Sermon at First Presbyterian Church Lockhart

"Patiently Remembering God”

Lamentations 3:19-26, Psalm 137, II Timothy 1:1-14, Luke 17:5-10

                                                              October 3, 2010                                  

by James Greene

 

           There are times in our lives when we had to stand in line waiting.  Growing up in the Air Force, we developed waiting into an art from.  It seems that we were always waiting, to do something, or go somewhere.  We waited for the bus to take us to the Base School.  We waited on the East Coast for 3 months to go overseas to Germany.  We developed a mind-set of patiently waiting until it was our turn in the great scheme of things.  We would use the time spent waiting to reflect and remember things in our lives.  

           In a time before E-Mail, cell phones, and computers, I remember, as an Aggie, waiting at the Post Office for mail.  It was our primary contact with the outside world.  You had to take time to write a letter, and then you had to be patient and wait for a reply.  This might take 1 or 2 weeks or more.  We had a joke about keeping the spider alive in our mail box, because the mail, seldom came, if at all.  We also had to remember to write.  The title of today’s sermon is “Patiently Remembering God”

 

I  Remembering God, and to Wait  Lamentations

 

In Lamentations, we see the prophet, remembering his afflictions, his wandering, his bitterness, and his depression.  Yet in all of his pain and hardship he remembers that he has Hope, because of God.  He remembers that God is his portion and to wait on The Lord.  We are called to trust in God.  We are to trust Him even in the midst of our sorrow and our mourning.  He calls us to remember that God is good, and that we have Hope in Him.  We are to seek Him and wait.  We are to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.

 

II  What does Remembering and Calling upon God, in our pain?

Lamentations/Psalm

           In Psalm 137, like Lamentations we see Israel during the Babylonian captivity.  Their sitting and remembering Zion, and the tormenting by their captors.  They are called to sing the songs of joy, in the midst of their sorrow and suffering under foreign oppression in a foreign country. 

           They are called to remember Jerusalem and their God.  They call upon God to remember what their oppressors have done in the destruction of Jerusalem, and the oppressors call to tear Jerusalem down to the foundations.  They call upon God’s Justice to avenge what has been done to Israel.  They call upon God to repay Babylon even to the destruction of their children bashed against the rocks.  It is a call of lament to God, to remember Israel, in their suffering and to make things right and avenge the wrong done to them.

 

                                                      1

III Paul, Remembering, - the Sorrow and Faith of Timothy      II Timothy

 

           In II Timothy we see Paul remembering Timothy in his prayers.  He recalls Timothy’s tears and sorrow.  He also remembers the history and foundation of Timothy’s faith grounded in the faith of his mother and Grandmother. 

           It is the passing on of the Apostolic Spirit that his faith is to be brought to full blaze.  It is a faith that is demonstrated in a “spirit of power, of love, and of

self-discipline.”

 

           Paul calls us to remember that God has saved us in and through our trials and calls us to a Holy life in response to that salvation.  We are to remember, just as we do today in Holy Communion, -    Jesus’ suffering and death, and how through that suffering, He overcame death, for our salvation.  Jesus in patiently remembering God, went to death, and beyond (and returned) - has brought us life and immortality to light through him.  V-12 “Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day.” comes to us in one of Handel’s parts in The Messiah “I know, that my redeemer liveth”.  God has entrusted us with a deposit of inheritance and we are to guard it through the help of the Holy Spirit that lives within us. 

We are in trusted with this precious treasure, that we are called to remember God’s gift and to share that gift as the people of God.    

                       

 

IV Remembering in our serving God, we are to be patient.  - Luke

 

           In Luke we see Jesus teaching in a difficult parable about servants and doing our duty.  Just as the servant is to wait upon the Master, even after working in the field all day, he is still called to serve, -  before he can eat and drink.  It seems awkward, and like the master doesn’t care for the servant.  But it is the reality of what it means, to serve, and serve humbly.  We are called to do our duty in our service, we are called

to be patient and remember, - the One who saves us.    

The key element in this, is that, even our best works substandard.  We are to remember that in humility and humbleness we are unworthy compared to the perfect example set in Jesus.  So it is only fitting that the best we can say, is that, “we have only done our duty.”  

           We are to be faithful, and we are to be patient and remember our God, who is the One we serve.  Who is the One who saves us.  We are to remember who is the One with us in pain and hardship.  We are to call upon God in our patience and remember Him even in our afflictions, wandering, bitterness, and depression

 

And we do it all…. Patiently Remembering God … in it all.

 

                      In the Name of    the Father,   the Son,   and the Holy Spirit.  Amen

 

                                                                 2