The Place We Live
Preacher: Rev. Dennis Howard | Can you imagine waking up one morning and suddenly finding yourself living in a place where you will live forever?
I mean really live.
Live in a pleasant place.
Where life is joyous and totally fulfilling.
A place where life is no longer tinged with boredom, meaninglessness, pain, suffering, injustice, oppression or even, get this, death.
Can you imagine waking up one morning and awakening to the truth that such a place even exists?
I can tell you this morning that there is just such a place.
And here is the best part.
This place is not only very real.
It is a place that is totally open.
Open – to everyone.
No matter who you are.
No matter how much money you have.
No matter what your occupation.
No matter your status.
No matter what you have done in life.
This place – the place of the new morning.
This place – place of the new realization.
Is open to all.
Admission is free.
The welcome mat is at the door.
The red carpet is rolled out for you.
Your invitation is printed.
It was written just for you, before the world even existed.
This sermon is the articulation of your invitation to enter into this place.
I invite you to wake up this morning to the truth of this place of which I speak.
I promise you that if you answer this invitation, your life will change.
If you hear this invitation.
And realize the truth of it.
Scales will fall from your eyes.
You will see a different world.
You will find yourself in a world made new.
You yourself will be a new creature, a new creation, carried into a new realm of being by the truth of Christ crucified and risen again so that you may have newness of life in a new place.
Seeing the truth of this place and accepting your way into it, cannot help but transform the way you live.
I speak from personal experience.
For the first twenty years of my life I was not aware that such a place existed.
I thought, I lived by the idea, that what you see is what you get.
I believed that if you could not see it, feel it, hear it, smell it – then IT did not exist.
I lived in a materialistic world.
When I turned twenty and was shocked to realize that I was no longer an eternal teenager.
I looked around and saw that my life, the place I lived, the skin I occupied, held no real hope for a future that mattered.
In response to this realization I got busy trying to find meaning in life by filling my days with fruitless attempts to amuse myself.
Nothing I tried took me to a place of sustained meaning.
Sooner or later the fun ended.
Friends went home.
And there I was, alone with an emptiness that would not let go.
Then one day around about this time, some friends I trusted, had the courage to tell me about a place they had found where life was different.
Just like Peter in the verses from book of Acts that we read today, my friends told me how the world really works, what is behind it all, what is behind everything we can see, feel, hear and smell, what it means, where it is heading.
And best of all they told me how to get on board with what is real in this life.
They articulated for me the way to get in touch with that very real but unseen part of this world that is that place of fulfillment, peace and justice for which my heart and soul craved.
Those of you who are already in the place my friends told me about, know of the place, the way of life that I am talking about.
Those of you who haven’t figured it out yet, don’t stop listening now.
You are about to hear the most important bit of news you will ever hear.
The place of which I speak is the Kingdom, yes people, the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of Heaven on earth that is yours for the asking.
If you would like to go to that place.
If you would like to live in the place I’ve described.
Then guess what?
You are already there.
You have already rejected a life futility and meaninglessness lived outside the place God prepared for you before the world was, the Kingdom of Heaven.
Whether you know it or not, if you want to be in that place, if you want to enter into that place of meaning and fulfillment, then as my friends told me on that night when I said I did, “You already have. By wanting to be in that place you have repented of your meaningless way of living and entered in”.
You have rejected a meaningless empty shell of a life and turned to that place where God is there waiting for you.
You may not know it yet.
But I am here to tell you that, that is exactly what has just happened.
If you want it, you are, right now, a member of God’s Kingdom.
If you want it you are saved, because you want to be.
It is that simple.
God gave you the will to be, to become – his child.
A sister or brother of the one who died on the cross.
And was raised again so that all who call on his name.
His name is Jesus.
Call upon his name and you will be, you are, saved.
And on the last day, raised from the dead.
To dwell together with God to dwell forever with him in that place of blessedness.
Answer the invitation.