Sermons from August 2023
The psalmist cried to the Lord in his distress, and he was heard. Jonah cried to the Lord from the belly of the fish, and he was heard. Jesus cried to the Lord, and he died. But his reverent submission spoke from the grave, and was heard. Now we hear his voice and submit in obedience, finding thereby eternal salvation.
Heb 4:14-16 Good help is hard to find, so the saying goes. The psalmist looked to the hills as he asked, “Where does my help come from?” He then answered his own question: My help comes from the Lord (Ps 121:1-2). Where do we look for help, especially during our spiritual journey? Our text tells us we can find timely help because we have a great high priest. We can boldly approach the eternal throne.
The ancient Collect for Purity prayed early in the Eucharist service of the Book of Common Prayer begins thus: Almighty God, unto whom all hearts be open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid. Is that a comforting thought or a scary thought? David wrote, “You have searched me, Lord, and you know me,” then he dared to ask God to do so again: “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts” (Ps 139:1, 23). God’s living, powerful word penetrates into our deepest being, exposing us before his gaze. Will we survive his examination? Do we want him to know our heart?
Entering into God’s Rest Summer is almost over and, with it, the end of R&R, rest and relaxation. Soon we’ll be back to work, whether in the classroom or office, real or virtual, or in some other space doing “real” work with our hands. What is rest? Is it a state of mind, or a place, or a particular day? Technically, it’s the complete lack of motion, but that doesn’t sound very attractive. In this week’s passage from Hebrews the phrase “enter into God’s rest” occurs eight times. What is this rest? Where, when, and how do we enter it? And what is this rest like when we are there?