Theme: In HIS WORD, is our Identity
Dearly Beloved, I take this opportunity to remind you that as many as seven readings out of the nine, we have for this evening. These do not include the Psalms and prayer at the end of every reading. These readings should be seen as one long reading, making us understand where we are coming from, the pattern of how life has been for us, where we are going and how to get there. As you listen from the various texts, ask how your life fits directly into the story.
Does our world have an owner, do we exist for a reason, who sets out that purpose or agenda of life? Is your responsibility in life towards yourself or towards the one who sets it in motion? These are the questions this first reading helps us to answer. We marvel at a person so powerful to call out things and they happen in real time. Now listen to the story about you.
Genesis 22:1-2, 9a, 10-13, 15-18
Did our first parents live true to their identity, NO Evil spread through many generations and many forgot about God and His power. God acted by destroying everything in a flood except Noah and his family. The effect of sin will continue with the descendants of Noah. God had already promised not to destroy the earth that way again. God started a new course by choosing Abraham. God tested Abraham for his loyalty. God can test your commitment to Him, He wants you to know that everything including your life belongs to Him. Never holding back, your time, money and even your life, will work to your advantage. Now listen to the story about you.
At this time, circumstances have brought the descendants of Abraham to Egypt. God took time to grow their numbers whiles on a foreign land. The Egyptians had forgotten about Joseph, the Son of Jacob whose name was changed to Israel and how God used him to save the whole land. The descendants of Israel/Jacob were badly maltreated. They cried out to God, and He will do whatever to save them. God sees and knows about your suffering. When the time of your redemption comes, nothing –human or nature - will stop Him from taking you to where you belong. Now listen to the story about you.
Few generations after the descendants of Israel had been freed, they had God for a King to rule over them. They invariably rejected God’s rule. God gave them Saul, then David, Solomon and the rest. Many of the kings who came after David, led the people astray. God acted by punishing them with exile. God used the experience to make the people sober and humble. He visits them in Exile and promises mercy and deliverance. He emphasized to them HIS WORD. The power in HIS WORD. We just listened to the effects of HIS WORD in Genesis. Now listen to the story about you.
By emphasis, God reminded them how HIS WORD brought them into being first as individuals and second as a nation. They therefore belong to HIM, as much as we also belong to HIM through our baptism. He has HIS name on them and He will not stand by and watch them misbehave. How serious do you take your identity as a Christian? Do you know how serious that identity is to God? Now you will listen to the seriousness and importance God attaches to HIS name and the extent to which He can go to save it. Now listen to the story about you.
Romans 6:3-11 Luke 24:1-12
Beloved, again in the New Testament we see the power in GOD’s WORD which became human to dwell with us. We experience all the miracles Jesus worked. And finally this WORD of God will offer Himself to die shamefully as a final act of showing us the way back to God. The evidence of Him rising from the dead is shared in the gospel. St Paul admonishes us in his epistle; for if we have grown into union with him through a death like his, we shall also be united with him in the resurrection. … Consequently, you too must think of yourselves as being dead to sin and living for God in Christ Jesus.
Dearly Beloved, the emphasis again is that your participation during lent until now should help you in dying to sin and living for God in Christ Jesus.