Summary: new years sermon. I got the points from Rick Stacy. Who knows who he stole it from.
Starting Over, Luke 4:16-21
Eric A. Snyder, Minister, Farwell Church of Christ
A woman opened the door of a building and was about to step
outside when she heard a voice saying, "Don’t take that next
step or you’ll regret it." She paused and a brick came
crashing to the pavement right where she would have been
standing. She looked around and there was no one nearby.
The next day this woman was about to step into the street
when she heard this same voice say, "Don’t take that next
step or you’ll regret it." As she paused a truck came racing
by and smashed into a nearby vehicle. She knew if she hadn’t
listened to that voice she would have been hurt badly, or
maybe even killed.
She looked behind her and there was no one nearby. "All
right," she said , "Who are you ?" "I’m your guardian
angel," the voice replied. "Oh, if that’s the case," the
woman said, "Where were you on my wedding day?"
Sometimes we have regrets over decisions we have made. Or perhaps we may regret things we have said.
"I WAS RECENTLY ON A TOUR OF LATIN AMERICA, AND THE ONLY regret I have WAS THAT I DIDN’T STUDY LATIN HARDER IN SCHOOL SO I COULD CONVERSE WITH THOSE PEOPLE."
- Former U.S. Vice-President Dan Quayle
My guess is later He regretted making that statement.
I don’t know where you come down on that whole Trent Lott deal but anything that causes you to eventually lose that position is really regrettable.
How many times have you said or heard it said, "If only I had it to do over again...?"
Do any of you remember the Etch-a-sketch? The Etch-a-sketch was a little red and gray drawing board full of sand (or at least something like sand). It had no digital readouts. It didn’t beep at you or flash. It didn’t even take batteries. You twisted two knobs on the bottom of the screen to draw a picture. If you messed up, all you had to do was shake the thing a couple of times and you got a clean screen - a chance to start all over.
Wouldn’t it be nice if life were like that Etch-a-Sketch... Especially things like your maxed out credit account? Just pick up the card, shake it a couple of times, and the bill is gone! I know. It doesn’t work that way. Neither does the rest of life.
All of us are on a trip - called "life."
And during the time we live here on earth we are determining where we spend will eternity. (Heavy stakes involved!) Somehow, all of us seem to mess up and get ourselves into deep trouble with God.
We need a chance to start all over.
Let me tell you about an Old Testament word called Jubilee.... The blowing of the ram’s horn on the Day of Atonement among God’s people signaled a release of debt and a freeing of slaves.
In that day, if an Israelite got so far in debt that he couldn’t pay his creditors, he might sell the land that his ancestors had passed down to him. If he still couldn’t pay his debts, he could be forced to sell himself and his family into slavery in order to pay off his bills. There were no bankruptcy laws. If you couldn’t pay, you lost your property and your freedom. Pretty dismal prospects for somebody in dire circumstances.
That is where the year of Jubilee came in - a sort of divine "Etch-a-Sketch." Every half-century, in the year of Jubilee, all the land reverted back to its original owners. If they weren’t alive, it was given back to their families. And all Israelite people who had been sold into slavery because of their debts were freed.
What a deal, huh?
God gave the law of Jubilee for several reasons. First, it kept control of Israel’s agricultural economy from moving into the hands of a few powerful landlords (a bit of God inspired anti-trust?).
More important to the people, though, it gave those who had messed things up beyond hope a chance to start all over.
The Israelite nation that God dealt with under the Old Testament system is gone. The Old Testament law (including the law of Jubilee) was nailed to the cross of Jesus Christ. Today the Church is the Israel of God and we serve under the terms of the New Testament. But there is a way that jubilee fits in today! A way to "Start Over". Let me show it to you.
In Luke 4:16-21 The Bible is talking about Jesus and a certain trip to a synagogue. This text is interesting because it contains Jesus reading scripture about Jesus. He didn’t read it out of context. He didn’t change the words but simply the fact that He read it caused a few people to take notice. Proof that his life was a direct reflection of the promised messiah. In Luke Chapter 4 here is what happens