Sunday, March 17, 2019
Our message for the Second Sunday in Lent was written by Pastor Richard Brown and read by Worship Leader Chris Ehrat, based on the Gospel Reading from Luke 13:31-35
Due to a technical difficulty the remainder of the sermon is printed below:
If we are grounded in our faith when we begin our journey, we too trust in the promises of God. If we keep walking on our journey and those promises don’t seem to be any nearer, then we start questioning – our own faith, God’s faithfulness, the possibility of our dreams, the hurt of human suffering, the fear that we were wrong to trust in the first place.
It is a painful place to be, sitting on the ground and staring up at a sky that seems as far away as we can imagine. It is precisely this experience that is a catalyst for our growth in faithfulness, as it was Abram’s.
It is in the questioning that Abram learns to trust again. Question by question, Abram’s heart is being shaped into a more trusting form. Lent, as we know, is a transformation of the heart.
We too, perhaps, might need to learn the same lesson this Lent as we explore our own wildernesses and dreams, as we count the stars. Our hearts are just as pliable (and fragile) as Abram’s.
Abram sets a familiar pattern for Lent and our cycle of faith, doubt, and finally trust.
What the lectionary reading leaves out is the part of Abram’s dream that says before God’s promises will be fulfilled (and they will be because God always keeps God’s promises), there will be a time of struggle and hardship.
Just like the lectionary, we tend to want to skip over that piece. Four hundred years is a long time to keep trusting, keep moving, keep following God through a land that is not our own.
But this is what this long season of Lent is about. We are given time in the wilderness to ask the tough questions and learn to trust our heart to God’s heart, our steps to God’s pathway.
The way may be long and winding, but the God who set the stars in motion will guide us on our journey. And perhaps the next time that we look up at the septillion stars, we might trust that God has put just one there so that we might find our way home. Thanks be to God. Amen.
Blessed Assurance # 638