Sermons

Summary: Spiritual Awakenings, visions, and Superheroes on the horizon. Spring can be hard... just remember we can do anything through the 'Good Shepherd who Strengthens us!"

The Voice of Love is Calling:

Weaving the Future--‘Spirited-Two’ Be the Church

Pentecost

Many moons had passed since God found that ‘one sheep’ and reunited the sheep with the flock. What an Amazing Grace That White Wolf is. The sheep continued to grow older, and older, as the years passed. As the year 2020 approached the Shepherd felt excitement fueled by the idea of ‘2020 vision’. He was excited not fully understanding that ‘2020 vision’, only means ‘normal visual acuity.’ The Shepherd had forgotten God’s vision was sharper and came with much more clarity. 2020 did come with much clarity and hindsight. Yet, it was not in the way Shepherd thought. The ‘2020 vision’ had highlighted many sins of the world and much cruelty. Growth had been stunted in the spring. The summer had been filled with the coldness of death. By the FALL, THOUGHTLESSNESS had run rampant, and a lot of face-planting among family and friends became an ALL to common occurrence. Winter was rotted with much more lies, deception, and death. For most, our worship ways were way off track. The worship of false idols was poisoning our world in ways never seen before. The evil one had been lurking and had returned with a remarkable vengeance. Meddling with the Shepherds. Scattering the sheep. Wreaking havoc on the whole world. With much stealing, killing, destroying, and death in the evil ones grasp. Nearly destroying the heartbeat of the world. Thankfully, God’s light was there, being shown in dark places. Places many failed to give attention to in the past.

Let us recall the words of Jesus from John 10:10-12

(New International Version)

10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it.

Scattered we were, and many a Shepherd did FALL down with the sheep—buying the ‘devil’ of a salesman’s ‘snake oil’--FAILING to be THOUGHTFUL (myself included at times). That winterous season was especially trying. Especially ‘Cruella Deville’ish. Especially dismal, lengthy, and frigid. Yet, as Christians, we know the contrast our God is capable of. After the DARKEST of times, there are the brightest lights ahead! For every famine and drought, there is a feast and vintage New Wine.

It is done, the wintery chill is on its way out. For a stretch of time, even the Shepherd had been lost, and those sheep were still scattered. It had been so dark, so cold. The year was insanely difficult. There was anguish in the loneliness. Pain in the darkness. It felt like the weather extremes in a barren desert wilderness—no water to quench our thirst, no sustenance to nourish our body and soul. Extremes in hot and cold. No shade in the sweltering sun. No warmth in the dark of night. For many moments in time, the Shepherd doubted himself, the Shepherd had been sheepish. Yet when the Shepherd goes missing and the sheep scatter, the Good Shepherd/ White Wolf step in and gather the sheep.

Isaiah 40:10-12

New International Version

10 See, the Sovereign LORD comes with power,

and he rules with a mighty arm.

See, his reward is with him,

and his recompense accompanies him.

11 He tends his flock like a shepherd:

He gathers the lambs in his arms

and carries them close to his heart;

he gently leads those that have young.

12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand,

or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens?

Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket,

or weighed the mountains on the scales

and the hills in a balance?

When spring 2021 arrived, the Shepherd awoke on the ‘wrong side of the bed’. Partly because he lived in Mountain Standard Time… where we… ‘Spring Forward’—meaning you lose an hour of sleep. Blah! As the Shepherd awoke this season his vision was blurred. It was still early, yet he saw much new light. Looking back, the shepherd was shocked and confused about how much of the light journey he embarked on felt overwhelmingly dark. He traveled to places in his past he had experienced little light. Yet, he came to realize the light still shown in those dark places, and the darkness could not overcome it. That did not seem to make the dark places feel any less overwhelming. Scared, and wanting to quit, the Shepherd kept moving on. Yet, he was determined. Springtime was becoming quite the journey in this faith-filled new light. A season filled with cloudiness, hail, rains, blustery days, before heading into more sunshine.

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