Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Beginnings in the Bible

We are working our way through a series of sermons on Beginnings in the Old Testament. We started with The Beginning of Creation- Genesis 1. With his word, God brings creation out of the nothingness of chaos. He says: “Light” and there is light. And, to crown creation off, God makes a man and woman and makes them in his own image. He breathes into them the breath of life. Over and over again, God looks at all that he has made and says: “It is good.” Then, when it is all done, God says: “It is very good.” The next week, we looked at Genesis 3 and The Beginning of Sin and Forgiveness. Human beings were given everything they needed in the Garden of Eden and told they could eat anything they wanted except for the tree of the knowledge of good and of evil. The serpent tempted Eve and she ate; Eve gave it to Adam and he ate. God comes walking in the cool of the day and cries out: “Where are you? What have you done? Who told you that you were naked?” In Bill Cosby’s rendition of this story, God whistles and says: “Alright, everybody out of the pool.” And, even though disobedient, God still promises to protect human beings. He will bless them and they will multiply. It’s our story. We don’t want to be a part of creation; we want to be creation. Last Sunday, we looked at Genesis 12 and Abram and Sarai. God called Abram at 75 years old and promised to make him and Sarai a great nation. Their names became Abraham and Sarah and they went out not knowing where they were to go. Faith for all of us is going out not knowing. We want it all to be nailed down for sure, but God calls us to trust him with our lives- not a part of our lives, but the whole of our lives- and when we do it’s called salvation. God was asking them and God is asking us three questions for faith’s sake. God asks: “Will you trust me with your life? Will you entrust yourself to a part of my family? And, will you go out and be involved in the world as a blessing to others?” In the sermon, I asked: “When did you begin to trust God with your life?” Many of us started trusting God years ago with our lives. It doesn’t mean that we sat down and said: “OK God do your thing.” No, God called us to move out, to take action with our own lives, all the while trusting in God’s guidance and leading. Trust is that many times we thought God wasn’t doing a good job and took our lives back. Or, maybe we never really trusted God and set out on our journey to figure things out for ourselves. Often, we try to figure things out for ourselves and then try to get God to get on board with our plans and our direction. That’s the reverse order. God, who created us, calls us to set out but to trust him all the way with every part of our lives. Often, it’s in retrospect, in looking back that we can see God’s guiding hand. Even when we thought we were on our own, God was laying claim to our lives. What an amazing thing, when God took Abraham by the hand and led him out under the night time sky and said: “Look up! I will make your descendants as many as the stars in the sky. And, Abraham believed. People often ask me: “How do I know the will of God for my life?” In my experience, we know God’s will for our lives, but we have trouble trusting it. Alright! Today start trusting God all over again, or may start trusting God for the first time with your life. Leave where you are and go. Blessings! Dave Nichols

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Thanks for checking out my blog. I'm new to this, as you can probably see. But, I, like you, have convictions and ideas worth sharing. I hope this will be an opportunity to connect with others who are Christian and/or religious. I am happily United Methodist. I am committed to the basic teachings of our church, and to the compassionate outreach to the world.

I hope these pastoral ponderings will generate something in you that is hopeful.

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About Me

A graduate of Newberry College and Duke University Divinity School.  I have served as a pastor in the United Methodist Church since 1975.

The Sea of Galilee

The Sea of Galilee