Sermon for September 11, 2022

Faith is Trust, Trust is Grace, we must Live them so that we can Experience them

2 Corinthians 4:13-18 (CEV) 13 In the Scriptures it says, “I spoke because I had faith.” We have this same kind of faith. So we speak 14 because we know that God raised the Lord Jesus to life. And just as God raised Jesus, he will also raise us to life. Then he will bring us into his presence together with you. 15 All of this has been done for you, so more and more people will know how kind God is and will praise and honor him.

16 We never give up. Our bodies are gradually dying, but we ourselves are being made stronger each day. 17 These little troubles are getting us ready for an eternal glory that will make all our troubles seem like nothing. 18 Things that are seen don’t last forever, but things that are not seen are eternal. This is why we keep our minds on the things that cannot be seen.

To understanding where Paul is coming from, he uses the Old Testament prophet Job:

Job 4:17-21 (CEV)

17     “Can a human be more righteous than God,

        a person purer than their maker?”

Its interpretation

18 If he doesn’t trust his servants

        and levels a charge against his messengers,

19     how much less those who dwell in houses of clay,

        whose foundations are in dust,

        and who are crushed like a moth?

20 They are smashed between morning and evening;

    they perish forever without anyone knowing.

21 Isn’t their tent cord pulled up?

    They die without wisdom.

Paul is actually being quite dark in his commentary of Job to the church is Corinth.  We are all mortal right now.  We are going to die.  The things that we love and spend most of out time with are temporary.  Your favorite smell.  Your favorite color.  Your favorite sports team.

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens

Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens

Brown paper packages tied up with strings

These are a few of my favorite things

Cream-colored ponies and crisp apple strudels

Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles

Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings

These are a few of my favorite things

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes

Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes

Silver-white winters that melt into springs

These are a few of my favorite things

When the dog bites

When the bee stings

When I’m feeling sad

I simply remember my favorite things

And then I don’t feel so bad.[1]

Paul also uses the words of Ecclesiastes to the church in Corinth.  Paul is going even darker in his explanation about how all the junk that this church is dealing with, infighting, backbiting, sinful actions by people in leadership, people picking sides, and Paul uses Ecclesiastes 3.  When I graduated from Warner Southern College, there is a clock tower that the graduates walk under and through that has Ecclesiastes 3:2-8 on all four sides.  Paul uses a latter part of chapter 3 to continue the thought.

Ecclesiastes 3:18-20 (CEV) 16Everywhere on earth I saw violence and injustice instead of fairness and justice. 17So I told myself that God has set a time and a place for everything. He will judge everyone, both the wicked and the good. 18I know God is testing us to show us that we are merely animals. 19Like animals we breathe and die, and we are no better off than they are. It just doesn’t make sense. 20All living creatures go to the same place. We are made from earth, and we return to earth. 21Who really knows if our spirits go up and the spirits of animals go down into the earth? 22We were meant to enjoy our work, and that’s the best thing we can do. We can never know the future.

[1] Songwriters: Oscar Hammerstein Ii / Richard Rodgers

My Favorite Things lyrics © Warner-tamerlane Publishing Corp., Spurburn Music, 13th Planet Music Inc., Lovolar Music, Williamson Music

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