The Perfect Sermon


By: Carole L. Haines 

“Imagine the feeling of Jesus saying your name when you are at your lowest point. Imagine the hope that flooded Mary’s heart. Commenting on this story, Charles Spurgeon said, “Jesus can preach the perfect sermon in one word.” (Michael Murray, Nobody Left Out) 

All of Jesus’ words were the perfect sermon for the circumstance in which he found Himself speaking. But to do it in one word, Wow! In continuing to comment on the encounter with Mary Magdalene at the Tomb, Michael Murray goes on to say this: 

“When Jesus calls Mary by name, it changes everything. Mary feels known by Jesus. When we feel known by Jesus, it changes things for us too. This story is an encouragement that in times of grief and despair, Jesus calls out to us by name.” 

Jesus is the Word of God made flesh to dwell among us (John 1:14). He is the Way, the Truth and The Life (John 14:6). We are living in what feels like extremely unstable times, yet God’s Word says this: 

“And He will be the stability of your times, A wealth of salvation, wisdom and knowledge; The fear of the Lord is his treasure.” (Isaiah 33:6) 

I cannot even imagine what all the disciples felt when Jesus died. Yet only Mary hung around at the Tomb long enough to meet Jesus. Only Mary stayed to find out more. We need to stay longer in God’s presence as well. Only there will we find the kind of acceptance from Jesus that our heart craves. No one else stays forever committed to finishing His work in us. We all fall short in our love, so do even the best people in our lives. Only Jesus’ love never fails. He promises that He will finish His Perfect work in our hearts and lives. 
Let me close with the Chorus of a Song I wrote about Mary Lingering a little Longer and meeting her Lord because of her determination to be near Him. Whatever Jesus says to us when He has called our name, whether one word or many, is always The Perfect Sermon. So, let’s linger longer and listen. 

Linger a Little Longer 

BY: Carole L. Haines 
Linger a little longer at the tomb  
when grief and despair have threatened to rise 
just linger a little longer in your time with Him alone 
when you can’t sense His presence at all 
His plan has turned out different than you had in mind 
But still just linger a little longer at His Throne 

Let’s run to Him often, sit with Him long, Look to Him always and rest in His arms. 

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