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Summary: The purpose of this sermon is to motivate hearers - in the midst of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Holiday Celebration - to affirm to others that God calls, protects, and hide us in the Shadow of His hand.

20 January 2008

U.S. Army Chaplain (MAJ) Ken Harris

Ord Military Chapel

Seaside, CA

BIG IDEA: God calls, protects and hides us in the shadow of His hand.

REFERENCES: Isaiah 49:1-7 (NLV) 2 Timothy 3:16 (KJV) All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness; Romans 2:11 (KJV) For there is no respect of persons with God; Jeremiah 29:11 (MSG) I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for; Psalms 22:10 (GW) I was placed in your care from birth. From my mother’s womb you have been my God; Isaiah 44:24 (MSG) GOD, your Redeemer, who shaped your life in your mother’s womb, says: "I am GOD. I made all that is. With no help from you I spread out the skies and laid out the earth."; Isaiah 49:1 (GW) Listen to me, you islands. Pay attention, you people far away. Before I was born, the LORD chose me. While I was in my mother’s womb, he recorded my name; Job 10:8a (KJV): Thine hands have made me and fashioned me together round about; Proverb 16:4 (MSG): GOD made everything with a place and purpose;

I. ANNOUNCE THE PERICOPE: Isaiah 49:1-7 (NLV)

II. READ THE PERICOPE: Isaiah 49:1-7 (NLV)

III. READ THE TEXT: Isaiah 49:1b-2 (NLV) The Lord called Me before I was born. From the body of My mother he said My name. He has made My mouth like a sharp sword. He has hidden Me in the shadow of His hand. He has made Me a shining arrow, keeping me in His secret place.

IV. PURPOSE: To motivate hearers - in the midst of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Holiday Celebration - to affirm to others that God calls, protects, and hide us in the Shadow of His hand.

INTRODUCTION: It has been said that , “James Earl Ray bullet took the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,” but NOT HIS WORK.

In fact, since 1983, on the third Monday in January, we have celebrated the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tomorrow, Monday – 21 January 2008 – all across America, folk of every ethnic group will hold hands, remember and celebrate the life and works of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Many will remember the signed Civil Right Acts of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the presidential speech of the President L. B. Johnson, … which was aired on National television as he rallied the faces of congress (in support of Dr. King) to the chant “we shall overcome”. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 ended segregation in public places while the Voting Rights of 1965 allowed African Americans the status of no longer being considered “second class citizens”.

Yes, tomorrow … as we did as a congregation earlier, folk of every group will hold hands as symbolic gesture of togetherness … and a promise … to never forget … the past while embracing the civil rights challenges of the future.

Now, my brothers and sisters, in reference to “Hands” … there are a multiplicity of stories, poems, and songs that have been written about the “Hand”.

In fact, Bill Withers’ song – Grandma’s Hands is one of my all times favorite.

Listen to lyrics in Grandma’s Hands:

Grandma’s hands

Clapped in church on Sunday morning

Grandma’s hands

Played a tambourine so well

Grandma’s hands

Used to issue out a warning

She’d say, “Billy don’t you run so fast

Might fall on a piece of glass

”Might be snakes there in that grass”

Grandma’s hands

Grandma’s hands

Soothed a local unwed mother

Grandma’s hands

Used to ache sometimes and swell

Grandma’s hands

Used to lift her face and tell her,

”Baby, Grandma understands

That you really love that man

Put yourself in Jesus hands”

Grandma’s hands”…

Grandma’s hands

Used to hand me piece of candy

Grandma’s hands

Picked me up each time I fell

Grandma’s hands

boy, they really came in handy

She’d say, “Matty don’t you whip that boy”

What you want to spank him for?

He didn’t drop no apple core”

But I don’t have Grandma anymore

“If I get to Heaven I’ll look for Grandma’s Hands …”

*****************Take 5 Beats ***************

MOVE 1: Likewise, I contend this morning that there are hands that are even more loving than Grandma’s Hands.

a. And they are the hands of God.

b. For God calls, protects and hides us in the shadow of His hand.

c. In fact, the Bible (and life in general) is filled with wonderful events and chronicles of God showing His hand of protection and righteousness in the life of believers.

d. Yet, have you ever wonder why terrible things happened to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and others that God called and promised to protect?

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