March 16, 2010

Looking Forward to March 21, 2010 -- Fifth Sunday of Lent

The Scripture Readings this week are:
  • From the Jewish Scriptures: Isaiah 43:16-21
  • Psalm 126 (VU p.850)
  • From the Jewish Scriptures: Isaiah 55:1-5, 12-13

The Hymns this week are:
  • 574 Come, Let Us Sing of a Wonderful Love
  • 703 In the Bulb There Is a Flower
  • 642 Be Thou My Vision
  • 884 You Shall Go Out with Joy (sung twice)

The Sermon Title is What is the New Thing?

Early Thoughts: What is coming? Are we ready to let it happen? Can we see what new thing God is doing in our world?

It is easy to lose heart sometimes. IT is easy to look around and decide that there is nthing worth hoping for. But this just part of life. And it has pretty much always been a part of life. THere have always been reasons for people to give up.

And that is the world into which God speaks through Scripture. Both of these readings from Isaiah were written and spoken to people in exile, people who had seen their capital and temple destroyed and then been hauled off to a strange land. And to these exiles God sends words of hope, saying that God is doing a New Thing. God promises that the creation itself shall burst into song, that where thorns grew trees will grow. Despite the pessimism that would be so tempting they are called to be people of hope.

So are we. We need to be people of hope. We need to look for what new things God is doning in our midst and be open to embrace them. Yes, new beginnings may often (or almost always) mean the ending something else. ANd that can be hard to accept. Beginnings can be scary. Endings are often sad. But we live in hope. God IS doing a new thing. The mounitains and fields will sing and dance. And we shall go out with joy, for we are people of hope.

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