Friday, February 8, 2013

Sermon for 2/3/13

Sermon “Before I Formed You” Jeremiah 1:4-10

There are some people you get to know very well.
 what they will do
 what they will say
 how they are courageous
 what will make their courage fail

Our Lord isn’t like we are in this regard. He doesn’t just know some people. He knows us all. Each and every one of us, top to bottom, beginning to end
 our ways
 our thoughts
 our hopes
 our dreams
 our fears
 our potential

What stands in the way of his knowledge and his appointment? Nothing. Not age, not inability, nothing. He is the one, as we saw in our readings, who gives us life, love, healing, and grace. This is our Lord’s great delight. It is his primary way of working in the world.

This is not just a general pattern. It isn’t for “everyone” but not specifically for us as individuals. Look at Jeremiah.

 Jeremiah - before you were born
    set apart = consecrated = made holy
    appointed as a prophet
 Even as “a child” - read this “a young man” and realize that Jeremiah continued in ministry close to seventy years - God gave his prophet a message, and an important one.

     God gave Jeremiah his words.
     God appointed Jeremiah to stand for him in a difficult time.
     God promised to protect Jeremiah.

What is our attitude about God’s love for his children?
 for us
 for the weak
 for the elderly
 for those who cannot defend themselves
 for the unborn

In this nation, over the past forty years, some 55 million Americans have been killed. Their crime? Being conceived. It was nothing they had done. This life and death decision is made again and again, depriving young people, people like you, like me, like Jeremiah, people whom God knows from stem to stern, of all opportunity to be God’s people, speaking His word, living a life before him, living out his loving kindness and grace in this world. It’s time we speak up, and speak up again, clearly, loudly, lovingly.

What is God’s promise in all this? Remember his promise to Jeremiah. He would give Jeremiah words, opportunities, and protection. He has done all this in Jesus. In Jesus Christ the living Word of God has come to dwell with us. After the resurrection Jesus promises that he will never leave us or forsake us. He is with us all the time, to the end of the age. God’s living Word is with us. He has appointed us a task, as we are going, to baptize and teach. All around us are opportunities to minister to people. Do you think there are no hurting people who need the love of God in Christ? Open your eyes. There is great work to do as we walk with our Lord. And as we trust in Jesus we know that nothing can separate us from the love of God. He will always guard us. We are perfectly safe in his arms, knowing that he is the one who has loved us.

Are we willing to go to that frightened mother, the one who doesn’t know what to do, the one who is afraid of what her future may hold, and tell her, no, show her the love of Christ? Are we willing to give her the good news that Jesus knows all her fear, all her anxiety, all her trouble, all her suffering, and that he will sustain her through it, using people like us? Are we willing to give her the good news that her baby is precious in the sight of the Lord and is someone who has a hope, a future, and a purpose in God’s kingdom? Are we willing to walk with those people who are in difficult situations as they raise the child who wasn’t planned by them but is a precious gift in God’s eyes?

When we abandon the children, the next step is to abandon people of all ages who don’t seem so useful. Where will we go next?

Lord, call us to repentance. Let us see that you are the one who cares for us, the least, the last, the lost, the lonely, the weak and lowly. Give us that same care for your other children. Draw us to you in faith, knowing that you are the one who knows our frame, who calls us out of darkness, and who will sustain us to the very end. Amen.

No comments: