This blog will include the sermons I have preached as a lay minister with the Anglican Parish of South Queens in the Diocese of NS and PEI in the Anglican Church of Canada. Because my preaching schedule varies, the frequency of postings will vary.
I hope that these sermons will enrich your spiritual life as much as they have enriched mine.
Saturday, 15 March 2014
Jeremiah 4:9-10, 19-28 Weeping About the Future
Book of Jeremiah is a book full of dark prophecies of doom and gloom. Jeremiah
is a heartbroken prophet with a heartbreaking message. The people of Israel had
forgotten God and refused to listen for his voice. They were locked into their
old way of doing things.
are the same. Sometimes when we get stuck in our old habits, sins and wicked
ways, God has to shake things up. Spiritual stupidity happens when we do not
stop to think about the results of our actions, or when we refuse to listen to
warnings of others when they speak the truth. We might want to change, but
sometimes we might not be willing to be changed. The church is the same. It has
become apathetic and complacent. It has a “business as usual” attitude. If we
and the church refuse to shake ourselves up, and we refuse to wake the world
up, God will have to step in and shake us up.
faithfully declared that obeying God is the only way to escape judgment and
receive his blessings. Jeremiah foretold the destruction in Judah that would be
caused by the invasion of the Babylonians. False prophets in Judah told the
people that everything would be okay when in reality God was about to unleash
his wrath. God allowed these false prophets to speak because they fulfilled his
purpose of judgment. Jeremiah was so upset that he started to show physical
wondered how long he had to be the bearer of bad news. God’s reply was that
Jeremiah was to keep preaching doom and gloom until the people gained knowledge
and understanding of God’s ways and Word. The people were described in harsh
terms that were designed to shock the people into true repentance. The upcoming
judgment was portrayed as a reversal of the creation process, but not
everything would be destroyed. God would not change his mind about the upcoming
is an old saying: “You reap what you sow.” In other words, we have to accept
the consequences of our actions. For example, if we overeat, smoke or drink to
excess, we risk having health problems. If we neglect God, we will be punished.
We will suffer a fate similar to that of the people of Judah. The people of
Judah sowed the seeds of disobedience, and the consequence was the invasion of
Judah by the Babylonians. The people of Judah were stupid, but God did not give
up on them. Similarly, we are often spiritually stupid, but God doesn’t give up
on us. He constantly reaches out to us through Jesus’ death and resurrection.
is known to us, not by his power, might and strength, but by his scars. His
scarred hands will take our shaking hands. When he says that he will come
looking for us, we can count on it. He will stand up for us, and he will not
give up on us. Are we convinced? Are we willing to trust him? Are our values
aligned with his? Now that we have been made right with God through the cross,
will we confess our selfishness and offer to others the love and mercy God has
shown to us?
job as Christians is to tell people about God and to try to lead them to
Christ. Sometimes it means steering them to redemption. Do we actually reach
out to them with this in mind? Do we seek a radical change in their hearts? Do
we warn people about the dangers in our culture? Do we talk about our doubts
with God? Do we have a passion for our faith? We are called to care for other
Christians so much that we feel it in the depths of our souls, and we are to
show that caring attitude with our whole hearts.
C.F.: The Charles F. Stanley Life
Principles Bible, NASV (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Inc.; 2009)
Bible. Part of Wordsearch 10 Bible software package.
& Ogilvie, L.J.: The Preacher’s
Commentary Series; Vol. 19: Jeremiah, Lamentations (Nashville, TN: Thomas
Nelson Inc.; 1988)