Sermons

Summary: Spiritual Truth for Strange Times Rerouting: Navigating a Changing World August 16, 2020 – Brad Bailey

Spiritual Truth for Strange Times

Rerouting: Navigating a Changing World

August 16, 2020 – Brad Bailey

Intro

Well...good morning to each of you who have joined our gathering this morning... and welcome to each of you who may be watching at a later time.

I want to reintroduce the weekly series and focus that we began last week. It’s entitled Rerouting: Navigating a Changing World.

In many ways...this season of life can be a bit like when we use a map application... ... like Google maps and it needs to reset course...something in the route changes...and some sort of spinning shape begins... with the word: “rerouting.”

This can capture this season in life because in a similar way we were moving along in life...and then a pandemic brought change. Changes to our path. Change to our patterns. Changes to our plans.

We are all in a strange time of rerouting... of navigating a changing world.

One aspect of being rerouted...is that you can find yourself in unfamiliar places... and sometimes for uncertain periods of time. We find ourselves feeling stuck in a strange place.

In different ways we may sense we are in a strange place... because nothing feels the same. For some of us it may be that a lot of working life or central activity has stopped... and left huge unknows and uncertainty about the future... and it’s a strange place to be.

Families with school age kids may feel like the whole pattern of kids going from home to school and then back home... has just lost the natural separation and scheduling ....and it’s a strange place to be.

Some who are older may feel less a loss in some of the big patterns and plans...but feel the most basic concerns for avoiding contact...which itself is a strange place to be.

The dynamics of our current life are really unique...but of course many of us may have experienced some significant unexpected turns along the road in the past as well... and come to some different types of strange places. You may have come to the loss of a marriage... or the untimely loss of a child or loved one. At some point your life may have turned around a corner you never planned on.

At such times we may feel a bit disoriented ...even spiritually disoriented. We may have had a life in which we had a good sense about rising each day to be faithful. But now we aren’t sure how to navigate being faithful.

If any of that reflects what you may feel inside...even in small or subtle way...I want you to know....that you are in good company. You are not alone. We are all in a strange place. And we are in the good company of those who have gone before us. I am speaking about those who those who are deemed to be the foundations of faith...of having faithfully lived in relationship with God. I’m referring to the many lives God chose to call and raised up through the long history of revealing Himself and his nature. They are among those who are later lifted up as the historical heroes of faith.

Today God speaks to us from those lives. Let me mention just four of these lives. To those who are less familiar with the Bible... and particularly the Old Testament...it’s a great opportunity to get quickly introduced or reintroduces to three of those figures in the Old Testament...and one who is central to the New Testament time of Christ. So here is a quick introduction to four lives who reveal how to have faith when live leads you into strange places.

The first is Abraham.

On screen text / not spoken: Abraham – “Father of Faith” – Left everything “to live as a foreigner in the country that God had promised him...”...and waited through barren years “to become a father, even though he was old.”

When God first begins to call out a new people to whom he would make himself known...it begins with a call to Abraham. He says essentially... “Abraham I am going to make you into a great nation of people. So the first thing I want you to do...is to get up and leave everything that is familiar...and I will lead you to a new land.” Where is this place? God won’t tell him where or when he will arive. He just says I will lead you and let you know when you are there. That is some serious rerouting of life. We know that Abraham had become a man of prominence and prosperity... and from now he would always be a foreigner. It was precisely in the strange place ... one of uncertainty.... that Abraham became a man of faith.

And as for becoming the great nation through all the children he would have? There’s little doubt that he and his wife Sarah were ready. But they would wait and wait and wait... unable to conceive a child......which in those times was deemed to mean cursed by God. Every day they were supposed to represent Gpd’s promise as those blessed by God to become this new nations...while every day they lived as those who appeared to be abandoned by God. Day after day... year after year...for 25 years until the birth of Isaac in their really late years.

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