(The following was written for the Take It With You from Sunday’s Worship service.
You can watch the sermon on our Livestream channel)
Reports of shootings and violence fill news headlines. A political season that is as divisive and polarizing as I’ve ever seen weighs on hearts and minds. And this is right here within our own borders, let alone the accounts of unrest, war, and suffering present throughout the world. If I’m not careful, I find myself a slave to these daily forces and pressures, and I become anxious and fearful and suspect and isolated.
I am NOT, however, a slave to these things. I’ve already been set free from any power of sin, death, hell, the grave, rulers, principalities, and anything else in all creation that would separate me from who Jesus has called me to be.
I am a child of God.
We. His Church. Are children of God!
And we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us! (Romans 8)
And whether or not we would strike a direct correlation between the Church today and the Israelites’ exile to Babylon, there is a word for us in our focal text this morning from Jeremiah 29. I’ll summarize it this way.
Be about life.
Do things that bring life to you and those around you.
Have life and have it to the full.
God will hold up His end. God is faithful. God is responsible. We partner in the plans and purposes of God when we live, when we bear fruit (remember a certain barren fig tree!), when we bring a farmer’s market of love, joy, peace, patience and kindness to every street corner and neighborhood, every workplace and home.
Time and again Jesus came face to face with folks filled with accusation and pride and fear. The story from John 8 of the woman caught in adultery comes to mind. His own road to the cross comes to mind as well. To these powerful forces and people, Jesus chose not to respond in kind.
Instead, He gave life. He gave His life. We, too, have His life to give.