Summary: A sermon for the 11th Sunday after Pentecost Waiting for Jesus to come again
11th Sunday after Pentecost
"Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give alms; provide yourselves with purses that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. "Let your loins be girded and your lamps burning, and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the marriage feast, so that they may open to him at once when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes; truly, I say to you, he will gird himself and have them sit at table, and he will come and serve them. If he comes in the second watch, or in the third, and finds them so, blessed are those servants! But know this, that if the householder had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have left his house to be broken into. You also must be ready; for the Son of man is coming at an unexpected hour."" Luke 12:32-40, RSV.
"After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, "Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great." But Abram said, "O Lord GOD, what wilt thou give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?" And Abram said, "Behold, thou hast given me no offspring; and a slave born in my house will be my heir." And behold, the word of the LORD came to him, "This man shall not be your heir; your own son shall be your heir." And he brought him outside and said, "Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them." Then he said to him, "So shall your descendants be." And he believed the LORD; and he reckoned it to him as righteousness." Genesis 15:1-6, RSV.
Grace and Peace to you from our Lord and Saviour, Jesus who is the Christ. Amen
A man was sleeping at night in his cabin when suddenly his room filled with light and the Savior appeared. The Lord told the man he had work for him to do, and showed him a large rock in
front of his cabin.
The Lord explained that the man was to push against the cold, massive surface of the unmoving rock, pushing with all his might. This the man did, day after day. For many years he toiled from sun up to sun down, shoulder set squarely against the cold, massive surface of the unmoving rock, pushing with all his might. Each night the man returned to his cabin sore, and worn out, feeling that his whole day had been spent in vain.
Seeing that the man was showing signs of discouragement, Satan decided to enter the picture by placing thoughts into the man’s mind: "You have been pushing against that rock for a long time, and it hasn’t budged. Why kill yourself over this? You are never going to move it."
The man began to believe that the task was impossible and that he was a failure, and he felt discouraged and disheartened. "Why kill myself over this?", he thought. I’ll just put in my time, giving just the minimum effort and that will be good enough."
And that he planned to do until one day he decided to make it a matter of prayer and take his troubled thoughts to the Lord. "Lord", he said, "I have labored long and hard in your service, putting all my strength to do that which you have asked. Yet, after all this time, I have not even budged that rock by half a millimeter.
What is wrong? Why am I failing?"
The Lord responded compassionately. "My friend, when I asked you to serve me and you accepted, I told you that your task was to push against the rock with all your strength, which you have done. Never once did I mention to you that I expected you to move it. Your task was to push.
And now you come to me, with your strength spent, thinking that you have failed, but is that really so? Look at yourself.
Your arms are strong and muscled, your back sinewy and brown, your hands are callused from constant pressure, and your legs have become massive and hard. Through opposition you have grown much and your abilities now surpass that which you used to have, yet you haven’t moved the rock. Your calling was to be obedient and to push and to exercise your faith and trust in My wisdom.