our communities that have justice, families that are close in love and care, and schools, offices, and factories that are safe and foster prosperity for all.

Looking at social media and cable news, we talk about these things all day long-so much easier said than done.

If you don’t mind my opinion, I’m not sure where all this venting is taking us.

But, I am sure about this-if we remain in Christ who is remaining in us, we can get things done like loving one another and doing good for one another.

I’m all for talking out our problems, so don’t get me wrong about this proposal that I would like make to the world.

Let’s try an experiment. Instead of posting a comment on your twitter acount or Facebook Page, just go out and love somebody in Jesus’ name, and from that love shared in Christ, let’s see what happens.

I will end with this bold prediction, in Jesus’ connection to us, we will have things done better than any person.

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