An Inventory of Blessings: Peace and Comfort! A sermon on Isaiah 66:10-14
† In Jesus’ Name †
May the grace of God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ help you realize God’s desire that you come close to Him, and let Him give you life!
- This is what the Lord Says!
Often, I have people, mostly unbelievers or agnostics, tell me that they picture God in two different ways.
The Old Testament God is a God of wrath, who condemns people to hell as he smites them with fire and brimstone.
Then they see a different God in the New Testament, one that is, if anything, too merciful and tolerant.
When they hear the words that we did today, “This is what the LORD says, it is with a deep dark voice, almost like Darth Vader, or James Earl Jones, with every word punctuated and emphasized, rolling out like thunder. They anticipate what follows will be a harsh lesson, a caustic disciplinary correction or worse.
THIS IS WHAT THE LORD SAYS…..
And while hearing God’s voice may get a little uncomfortable, it is not because it is strong and harsh and demanding.
Rather, I think that is it too comforting, too intimate, and it reveals us needy as it pictures us drinking in God’s glorious love, much as an infant would be content and filled…
- Why does this make us uncomfortable?
There is a part of us I think likes to picture God as the mean and distant authority figure, of whom it is said, “just wait until your Father gets home!”
We aren’t as comfortable with God being the nurturing, comforting God that He is compared to in these words He gave to Isaiah. Just studying the passage is Hebrew, which is far more blunt and descriptive, was overwhelming, never mind projecting that level of care and intimacy on my relationship with God! Knowing God is that close, that aware of our needs, and that willing to provide for them–no matter the mess we make, is astonishing.
More than that, it is frightening to think we can be that dependent on God.
The same God who sees the mess we make of life, which is nowhere near as nice as that baby’s diaper.
It amazes me, and to be honest, I struggle with the idea that God knows us that intimately. He knows when we have messed up our lives. He even warned us about it, told us not to do it, but assured us He would be there to clean up the mess.
But we struggle with God being that close, that aware… We can be like the 2-3-year-old who’s done wrong and tried to hide it. Go all the way back to the garden, and you see men and women trying to hide their sin, trying to hide their brokenness. And so rather going with God when He calls us to spend time with Him, we hide out, thinking we can delay our getting in trouble, and maybe even escape getting in trouble.
As if any kid could fool their parents at that age…
Yet we still try, and we still mess up our lives, sometimes in spectacular ways.
And during cleaning us up, God gives us what we need, just as He taught us to pray for it, as we pray the Lord’s prayer. Just like the momma in Isaiah.
- The closeness we need!
That is what we really need! For God to be that close! For Him to care for us.
The joy that comes from realizing not only can we depend on God that much, but that He desires us to, is amazing.
One pastor I was reading said it this way, this week.
“Before our response to his invitation — well before! — there is his desire for us. We may not even be aware of it, but every time we go to Mass, the first reason is that we are drawn there by his desire for us.” (Pope Francis)
The think that I still try to grasp, that I want each one of you to realize, is that God wants us to be there with Him. He loves caring for us, just as much as a mom loves caring for her baby.
He knew we would sin, prepared well to clean us up and make us perfect, and comforts us even as we grieve.
This was what the cross was all about, proving to us that God cared this much for us, that He desires for us to dwell in His presence.
And by us, I don’t just mean those of us in this room, but all of those whom He created, and calls to be changed, and then changes them. People we help by sharing this understanding that God told Isaiah to record for all the people of God.
This is something we need to count on, and make sure we understand is always ours, this comfort and peace given to us through Jesus Christ. AMEN!
Posted on July 3, 2022, in Sermons and tagged Concordia Lutheran Church, concordia sermons, god the father, Inventory of Blessings, Nursing, Peace and Comfort. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.