When God Calls, Be Prepared  To Answer

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Hello, my name is Liberty, I am the Sunday school animator here at Lawrence Park and I'm in my final year at Emmanuel to become a minister. I use they/them pronouns. I'll give you an example of what that sounds like. You can all say this sentence - repeat after me: Liberty gave the sermon today; they spoke about miracles. 

I was raised as an atheist, I was raised with anti-Christian parents, who were educators, scientists, and mechanically and logically minded capitalists. They raised me to be bilingual, with a fierce understanding, and accomplishment in art education as well as an honour roll student, who would continue the family traditions of becoming so educated as to produce and publish literature of some kind. I ended up studying business at Sir Sanford Fleming College, and finally I moved into psychology, which was safe in my family as a science, so that I could become a doctor. I realized quite quickly that there was something missing from my life and the 150-year-old tradition of psychology was not going to get me there. So, I began to meditate. I practiced Zen Buddhism. It was a safe, secular choice that added only to my mental discipline, and I knew my family would approve of the tradition as a practice. I’m half German you see. As I began to meditate, I began having experiences in my mental reality and my waking reality that I could not explain with my psychology training. I took a brief break - I studied dance at York University, and I continued on to try to understand what I was experiencing at the transformational arts college. Now that you understand more about me, maybe my story will make a little more sense to you.


Let’s get right to it! 

Our lectionary readings bring us the story of Moses - our lectionary readings today talked about a very specific miracle and a call to action. So, I’m going to talk about miracles today. I have a story that's kind of like what Moses went, Through. a miracle, and a call to ministry, and I'd like to share it with you today. I think it’s a miracle that I’m standing here because I have no business standing here based on my upbringing. I was raised as an atheist and that is the most remarkable thing about me. I was raised so anti-Christian that I really believed it for years and I repeated those beliefs to others. And now I’m trying to become a minister. Why great question I am so happy you asked. It started with dancing one day when I was an atheist and about 20 years old maybe 21 or 22, I can’t remember.  I was asked to dance for a United Church north of Peterborough where I lived at the time. I worked at a Musical theatre school, where I was the dance teacher and choreographer for a group of students. The owner of the school was a Christian woman and a member of the choir at the church and asked if I would be a dove for one of the songs for a large handbell concert and fundraiser. I told her I was an atheist and she replied that it didn’t matter to her and that I would be paid for my services and so of course naturally I agreed. I bought a white tunic like dress, long sleeves, and I practiced to the song, and then the day of the concert arrived. I did my duties I donned my white dove costume and my dance shoes, and my make up, and I dance down the aisle as they were singing and playing onto the Chancel, and in the middle of my performance, I looked it up and suddenly was acutely aware that God was hovering above me and that they loved me and we’re proud of me and I began to cry in front of what I felt like 400 people and I just continued my performance and left the stage area at the end. And I’ve been experiencing miracles ever since. Would you like to hear another? 

Once upon a time, I was studying at a new age, spiritual private school right here in Toronto, called the transformational arts college. I did a diploma of total self-health, and I believe if everyone went through this two-year program, the world would be all right. At the school, they taught me techniques for manifesting a brighter reality, visually, guided meditation, sound healing, and energy medicine. One day, as a student at the school, I decided to take it upon myself to manifest the soulmate that I had always dreamed of meeting one day. So, I devised a mantra that I would say to myself for the next three months, in order to procure my soulmate. The mantra was “I have unconditional love “. Over the next three months, I would say this mantra to myself over and over and over again, sometimes to the point of tears. Little did I know that because of this mantra alone, and of course, because of the greatness of God, I would open myself up to become the minister I am becoming now. and so, at the end of three months of manifesting unconditional love into my life I began a meditation practice by reading a poem by Rumi on the topic of love. The book had flashed in the sunlight that day, and so I decided to sit down and read whatever was chosen at random for me. I sat in meditation at the edge of a giant south facing window that was in my bedroom at the time. And a curious thing began to happen. The air quality and pressure in the room began to feel heavier. The room shield with a light golden color. The hair on my body started to stand on end. And I began to hear a vibrational quality buzzing, as if the sound of bird wings were being heard. And then I began to hear J names, Jacob, Joseph, Justin, Jehovah, and then I heard Jesus Christ. And there appeared before me much too close for comfort, a golden outline of a body. And the being spoke and said this, hi, I love you, I have always loved you, and I always will love you. And that’s all you need to know. But what you’re asking for we can’t give you because humans don’t know how to love unconditionally yet, but if you ask me, Jesus, for unconditional love, I will give it to you. And then Jesus opened my heart, and I felt the feeling of unconditional love for the first time in my life. It was overpowering, it was a feeling it was like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. He said he was gone. And I became a Christian in the 10 minutes that followed that experience. I began looking for a church to go to right away at that moment. AND IN the days, months, and years that followed I began to ask Jesus for unconditional love, whenever I felt the feeling of lack. And he always gave it to me.

Three months later, I was praying, and God told me to eat only fruit for three days. So, I did exactly that. I went out and I bought fruit, and I ate nothing but fruit for the next three days. On the second day I was scrolling on Facebook on my phone and what popped up was an article called Essene Fruitarians, the Jesus diet. So, I opened it, and it was an article that proceeded to explain that a sect of Jewish folks a very long time ago, ate nothing but just fruit, and it allows one to connect with the spiritual world more easily for various reasons. If one removes death from one’s diet and fills their body instead with food that is alive and living like fruit, one is able to communicate more effectively with the spiritual realm. On the evening of the third day, I was overcome with the need to remember something, and spirit asked me to lie down. So, I did, and what happened was I felt tingling in my feet first, and it slowly moved up my body until I saw the face of Jesus I would suggest with my third eye, and Jesus asked me to follow him. And I did not know how to do that, since Jesus was disembodied, and I was rather attached to mine in the moment, so I simply intended to follow Jesus, and I believe that was sufficient, Jesus said I’m taking you to meet the father. Suddenly I felt as though I was in the presence of the father, and I began to feel terrified because of the intensity of that feeling I was completely overcome. And the father simply said, love me, and I did not exactly know how to do that at that moment, so I simply repeated over and over to myself “I love you “. After a few minutes of this, the father said I have put unknowing in your heart and then was gone. I was back with Jesus suddenly, and Jesus spoke to me, saying “you have been a black man and a white woman, you have been a Jew and gentile, you have been rich, and you have been poor, you have been old, and you have been young, and you have been a killer. Now go preach the peace “that was my call to ministry and my call to pacifism all wrapped up in one.

The conclusion of these three stories is a simple one. God is speaking to you through my life and is using me for a simple purpose. I am here on this earth to help people understand that God chooses who is called and who is not. I have been called to serve God for one reason only. I asked for it. Do you remember at the beginning of my first story that I told you I would pray daily for unconditional love to be given to me. There's only one being, what I like to call All That Is, who can give a person unconditional love. And so there is a second moral of this sermon. Forgive anyone who hasn't given you unconditional love, it is not their fault that they don't know how to love you unconditionally, because they probably don't love themselves unconditionally, and they never will, in this lifetime that is. That's not a mistake on their part, it's a learned behaviour that is passed down through each generation to their children through pain, that’s all. I’m asking you to do two things in the sermon. The first one is to ask God to give you the feeling of unconditional love. The second thing that I am asking you to do through this sermon, is to forgive everyone that hurt you for not loving you the way you needed to be loved. God will come into your life at an opportune, or at an inopportune time, it doesn't really matter. What does matter is that you listen when God speaks to you. God has been getting increasingly louder in my life for a period of I would say 10 years now. And that has resulted in many changes for me. But the biggest change that has occurred in my life is that I know God loves me and if God calls you, you should answer. God has not brought me to where I thought I would go or even where I wanted to go, but God has brought me to places I never dreamed of going to. In the first story I told you, God brought me to the truth that there was something beyond me. Something that loved me and was proud of me, that I had never received so deeply and so profoundly before. In the second story I shared I was given unconditional love - which I had never received before. And in the third story I received the call to use my life to be a preacher of peace. 

What you are witnessing today is the reason I am standing before you. It's the smallest part of my backstory. I’m grateful to be able to share with you who I am. I’m grateful to be able to tell you that …

I believe in the story of Moses and the burning bush because all of these things that I've told you about really did happen to me. The story of Moses teaches us that miracles are possible. My story taught me to believe in myself as a person of faith. Like Moses, I am called to serve God in any way that I can. It may sound presumptuous for me to say all of this to you, but you have to understand that talking with God in the manner I have previously described is my daily occurrence. If you would like me to share more miracles with you, I would be happy to oblige. Remember this, I can guarantee you - with 100 percent certainty that God loves you and would love to be in contact with you more often than you are already speaking. So please, if you take away anything from today, speak to God about anything and everything. This pleases God beyond measure.

Thank you.