September 04, 2007

Looking Forward to September 9, 2007--15th Sunday After Pentecost

The Scripture Readings this week are:
  • From the Jewish Scriptures: Jeremiah 18:1-11
  • Psalm 139 (VU p.861)
  • From the Gospel: Luke 14:25-33

The Hymns this week are:

  • 232 Joyful Joyful We Adore You
  • 260 God Who Gives to Life Its Goodness
  • 384 The Lone Wild Bird (Tune 372)
  • MV #162 Christ Within Us Hidden (insert)

The sermon title is Fully Known, Fully Loved.

Early Thoughts: Psalm 139 is a beautiful piece of poetry. It sings of God's omnipresence and of how we are lovingly, wonderfully Created in God's care. In the Jeremiah passage we read about God as a potter working the clay, and then reworking the clay, and then reworking the clay until the work is "right".

The psalm makes it clear how well known we are by God. God watched us forming in our mother's womb, God knows us better than we know ourselves. There can be some fear with such a realization. If we see God as an angry judgmental Parent then being so fully known can be terrifying. Being fully known means that our misdeeds, even our "bad thoughts" are known. When the judgment comes we must be doomed.

But then we return to the potter. Jeremiah watches the potter make a slip. Instead of tossing the piece in the junk pile, the potter reshapes it, doesn't give up, keeps working with the clay. There is hope here. The clay of our lives is constantly being reshaped (whether we want it to be or not) by life. But the Potter (no not Harry) doesn't give up. The Potter keeps working with us, trying to coax out the best possible piece of work.

What grace is this? Even though we are so fully known, even though all our darkest secrets are laid bare, we are not tossed away. We are indeed fully known but also fully loved. May God the Potter keep us on the wheel of life. And as we spin and spin, may God's hands gently and lovingly guide our reshaping into the beautiful piece of art that is to be.

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