Come Touch the Robe Cantata – Pastor Robert’s sermon for Sunday, March 25


 
During this season of Lent, we have been asking ourselves what it means to come and touch the many different robes of Jesus. We are called to touch the shining robe, the healing robe, the serving robe, the uniting robe, the honoring robe, the redeeming robe, and on Easter Sunday, the living robe. 
 
When we touch the shining robe of Jesus, we recall when Jesus took three of his disciples up the mountain and was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as the light. Certainly, this was a powerful encounter for the disciples.
 
One of the ways that we can touch the shining robe of Jesus is by actually putting on the spiritual clothing that the Apostle Paul describes in Colossians, chapter 3. This includes the clothing of compassion, patience, forgiveness, and most importantly, love.
 
Come, and and touch the shining robe of Jesus.
 
“Shine On, Great Savior” (Shining Robe)
 
Shining Robe: Which spiritual clothing listed in Colossians 3 has been your focus during the season of Lent? Compassion? Patience? Forgiveness? Love?
The gospels tell us about a woman who had suffered for twelve years and had spent all she had, searching for a cure. Then one day, in an act of faith, this woman from Galilee quietly reached out to touch the hem of Christ’s robe. She was instantly healed.
 
All of us are in need of some type of healing. It may be related to how we are feeling physically, emotionally, relationally, mentally, or spiritually. God cares about all of these dimensions of our lives. Sometimes, God’s healing may come quickly. Often times, it comes slowly. The important thing to remember is that God’s healing love is offered to us in any given moment.
 
Come, and touch the healing robe of Jesus.
 
“Come, Touch the Robe” (Healing Robe)
 
Healing Robe: How has God brought healing in your life? Physical? Emotional? Relational? Spiritual? Other?
This Thursday, we will remember when Jesus was with his disciples for the Passover meal or what we now refer to as “The Last Supper.” Jesus took the form of servant by pouring water into a basin and washed the disciples’ feet.
 
The disciples were surprised that Jesus, their Lord and Teacher, would do such a humbling thing. It was a moment they would never forget. We too, are called to humble ourselves like Jesus. This is how we are to love others.
 
Come, and touch the serving robe of Jesus.
 
“Wash Their Feet” (Serving Robe)
 
Serving Robe: Share where you have seen someone offer humble service on behalf of others.
 
At the foot of the cross, the Roman soldiers cast lots to see who would take Jesus’ robe. As Christ died, the winner held the empty robe in his hand. All four gospel accounts tell us this story, but it’s John’s Gospel that tells us that Jesus’ robe was seamless.The seamless robe of Jesus is a symbol of God’s uniting love for all people. 
 
What does it mean for us to live out God’s uniting love in a world of so many different opinions and political persuasions? Maybe what unites us isn’t that we all have exactly the same beliefs. What unites us is whenever we say those three powerful phrases before we receive the Sacrament of Holy Communion. “Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.”
 
Come, and touch the uniting robe of Jesus.
 
“Soldiers of the Cross” (Uniting Robe)
 
Uniting Robe: Think of a specific way that you can help people feel included rather than excluded.
On this day, Palm Sunday, we read about a man who gave Jesus his donkey. He didn’t have to give this gift to Jesus but he gave it anyway. Jesus used this donkey to ride into Jerusalem as the humble king. Like the owner of the donkey, the people who stood by the road gave what they had by laying their robes along the dusty road.
 
We too, are called to offer what we have to Christ. We honor him by offering our prayers, our presence, our gifts, our service, and our witness. When we offer these gifts, that’s how we make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of our community and world.
 
Come, and touch the honoring robe of Jesus.
 
“Hosanna in the Streets” (The Honoring Robe)
 
Honoring Robe: In what ways can we honor Christ and be a blessing to others in his name?
In our Philippians scripture reading for today, the Apostle Paul writes that Jesus took upon himself the form of a servant. He humbled himself and became obedient unto death. He demonstrated this obedience through his arrest, his trial, and his crucifixion.
 
After he was tried, the Roman soldiers mocked him. They put a crown of thorns on his head and hailed him as King. It was through his suffering, that he was able to offer his redeeming love for the world.
 
Come, touch the redeeming robe of Christ.
 
King of Suffering (Redeeming Robe)
 
Redeeming Robe: What does the word “redemption” mean to you?
After Jesus’ death on the cross, his body was laid in a borrowed tomb. The stone was rolled into place. The grave was sealed as his body lay silently wrapped in the shroud of death.
 
In I Corinthians, the Apostle Paul writes, “O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord, Jesus Christ.”
 
This is the victory that will lead us to an empty tomb next Sunday when we will hear the words, “He is not here. He is risen!”
 
Come, and touch the living robe of Jesus!
 
O Death, Where is Thy Sting? (Living Robe)