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Summary: God in his mercy and grace hears us, renews and restores us, when we are broken and repentent.

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The Season of Lent… is something of a roller coaster ride in which we confront our own sinfulness in light of the suffering of Christ. And yet during this time of introspection we are also keenly aware of how the story ends with Christ’[s victory over sin and death. This morning we begin the Season with a sense of brokenness and repentance.

Title: Luggage Longing to Be Lost

Text: Psalm 51:1-17

Thesis: God in his mercy and grace hears us, renews and restores us when we are broken and repentant.

Introduction

I remember on episode of Seinfeld where Jerry and Elaine were flying to Miami. They were checking their bags curbside and Jerry asked the Skycap what kind of tip is generally appropriate for his services. The Skycap said, “I am usually tipped $5 per bag.” Jerry then happily tipped the Skycap but Elaine had a hissy fit… “Five dollars a bag… five dollars a bag to attach a flight destination tag and put it on the cart? You’ve got to be kidding!” At that point Jerry took her by the arm and drug her away. Then the Skycap took Jerry’s bag and said, “Miami,” and placed it on the cart of luggage to Miami and then he said, “Honolulu,” and placed Elaine’s bag on the Honolulu cart.

When you arrive at your destination and make your way to baggage claim you expect your stuff to be patiently making its way around the suitcase carousel. And if it isn’t there… things go south very quickly.

The airlines tell us that 99.5% of all bags are successfully picked up by their owners. Only .5% of all bags go missing and 95% of those stray bags make it home within 5 days. However the miniscule few actually total thousands of pieces of luggage, Those bags are shipped to the Unclaimed Baggage Center in Alabama where the bags are opened and the contents sorted and sold to the public in a 50,000 square foot warehouse.

As you can imagine those bags contain lots of treasures but also some things are best left unclaimed… dead things, stinky and smelly things, dirty things, obscene things and even live snakes.

When we speak of someone who has a lot of baggage or comes with a lot of baggage we are not thinking of baggage as a good thing. And if truth be told, many of us have baggage in our lives that we would like to ship to the Unclaimed Baggage Center.

King David was a man who had a lot of baggage… you can pick up his baggage in II Samuel 11-12:

Perhaps David was tired of war and just wanted to stay home. We don’t know but we do know, as it says in II Samuel 11, “In the spring of the year when kings normally go to war, David sent Joab and the Israelite army to fight the Ammonites. “

The story goes that one day following his midday rest he walked onto the roof of his palace and looked out over the city and saw a beautiful woman bathing. He sent someone to find out who she was and learned that she was the wife of Uriah (who was conveniently away at war). He sent messengers to get her; and when she came to the palace he slept with her.


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