10th Sunday after Trinity – Sermon 148

Bible References :

 

Prayer to start

May the words of my lips and the thoughts of our hearts be graciously received for the Glory and Honour of our Lord Jesus Christ.

AMEN

Introduction

Journeys and traveling – something – most of us have to think about – especially – this time of year –

When we travel – whether its on holiday – or just for work – we have to make preparations – think carefully about what luggage we take with us – and how we carry it –

Whenever I have to fly – to Europe on business – I take only – what I need for my journey – and few or no extras –

whatever I can get – in a small carry-on bag –

with all the extra security checks – it means I can avoid some of the long queues – and makes for a speedy getaway at the other end –

Traveling light – is important too – when it comes to our Christian Journey of Faith –

As Jesus reminds us – in our Gospel reading – we have to be careful not to pick up unnecessary baggage along the way – focus on – what is important for the journey – and keep alert – and – prepared – for whatever lies ahead–

Point 1                         Abram – Journey of Faith

What are we most scared of ? – spiders? – snakes? Flying? – the dark? – maybe all of these?

According to someone who claims to know – there’s probably one thing we are all scared of – and that’s the unknown –

They say that Familiarity – breeds contempt – well – it can also bring a sense of security – the thought of venturing into unclaimed waters – can be a daunting challenge – which most of us prefer to avoid –

It can be traumatic enough – moving to a new house – or starting a new job –

Imagine then how Abram – must have felt – when he was asked by God – to leave the security of comfortable life in Haran – to a destination – that was unclear – and to a new life – with details that he would – find out – only when he got there –

Not the best of preparations – we might think

And if we were asked to make that same journey – We’ d probably think of a hundred excuses – why it wouldn’t be for us – our houses – schooling – children would be unsettled – relatives – climate – new language –

So why did He do it? – why did Abram uproot himself – and his family – to become a stranger in a strange land?

Well – because he knew God was calling him to do it – and that – was the only question he had to settle – that was the only preparation He needed –

Once he had accepted that – it was God’s wish to for Him to travel – this way – then it was a case of obey – and go –

Few of us today – will be asked to make – such a bold decision – yet there will be times when we will need to let go of the tried and tested ways –

we may be called to a new venture – new responsibilities – new lifestyle – not knowing where it might lead – or what will be demanded of us –

We may be asked to make new friends – embrace new ideas – explore new horizons – some that we – have no way of quantifying – yet if God speaks – like Abram – we too will need to be ready to respond – and follow in faith – to trust God – and His purpose and promises – in whatever the future holds –

Trusting – is most testing when – things seem to go against what – we expect

The writer of Hebrews – describes Abram as – ‘as good as dead’ – as far as being able to father a future – heir – was concerned –
Yet God chose Abram – as the Father of His a nation – and of His church –

When we go – through hard times – when things don’t go – as we think they should – its – not because of lack of faith – it just means – we have to trust Him even more – the muscles of faith grow strong – through training and testing –

Everyday – God calls us on a journey – of new discoveries – and new experiences of His love –

We may not know what the future holds – but we do know who holds it –

 

Point 2      Jesus teachings

 

Which brings us on to Jesus – and our gospel reading –

Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem – to initiate – an important change of events – begin – a journey that would take Him to the cross – to the very heart of the reason why He came to this earth –

Jesus was sent into our world to save us from our sins – to die for us on the cross – so that our sins can be forgiven – so that – through Him – our relationship with God – can be put right – again –

Through repentance – and the death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ – we are accepted as God’s children – and welcomed as part of His heavenly family –

And through Jesus we have – the promise of eternal life-

Jesus – knows His disciples have understood – little – of what He has said to them – about who He is – and what lies ahead – but nevertheless He wants to
Make sure they understand – the need to keep alert to God’s presence – and follow God’s ways in everything – they do

He talks about our priorities – our lifestyle – whether its short sighted – or far-sighted –
– earthbound – or eternal – and warns us not to put our efforts into things that have no value in God’s eyes –

He gives us – some examples – of what it means to prepare – We need to be dressed for action – with – the light trimmed ready for use – like – the Israelites – before their Exodus from Egypt-

We need to be like the servant – who is – totally loyal to His master – whether He is with him or not – He does everything as if it were for Him – And is always- ready for His masters return – day or night

If – for example we believed – that Jesus would physically return – next week – how would that affect our agenda for the next few days?

The truth is that – God is caring and close to all His people – As Jesus says – He has chosen us for His kingdom – and is working His purpose out – through each one of us – He wants us to stay – close – to Him – and continue – in His presence – always

 

Point 3      What does it mean for us?

 

So we’ve heard about Abram and from Jesus – What about our journey of faith? – What should we be putting in our carry-on bag?

Well from Abrams experience – one thing we should always keep hold of – is God’s promises

We are all special to Him – and each one of us has a special place – in His heart – like Abram – a special promise that He has made to us –

As we go forward into the unknown – we should keep trusting in that promise –and be assured – that He has our future in mind –

We also need to take with us – our entry ticket into His kingdom – which is the love and sacrifice made for us by Jesus Christ – Jesus’ love – needs to be with us – in everything we do – and if He is there with us – we know He will see us safely home –

And then of course being a long journey – we might also take a book along – the bible – to keep with us – God’s encouraging words – and together with the Holy Spirit – to be our map – our guide – keeping us on the right path – ensuring we are clothed with His power and His presence –

And not forgetting – in this technological age – the equivalent of our mobile phones – prayer – so we can keep in constant touch with God – and our true home – so He knows we are coming and we can be assured of a safe arrival –

Ending

As Christians – traveling light – is all the more important for us – in today’s materialistic and uncertain world – and as citizens of heaven – we should only take with us what we need to reach our journeys end – knowing that when we arrive we will be welcomed home

 

Prayer to finish

Sovereign God, teach us to trust you whenever we cannot see the way ahead – to always be alert to your kingdom and your ways – help us to walk in faith – even when faith seems foolish – grant us grace to entrust ourselves – into your everlasting arms – knowing that you will be sufficient for all our needs –

In the name of the Father Son and Holy Spirit

AMEN