Sermon at First Presbyterian Church Lockhart
Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18 Psalm 27, Philippians 3:3-4:1, Luke 13:31-35
February 28, 2010
by James Greene
It is always seems hard to have patience, and to wait. It is almost against our nature to stand still, when everything around you is moving at light speed. How many times do we find ourselves waiting in line: at the H.E.B., waiting to get into an event like a football game, a show, a pot luck dinner at church, or the time spent sitting in the chair at the doctor’s office? Sometimes, it seems like time stands still while we wait our turn,- our time to be able to act, or to be served. It seems at times, that while we wait we are passed-by, by life.
In the readings this morning, we see our call by God to Wait upon the Lord. We see it reflected in Abram’s experience, the Psalmists confidence and trust to Wait upon the Lord, in Paul’s call for us to stand firm, and in Jesus’ example of waiting upon the call of the Father.
The reading from Genesis, we see Abram being called to wait in hope. God reassures him “Do not be afraid”, and that God will be his “shield” and “great reward”. It is because 15:V6 “Abram believed the Lord, and [the Lord] credited it to him as Righteousness.” God’s plan went beyond Abram’s understanding of time. It was really greater, and beyond “thinking out side of the box.” Abram was worried about not having a son to continue his family, when God reassures him that his offspring will be more than the stars he can count.
We know today, that with the Hubble telescope, we have discovered more stars than we ever knew existed just 50 years ago. And, there are even more stars beyond what we can see now. What a promise God made to Abram even in his doubting. Imagine, while looking at the stars at night, that you would have that many grandkids, and great grandkids?
Looking at the stars and thinking of God’s Covenant with Abram, reminds me of the Aggie Astronomer who was studying the sun. After researching the sun in his study, he decided to spend the day studying the sun with a special telescope. After observing the sun all day, he sat down and wondered where the sun went when it sank below the horizon. He thought about this phenomenon all night, - then suddenly -
it dawned on him.
Sometimes we, like Abram, forget that God is into fermentation and not microwaving. Our current culture, is filled with Instant Messaging, and Facebook, where we want immediate answers to all of our questions and problems. We forget the long-term view, and focus of God’s Plan for Creation and our lives.
It is the like interest on our savings in the credit union. It builds slowly, but it pays to be patient and wait. If we look at God’s Plans, through our lens of history, we get a sense of perspective. The Covenant made with Abram begins about 2166 BC, and ends with the entering into and taking of The Promise Land by the Israelites under Joshua in approximately 1375 BC. That is a span of about 991 years. That is a long time to wait on our time scale. Think about Abram’s descendants “today”, they’re still growing in all parts of the world. That is a span of 4176 years, and counting. Now that is a Promise! That is what, waiting on the Lord, in Hope, is about.
In Psalm 27, we see the example of waiting with out fear. When God is our light, our salvation, and the stronghold of our lives we should not fear. The Psalmist calls upon God to receive him even though his parents forsake him. He has the long-term focus of Abram. He believes and knows that God will protect him and he will see the Lord in the land of the living. This is a hint, and a glimpse of what it will be like, in the Resurrection.
Sometimes, when we are forced to wait on things, we forget that it is a time to prepare. It is a time for us to prepare ourselves for what God has in store for us. It is not only a time to reflect, but it is a time to stand firm in our faith and wait upon the Lord.
In 2002, because of downsizing in the industry, my job changed from being a Supervisor to an Operator. I went from being in charge of an area in the wafer fab to being a worker bee on the production line. It was the same year that I graduated from Seminary. It was during this time that I began to lay the foundation that would eventually lead me to Lockhart. It was my time to prepare, and to wait. I used my time, during breaks and lunches, to read, and re-read the Bible. It was my time to focus on God and The Word: to stand firm, and to wait. I didn’t know what the future held, but like the Psalmist, I knew who held the future. I began to prepare for God to use me. It was in 2005, that I began doing occasional pulpit supply through the Seminary.
The Psalmist tells us, to wait for the Lord. It is a message we can learn from when we are faced with all of the elements in displayed in the Psalm. We, like Abram, must Wait,- and during that time we are called to be prepared and to prepare. It is our time to remain faithful and to stand where God has placed us and Wait.
In Philippians, Paul continues the same
theme and preaches about “standing firm” in the Lord. He describes a picture of the culture that is very much like today; it is a hostile environment to the followers of Christ. The culture’s destiny is destruction, the
people’s god is their stomach, and their mind is on earthly things.
In this context, Paul tells
us how our citizenship is in heaven. It is the
of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.” It is about being a part of God’s People, and a citizen in God’s Plan. Paul is talking about the power of Jesus and how he will bring everything under his control with the coming of the Kingdom.
IV Waiting upon the Father’s Duty
Luke, we see the patience in Jesus. We also see his mourning and
longing for God’s
people, and his tender heart for
When we wait upon the Lord, we do everything we can do, and then stand. We are to be faithful like Abram, and keep our focus on God, like the Psalmist. We remain patient even as the world comes after us to destroy us, like the Christ. Knowing of God’s Promise and God’s faithfulness to us, it is all in his time and his season. So we Wait upon the Lord, and we do it …In the Name of …
… the Father…. the Son, and the Holy Spirit. A-Men