Summary: You preserve your sacred space by fulfilling your commitments that build upon your legacy.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
“Building On Our Legacy”
Text: Deuteronomy 16: 9 – 17
We continue this month’s series under the general theme: Preserving Our Sacred Space. To preserve is not to memorialize or commemorate, but it is to make the preparations now for some future use.
You might remember that “the task of every generation is to go from good to great.”
We preserve our sacred space by fulfilling our commitments, which are God inspired. God ordained, and God sustained.
We take another step today in the development of our theme:
We preserve our sacred space by fulfilling our commitments,
that build upon our legacy.
Our text this morning focuses our attention upon the Mosaic Laws of the Hebrew people. As people of faith they understood God to be a God of decency and order. As people of faith they recognized that God was the sustaining and provider of all things. As people of faith they knew that God was worthy of all their praise.
Are we people of faith who understand God to be a God of decency and order, do we recognize God as a sustainer and provider, and do we know that God is worthy of all of our praise?
Israel is gathered on the east bank of Jordan, ready to enter the Promised Land. It has taken them thirty-eight years to get there since their rebellion. If they would have been faithful the journey in the wilderness would have taken only eleven days.
However, they wandered in the wilderness, led by a cloud during the day and by a pillar of fire at night.
Israel is now physically ready to enter the land, but Moses realizes that they must also be ready spiritually.
Let me just mark this point, in any journey with God: the question is not are you physically ready; the question is: are you spiritually ready?
In our present daytime, we have to be careful that as people of faith. We do not fall prey to the naysayer and political pundits, who are suggesting that this economy season is worse than any other.
People who are poor, using McCainism, those who have less than $5M; have always had to struggle, always had to make do with a little or even less.
We perfected the art of making do such that when we had to clean the hogs we provided the man with the pork chops; but kept the feet, the ears, and the guts for ourselves. “The man” watched us make a delicacy out of the leftovers, and now you can go to Markets and see people lined up to buy hog mogs, chitterlings and pig feet.
People of faith should not fall prey to the naysayer and political pundits of the day that are telling us that the sky is falling. We are not like Chicken Little; we know who provides for us.
And I’m here to tell you to trust in God, I know he cares for you. Come what may from day to day, our heavenly father watches over you and me.
Prior to the great depression, we had at least five black banks and three savings and loans. Now all we have are Harbor, Advance and Ideal. We have more Black people living in Baltimore now, and less black owned financial institutions, then we owned prior to the great depression.
However, we forget that God has been the wind beneath our wings.
In this book Moses gives specific instructions to Israel’s regarding their three great pilgrimage festivals."
They are told to observe the Passover (16:1-8), the Feast of Weeks (16:9-12), and the Feast of Tabernacles (16:13-17).
That brings me to my first point, if we are going to preserve our sacred space by building on our legacy, we will have to remember what God has done.
In verse 12 it says, remember that you were slaves in Egypt. People decay at their core when they fail to remember from whence they have come. Through many dangers toils and snares, we have already come – God has brought us. [Preach a history lesson of what it means to be in Egypt]
Can you remember?
Not only do you build on your legacy by remembering. You build on your legacy by celebrating.
Celebrate the feast of weeks, celebrate the feast of the tabernacle, celebrate and rejoice.
At some point in your worship of God after you remember what God has done, you need to celebrate: celebrate in your singing, celebrate in your instrumental playing, celebrate in your praise and worship – let everything that has breath praise the Lord – celebrate.
I’ve learned not to live life in such a way that you can’t stop and tell God – Thank You!
I’ve learned to stop and count my blessings, to name them one by one. To count my many blessings and see what God has done.