Sunday, June 30, 2013

"Where Is God?"

Luke 7:1-10 Jesus heals a centurion's servant
Luke 7:11-17 Jesus raises a widow's only son

Did you ever have trouble deciding where you wanted to eat? “I don’t know… you choose, I don’t care…” Likely you can name some places you DON’T want to go, but chances are your goal is more to spend time with a loved one rather than a culinary experience.

• Luke Chapter six comes to the end of Jesus’ sermon on discipleship,  love, Christian community. Chapter seven gets us in action again.

• (sermon title: Where is God?, from verse 16 God has come to help his people.)

Two stories (centurion, widow) back to back here. Pretty common device in Luke, some traits to point out about stories:

A man, a woman

A person with power (centurion), a person without (widow, now without son too)

A Gentile, a Jew

Someone physically present, someone NOT physically present

Both stories: we don’t know the nature of the affliction
   (but ‘inconvenience’ for centurion, livelihood for widow)

Both stories: it is a community of believers responsible for initial contact.
   (one makes request, one is noticed by Jesus)
          sidebar: splegchnizomai to be moved, to have compassion (verse 13)… emotion in gut instead of in heart… I love you with all my intestines… also in Good Sam and in Prod Son, indicative of depth of love for us)

• Good news of God’s kingdom is for all… hope of life and reconciliation for all,
not based on merit but on gift of God in power of Jesus

• Back to verse 16: response: God has come to help his people.

Where is God? God is where there is community and compassion
          (where you want to eat? I want to spend time with you)

James 1:27 This is true religion: look after orphans and widows in their distress & keep self from being polluted by the world.

May this be where we spend our time and resources, making saving power of Jesus known among (categories above), offering hope of life and reconciliation to all.

• Closing Hymn: 604 Savior, Again, in Thy Dear Name We Go

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