Summary: LENT 1, YEAR C - There is no Shame in not knowing all about God. For the good news is that God fully knows us.
A retired couple is at home one day when the husband states that he’s going out for an hour. “While your out could you pick up some trash bags and a gallon of milk, asked his wife. “No Problem,” he said. “Now write it down,” she said, so you won’t forget.” “I won’t forget,” says the husband, “It’s in here (pointing to his head) and it won’t get out.” “Now dear, you have the habit of forgetting things. You better write it down.” “I don’t need to write it down, I won’t forget.” About an hour later the husband returns and plops down on the table two turkey subs. The wife, looking at the two subs, says to her husband, “I told you, that you would need to write things down. See, you forgot the sodas.” Have you ever forgotten where you put your keys? Have you ever had one of those days where just can’t seem to find your glasses? Or has there ever been a time when there was something you know you need to remember and it’s on the edge of your mind, and yet.. it just won’t seem to come. Life can be that way at times, can’t it! So close and yet so far away. If it’s not enough having you mind scattered. Life at times can get so hectic that even if you wanted to keep track of everything that’s on you plate life won’t let you. Then on top of all of this you don’t dare tell anyone about your forgetfulness because you know what they’re going to say, “Isn’t that a shame.”
In the middle of all this craziness you start to get an itch in the back of your mind. You know that itch that says, “Am I forgetting something important?” You check your calendar. No, nothing there. You go over your “to do” list. Nope, nothing there either. But still you can’t help but feel that there is something big that your mind is overlooking. If you could just remember? It is our tendency towards forgetfulness to which Paul is referring when he writes, “But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart, that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming.” The Word of faith is near us. Now isn’t that nice! The Word of faith is in our mouths and in our hearts. Isn’t that wonderful! Now if I could only remember what it is that the Word of faith has been trying to tell me. One morning my dad came downstairs and into the kitchen as he does each and every day. But on entering the kitchen on this morning my mother asked him, “have you taken you medicine dear?” With a blank look on my father’s face he said, “Medicine, what medicine?” He didn’t know what my mother was talking about. “Why the medicine you bought yesterday, dear. The medicine to help you with your memory”
So what do you think this word of faith is? Is it that we must all be good and upright to gain eternal life? Or is it that we are all loved and are to love one another? Or is this word of faith about how we are all to achieve our enlightenment? Are these possibilities true? Is this the word of faith? Or is it some other message? So what is the Word of faith? What is God trying to tell us? What divine message is so close to us that it is written on our mouths and on our hearts? That word of faith that we have a hard time recalling even though it is on the very tip of our tongues. The apostle Paul tells us that what is causing that itch in the back of our minds is the message that, “if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” It is one thing to know something. It is another thing to believe something. Knowledge that has no effect upon the way we live is useless. It is one thing to know that you are sick but it’s not knowledge that will cure you. Knowledge reveals the problem, not the answer. This fact is more obvious when it comes to God. Just about anyone you talk to will say they believe in God. But how many truly believe God. The Scripture says,
“Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame. For there is no difference between
Jew and Gentile— the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him,