St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

On the Sunday of St. John Climacus

Sermon Preached by Nadia Kaldas on Sunday, April 10, 2005

“In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit”

This year when Lent started, I wanted to do something different more than obstaining from some food. I needed a spiritual transformation and doing something in Jesus’ name after all it is Lent and God expects us to be closer to Him during this time. So, I decided to go to my Bible reading and searching until I came across Paul’s teaching in Colossians 3:17 and it caught my attention.

Paul said: “And whatever you do, whether in Word or Deed, do it ALL in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to the Father through Him”. I said This is it! This is what I have to do this Lent

But I stopped to ask myself:

What does it mean to do something “ In the name of Jesus”? In the Bible a persons name has to do with his or her character. So, in doing something in Jesus’ name means to do it as Jesus himself would if he were in my place. I kept reading this statement over and over, I found out what is really important here is that, Paul said, “Whatever you do or say “ lest there be any confusion. Paul explains what he means “Whatever you do in Word or Deed do it ALL, in the name of Jesus.

To me that covers everything.

We tend to read rather quickly over statements like this, but Paul’s repetition makes me stop and think. Doing all in the name of the Lord Jesus means bringing honor to Christ in every aspect and activity of my daily Living.

Well I think that makes sense , as a Christian We represent Christ at all times, wherever we go and whatever we do or say, but we tend to forget and act on our own.

So what would it mean for All of us to wake up in the morning in Jesus’ name?

Some of us wake up differently from others - Some love to get up early in the morning while others wake up grumpy when the alarm clock goes off. What kind of thoughts would pass through our minds, would our heads be filled with anxieties about today or regrets about yesterday?, or would our thoughts go to God?

Recently I have made a point before I get out of bed to praise, thank God and tell Him that my day belongs to Him and ask him to go through it with me. I believe that this is one way to wake up in Jesus’ name. How would Jesus greet our spouse, our children or roommate? What words would He use, what kind of _expression would be on His face? I think Jesus would treat these first moments of the day with words that would express Joy and relaxation, I’m sure He would not rush like us through life. What would it mean for us to drive in Jesus’ name? If Jesus were behind the wheel of our car, would the car behave differently than if you or I were driving?

Would Jesus listen to a religious stations, Worship tapes. Would He sometimes listen to Country Western music?

I think he might sometimes listen to talk shows or the news and pray for the state of the world as He listens.

I believe sometimes He would drive in silence, which I found it is very hard to do. Would Jesus drive fast or slow? As for me, I get irritated when the car in front of me is slow or when Bahig is driving slow. I am just used to hurrying like all of us. Most of our lives are spent in transit: trying to get somewhere, driving to some place, standing in line, waiting for a meeting to end, trying to get a task or errand completed, worrying about something bad that might happen or being angry about something that did happen.

These are all moments that prevent us from experiencing Joy in life as God intended for us.

How do we watch T.V. in Jesus’ name? Everyone I know watches T.V. and good many of us wonder whether we watch too much at times. Would Jesus watch only PBS?. Would He flip channels to find religious or funny shows? What happens if He comes across Desperate Housewives show” Would he watch it? Maybe He likes sports? It makes me stop and think how much and what kind of T.V. programming can I watch before it begins to create in me a disordered heart!

What does it mean to do household chores in Jesus’ name? How do I do laundry, wash the dishes or work in the backyard? What happens if you need someone to fix something in your home and they charge you a lot more than it is worth? What would Jesus do if He is in my place?

How do I work in Jesus’ name? Our jobs might bring us into contact with many customers and coworkers. To work in Jesus’ name means viewing them not just as customers, accounts transactions or problems but just as People, they should be treated with Respect, Kindness, Patience and Love even when they frustrate us or treat us badly. We might say a quick prayer for them. I am sure that this is what Jesus would do.

If we work with our hands and spend physical energy to create something, we can say a quick prayer before and at the end of each task and offer it as a gift to God. After all Adam was a gardener, and a farmer. Jesus was a carpenter and I am sure in every piece He made that He was praying and glorifying His Father as much as when He was traveling as a teacher.

How do we spend money in the name of Jesus? When we enter a mall how do we shop in the name of Jesus? We could get confused here and think that to dress in Jesus’ name means to wear ugly clothes!, absolutely not, this is a wrong understanding. We should appreciate and enjoy beauty. Jesus pointed out that God Himself has such an eye for beauty, nature, flowers and birds are better dressed than Solomon (the best dressed man in the history of Israel). The work of Givenchy, Yves St. Laurent and all the designers is nothing by comparison with God’s design. However, shopping in Jesus’ name means saying no to certain purchases and to realize that beauty is good but it is not the ultimate good.

Now we begin to understand of what Paul means when he said “Whatever you do in Word or Deed, do it All in the name of Jesus.

It is not easy, but the more we try the more we understand God’s love for us. The Bible tells us “God is Love” and Love is the essence of God’s character, we were created out of God’s love and for Gods love. All what God wants most from us is a relationship and a fellowship with Him.

How to get to this relationship? By:

† Knowing Him
† Trusting Him
† Obeying Him
† Praising Him
† Thanking Him

And using our abilities to do it all in the name of Jesus Christ. This relationship with God make us secure in Christ and it will give us stability even in this unstable world.

So we have to live for God, day by day, live your life in Jesus’ name and become a branch in His vineyard not only during Lent, but also in every moment of our lives. We will gain a fresh appreciation for Christ as the fullness of God and the only source for living the Christian life.

So make sure of your connection to Jesus Christ Our Lord and Savior.

In Jesus’ Name

AMEN