Summary: A sermon about love for the Lenten Season
There was a little boy named Bobby. Bobby was like most boys of the age 6, he liked to run and play. But Bobby had problem with his ears. It wasn’t a problem that the doctors could help him with. Bobby’s problem was, he didn’t like to listen when he should. When his mother would call Bobby, he would pretend not to hear her, and keep on doing what he was doing.
Well, one day, while Bobby was riding his bicycle up and down the block, he had an unexpected visitor at his home, his uncle came. His uncle wanted to surprise Bobby and take him to the circus. Bobby’s mother called for him, she called once, she called twice, she called three times but Bobby wouldn’t come. Bobby thought his mother wanted him to do something, so Bobby kept riding his bike. His uncle couldn’t wait any longer, so he left. Bobby missed out on going to the circus. Just think of what Bobby missed.
A few days latter, Bobby’s dad came home from work early and planned to take the family to a Kansas City Chiefs football game. It was the first game of the new season. Bobby’s brother went to him to tell him to come home, so they could go to the football game. But Bobby wouldn’t believe him, so the family left and Bobby came home to a baby sister. Bobby missed out again, because he wouldn’t believe or listen.
Later on in the month, Bobby’s grandmother and grandfather came for an unexpected visit. They hadn’t seen Bobby in many years. Bobby’s mother called for him and called for him, but Bobby wouldn’t come. She didn’t know where he was. Bobby was at a friends house watching TV, but hadn’t told his mother where he would be. His grandmother and grandfather could only stay a little while because they were just passing through, but Bobby came home too late and missed out on something very special again.
Bobby had a very difficult time believing that people wanted to do same very nice things for him. He couldn’t believe that his uncle wanted to take him to a circus, his father to take him to a football game, and then he wasn’t around to receive a very special visit from people who loved him a lot, his grandparents. This is a sad story, a sad story about a boy who wouldn’t believe in the love that everyone wanted to give to him.
As sad as this story about Bobby is, there is still a sadder story, it is about the people of Israel who wouldn’t believe in the love that God had for them, and the sad story about the people today who won’t believe in the love that God has for them.
In our gospel lesson, Jesus laments over the failure of the people of Israel to heed the call of God in their lives. Jesus says, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, killing the prophets and stoning those who are sent to you!! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not!!"
God through the prophets came to the people of Israel with his message of salvation, with his gospel of love. But time after time, the people would not listen. They were like Bobby, they couldn’t believe that God could love then that much. The prophets came, they told the people of the love that God had, they told them to turn from their evil ways, to obey God, to gather under his love, but they would not. God tried over and over again, but the people turned a deaf ear to him.
So, then God decided if the people wouldn’t listen to me, if they won’t listen to my messengers, then I will come directly to earth and speak to them myself. But we know the outcome of that initiative by God. Some people listened, but many more did not, in fact they became so upset by the presence of God in their lives, they killed him. They could not understand such love, they could not accept such willingness on the part of God to love them, that they fought against it to the point that they killed God.
Each time God called to his people, they could not believe that God didn’t want something from them, but that God only wanted to give them something his blessings, his love. If we feel sad for the Jewish people of Jesus day who did not heed the call of God, how much sadder are we today for those people who know the whole story, but do not heed the call of God.
Today, people have an advantage over the people in Jesus day. Then they didn’t know the outcome of the story, they lived the story with Jesus, but today, we know the outcome. It has been written down for us, it has been witnessed to through the generations by people who were there, but still, but still people do not believe or trust in God’s love for their lives.