Peace – Prayer – Joy – Love
Rocks & Stones

Remember Who You Belong To

Remember Who You Belong To

 

  1. The Faithfulness of God’s Faithfulness – Homeless Anniversary
    1. This month is the one year anniversary of our being jobless/homeless
      1. I resigned my pastorates at two churches in E. Michigan
      2. Megan resigned her directorship at a meaningful ministry/job
      3. We had no direction or plan besides “Not This”.
  1. Pausing to remember that we’ve been through this before
    1. Remembering that God had seen us through similar challenges gave us perspective & peace through the temptation to fear
    2. We found that peace through remembering who we belonged to
    3. Remembering that we belonged to an allpowerful & loving Father helped us endure a wilderness season in exile journeying to a new leading or destiny that we did not yet know the details of.
  1. Oops/Fear Tries to Reclaim Children as Slaves Again
    1. In our reading, Isaiah is speaking to a people in exile in Babylon
    2. God’s Chosen People were engulfed in fear as prisoners of the Empire
    3. We have been remembering that we are Children of Love, of God, but the world around us wants to reclaim us as Slaves to Fear, of Empire.
  2. We Witness Christians Slipping on the Chains of Slavery
    1. Christian Leaders who reject Jesus’ call to care for the least of these
      1. Instead of caring for widows, orphans & strangers these Christian leaders care for their own personal interests & privileges
      2. The Christian faith gets rejected for its selfish hypocrisy
    2. Christian Leaders who hold onto racism & sexism & nationalism
    3. Christian Leaders who trade Kingdom Grace for Empire Influence
  3. God is a Patient Father of Grace & Mercy
    1. He reminds his people, “Look to the rock from which you were hewn”
      1. Reminder of the Covenant promised to Abraham
      2. Renewal of that Covenant – make deserts to gardens
    2. Listen to Me x2
      1. Justice, Light, Deliverance, & Salvation that goes on Forever
      2. Not scolding, but comforting those whom Fear seeks to reclaim and reminding those whom Fear would return a false identity.
    3. Jesus asks, “Who do you say that I am?”
      1. Others had been confused or unclear about his identity
      2. Peter confess that he is the messiah; the Son of God
      3. Jesus speaks blessing to him & claims him, giving him identity
  1. Both Isaiah & Matthew bless us w/reminders of our God given identity
    1. The Israelites and the Disciples faced times of trial & fear
    2. Both were in danger of being reclaimed as Slaves to Fear
    3. Both were delivered from that slavery through remembering Who They Belonged To
  1. We too are surrounded by a climate of fear that seeks to reclaim us and return us to being Slaves of Fear
  2. We too are delivered from that slavery through remembering Who We Belong To
  1. Answering the Question & Remembering the Answer
    1. As we head out back into the world of Empire that happily seeks to reclaim us under a false identity as Slaves to Fear & Slaves to Hatred
    2. Let us remember that our identity comes, not from Earthly Empires, but from the Kingdom & a divine Father who calls us Children of Love!
  2. How Dramatically Things Can Change in a Year!
    1. One year ago our family took a dramatically faithful risk trusting in God’s faithfulness and he proved to be faithfully faithful again
    2. It hasn’t been a year yet since our congregation felt the shockwaves of fear and even hatred, and yet God has been faithfully faithful again
    3. Like the Israelites who had seen slavery & exile & wilderness before, God walked with them and was faithful to them, calling them children
    4. God is walking with us, reminding us that we are all Children of Love, and we can rest in both that assurance and our experience of God’s faithfulness reaching back into our history and extending to our future.

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