Living in the Light and Love of God’s Word

Grace and peace to you, my sisters and brothers in Christ

As we raise our heads waiting

For waves of Love, Mercy and Grace

Washing over us from the Creator God

And from His Son, Jesus Christ Our Savior and Lord.

Amen

 Many of us are enjoying this time

of Summer

Bringing with it the freedom to be immersed

in this gift of Creation;

This promise of abundant life that God freely gives.

Summer is a season of exploration and hellos

(pause)

Summer also happens to be a season of changes and good-byes.

I am sure that Sacha, Gretchen, Eleanor and Eli

Have probably been fielding questions

About what they will miss most about Austin

About how they have lived and loved

About how they have witnessed the Holy Spirit

Move in so many places.

This realization that the Holy Spirit

Will continue to surround them in new sacred spaces

Must be of comfort to them.

(pause)

The mountains and the hills before you

Shall burst into song

And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.”

And so throughout this Isaiah text

We hear God’s Promise

That God’s Word is always a constant, present

(pause)

I am sure, my brothers and sisters in Christ

That over the past few weeks

We have a hard time fathoming

How God’s Word is accomplishing anything..

The Creator seems to be scattering this Word

That encompasses Forgiveness and Love

Everywhere, and perhaps to us almost carelessly

Because we as people of faith unfortunately recognize those places

Where God’s Word will never take root

Because humanity tends to get in the way and makes a mess

Of the Truth that is the Word of God

Jesus Christ’s teachings, His commandments, challenge us

Of what we as people of faith are called

To do toward and for others

(pause)

We are painfully aware of those who have the responsibility

Of stewardship over places of good soil-

Communities of faith

Sacred spaces where the people of God come, broken, famished

Refusing to allow those rich fields to be tilled

Exposed

Open

To the power of the Word of God through the Holy Spirit

Because the intensity of the Holy Spirit is frightening!

And so they attempt, feebily to limit how the Word of God

Has the power to nurture those who are either stifled in their faith

Or growing and blossoming in theirs

Until all we have left, crumbling in our hands

Is a drought filled life.

(pause)

These ancient people, throughout this Isaiah text

Had been searching

Stumbling for relief and release

In their drought filled lives.

Drought of oppression

And of unsureness

Wilting under the shadow of occupation

And of exile

That they were not fully able to live life abundantly

As God, Our Creator

Had willed

And called God’s people to do so.

They felt perhaps, they had to rely on the unfruitfulness

Of what came from the oppressors’ garden

And in deep in their anguish

They could not see growing underneath their feet

What precious life was budding from the soil

Nurtured by the never ending rain

That even though they were not in the place

That God had promised to them

That did not mean that God could not send relief

Drenching them with the reminders

Of God’s unending, eternal Love.

(pause)

We are left with this heaviness and defeated feeling that God’s Word

Has fallen upon the rocks,

Around the thorns in the hearts of God’s people,

Because God’s Word commands and directs us

To stand for those who others see as

Weak

Unworthy

Undocumented

(pause)

We find ourselves wearily looking out over desolate, forgotten gardens

Gardens filled with communities of people battered,

Their lives tangled in Murder in the streets

Of children fleeing torture and starvation

And unable to flourish a fulfilling life

Of young adults targeted and singled out

Because how they worship God differs

Even though they as we, are connected, bonded through God

As all of God’s children

Gardens nurtured by people who are not open or understanding

Of the Gospel

Which Forgives and Heals beyond anything the Law could do

They seemingly deliberately push out of their hearts

The seeds of God’s Word

Because hearing God’s Word

Calls for releasing

The temporal and the temporary trappings

Of what this world gives to them

Which in truth, yields

(pause)

What perhaps these ancient people

And we, too as people of faith need to be reminded

That God’s Word is Transformative

Revolutionary

Radically Changing

That which has been pronounced

Dead

And giving, creating within and throughout,

New LIFE!

It shall accomplish that which I purpose

And succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”

This is GOOD NEWS!

WE know of this GOOD NEWS

This world has been a witness

To the power of God’s Word

Through the Death

And Resurrection

Of Jesus Christ!

Jesus Christ proclaimed and promised

That the people of God

ALL of the people of God

Would never be alone

That through Jesus’s sacrifice

The World

God’s People

This Creation

Would be Given the Gift of New Life!

So that we

Shall go out in joy

And be lead back into peace!”

The Good News is that God’s Word

Never Leaves!

It reverberates like a boomerang

Sent out

Delighting us with seeds of grace and mercy

Empowering us to be filled with God’s Truth

Enlightening and reminding us of God’s Love

(pause)

The Good News is that even with Creation suffering

With the visible signs of pain and sorrow

The Word of God

Is healing

Through our showing love towards one another

Through our endless prayers

Wherever our journeys may lead us

We can always find God here

Right next to us in the pew

Outside those doors

Here at the Table

Opening us up to what God has called us to do.

Thanks Be To God.

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