Summary: A sermon about God's Word and God's Visions.
1 Samuel 3:1-11, 19-21
“God Is Doing a New Thing!!!”
This passage begins with an arrestingly modern concept: “The Lord’s word was rare at that time, and visions weren’t widely known.”
Do you suppose that this is the way many people in the world feel right now?
Do you suppose that they think God isn’t up to much?
Or maybe they don’t expect much from God or from life?
Maybe they believe that there is a God, but they haven’t read God’s Word.
Perhaps they consider themselves Christian, but they aren’t part of a local church.
Maybe they don’t see much of God’s love where they work, live or go to school.
And if they aren’t active in a Christian congregation, they aren’t seeing much of God’s Word, God’s love nor God’s visions in action.
Perhaps they have never experienced what it is like to be loved with unconditional love.
Maybe people are always just using them for what they can get out of them.
They look around and all they see is selfishness, greed, corruption and broken dreams.
They are living without hope, just going through the motions…
…not expecting much out of life or out of their lives.
And so, it seems as if “The Lord’s word” is “rare.”
But it's not.
God’s Word is incarnate in Christ!!!
God’s Word lives in those who believe and put their faith into action!!!
God’s visions come to those who are engaged in God’s love for the world, for the broken hearted, for all!
When we seek to do God’s will, not only does God speak to us, but we see “visions,” we “dream dreams” as The Holy Spirit is poured out upon us and life is filled with excitement and possibility!!!
It’s really interesting how God’s Spirit works.
As you know, the Servant Evangelism Team has been seeking out God’s will as it has to do with meeting the needs in our community.
And we’ve found that we live in an area with a fast-growing, under-served homeless population.
And I’m not just talking about the folks who live in tents down by Camp Jordan, but also the families with children who are living in some of the drug infested hotels just down the street from us.
Marcy Hall is doing a really good job getting us connected to Spring Creek elementary school which has 36 students who live at the Superior Creek Lodge, and regularly come to school with lice infestations that don’t go away, but keep coming back.
We have a small food pantry here at the church, and it is used daily.
I receive several phone calls a day from desperate folks who need help paying their rent, utility bills, hotel bills, or need money for groceries.
We are literally surrounded by a community that is starving financially and is also in spiritual despair.
What are we to do?
We know we are called to do something about it, but what?
A new report from the National Center on Family Homelessness counts Tennessee and Georgia in the top 15 for percentage of homeless children…in the nation.
“America’s Youngest Outcastes 2010” states that more than 1.6 million children, or 1 in every 45 children are homeless in America.
Child homelessness grew 38 percent from 2007 to 2010.
And more than 1,000 children attending Chattanooga-area public schools are homeless.
In Luke Chapter 4, Jesus read aloud His personal mission statement, and it starts like this:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me. He has sent me to preach good news to the poor…”
Is that not what we are called to do as well?
But how well are we and the rest of the Christian Churches in our community doing with this?
Do you suppose that many of the poor and homeless who live outside our doors might be able to relate well to the beginning of 1 Samuel Chapter 3: “The Lord’s word was rare at that time, and visions weren’t widely known”?
Anyhow, we have been talking for some time at the Servant Evangelism Meetings every Wednesday Evening at 6 pm about how we can best address the growing economic problems in our community, how we can be God's light and salt in this section of the world.
And one idea that has been getting a lot of traction is the possibility of having some sort of “feeding ministry”…
…perhaps a free Wednesday evening dinner.
We’ve also spoken quite a bit about how we could go about doing this, and we even decided that maybe the best route would be to try and get some of the other churches in our area involved.
How great it would be for Christ’s people to pool their resources and energies for the transformation and salvation of this community God has placed us in!!!