March 29, 2020

Let us show the world the power of God’s Love

Preacher:

I’m bored

let’s pop down to the mall and do some shopping.

We can’t.
I was there just yesterday and most of the shops are closed up tight.
Besides we are only supposed to go out for stuff we really need.

Well then, let’s drop in on Jeff and Cindy we haven’t seen them in a while.

We can’t.
They are self-isolating because they just got back from the States.
Besides, we aren’t supposed to be going around visiting anyway.

Remember?

Social distancing?

No visiting.

Life has changed.

And not in a good way.

Many of us have lost our jobs, or may soon do so.

Our kids can’t go to school, which makes it hard for Moms and Dads to go to work.

Grandparents can’t spend time with their grandchildren for fear of getting sick.

Our businesses are teetering on the edge of bankruptcy.

Our stock portfolio’s have been trashed.

Our retirement funds are on shaky ground.

Some of the stuff we really need to live is in short supply at the store.

All the routines of our day-to-day lives are up in the air.

Every part of our lives, every thing we do that gives us comfort, every activity that helps us find meaning in our lives, has suddenly changed.

Our anxiety levels are amped up.

All you hear when you listen to the news is that we are living under threat for our lives.

Even church has been cancelled.

Ironically, right when we need each other the most, we can’t get together to support one another, to comfort each other in our misery and anxiety, to build one another up in our faith.

It makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

When will things get back to normal?

Will they?

It also makes you wonder where God is in all of this.

Where were you God, when I lost my job.

Where were you God, when the economy tanked, when my friends and family fell sick, when some of them died?

Where are you now, today?

Hard questions these.

Questions that are difficult for your pastor to try to answer for you without sounding trite.

When bills need paying and the bank account is overdrawn,  hearing from the preacher that, “God is with you” tends to ring a bit hollow.

When Mom is sick, really sick with this new virus, being told by your minister that God has things under control is a bit hard to swallow.

Words of encouragement at times like these are difficult to hear; difficult to believe.

It’s true that when our world is crashing in around our ears words of encouragement are really hard to apply to the living of our lives.

In spite of this truth, it is words alone that I offer you this morning.

And I pray that by the power of the Holy Spirit you are able to take these words and apply them to your life.

Because the words of comfort that I offer you this morning are not my words.

They are the words of God’s promise to you.

And the key to making them effective in the living of your life is your faith.

As we heard in our reading from the epistle to the Hebrews the God of the Old Testament performed many signs and wonders for his people Israel.

And according to Hebrews it was in response to his people’s faith that God acted.

Throughout history when God’s people were threatened and turned to God in faith, God was there for them working through their faith to do them good.

God is present to us today, this very morning, through that same power of faith, which is yours through believing that Jesus is the Christ of God by whom we are redeemed and made right with God.

By our faith in the promises of God we are assured of that for which we hope.

Though we walk through the fiery furnace of the trials and tribulations this life brings our way.

By and through faith, God offers you the comfort of his eternal presence and power in your life.

Things which appear are made of things not visible.

God is not visible to us.

The reality of God with us,

Christ within us, our hope of glory, is the invisible power behind our lives that is activated, becomes active, through faith when we first believe.

The mystery of life in God is that by belief in Jesus as the Christ our lives become hidden in Christ, hidden in Christ and empowered by faith; faith which gives us the hope that comes from trusting in the power and promises of God.

The mystery of faith is that we live and move and have our being in Christ.

By Christ and in Christ, God’s promises, God’s heavenly secrets for living the abundant and eternal life in Christ, are unlocked for us and become the power by which we are able to live today  in the hope of a better tomorrow, a better world, a better life.

Through believing that God is and that God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him,  our present and all of our tomorrows are assured.

Finding ourselves today in a time of trial, I encourage you to respond to our present troubles by putting legs to your unseen faith.

James, the brother of Jesus, said,

“Faith without works is dead.”

In this time of need, when so many of our fellow Canadians are in dire need, the church remains as the power of God for good in this world.

Let us show the world the power of our God’s love.

Let us prayerfully seek ways to demonstrate our faith to the world by helping others to weather the storm of this virus.

Let’s keep an eye out for our neighbours’ well being.

Let us find ways to serve our communities.

Let us be faithful to God’s call,
“…to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God.”

Amen.