What Can I Do?

Jesus used parables when preaching to the crowds of people. His disciples asked him why he did that.

10 The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?”

11 He replied, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12 Whoever has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. 13 This why I speak to them in parables:

“Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand.”

Matthew 13:10-13

For this same reason our pastors and preachers may tell stories, allegories, that help us relate to the scriptures in a way we can understand. I think this is important. As a teacher, I know that all students don’t learn best in the same way. So, educators use different ways to teach a topic so that everyone understands it.

This Sunday I’m sure there were ears perked up when they heard the name C. S. Lewis. “Aslan is on the move” is a quote from The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. Lewis was a nonbeliever and set out to disprove the concept of God. But quite the opposite happened. In his effort to disprove, he found evidence that made a believer out of him.

Aslan is not God or Jesus in the story, but the phrase “Aslan is on the move” shows that this is something new or different. Like he wasn’t on the move before, but he is now.

God has been on the move, it’s not something new. But as we look at Luke 1 we see God sending angels to Zechariah and Mary announcing some big things are coming. God had been silent for 400 years. No angels announcing miracles or prophecies. He’s been moving, preparing for what is to come.

God plays the long game. He plays chess to our checkers.

Prophecies from the Old Testament are about to be revealed as we look at Luke 1:5-25, the account of Zechariah and Elizabeth.

Zechariah was in the one chosen to enter the temple and burn incense when an angel appeared to him. He told Zechariah that his prayer had been heard and that Elizabeth would bear him a son and he was to name him John. John would do great things and be filled with the Holy Spirit from birth. He would lead the people back to God, prepare them for the Lord.

18 Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.”

19 The angel answered, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news. 20 And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their proper time.”

Luke 1:18-20

God hadn’t been heard of for a long time, so I can understand his question. An angel of the Lord appears to me and I might feel the same way. A bit confused.

Just as the times Zechariah lived in was evil, Herod killing male babies under the age of 3, we still have evil in the world today. But somehow I can feel hope in knowing that Jesus will return to earth some day. God is still on the move…

Zechariah’s situation wasn’t about him, although he thought he and his wife had to make it happen. It was about God moving. His doubt that God could do what he said won him the prize of muteness. Mary’s question to Gabriel was, “How can this be?” She wasn’t assuming she was the one making things happen, but believing that God could do it in His power.

Where is the peace on earth that we hear about? We’re all about it during the holidays, but when we put away the nativity, it’s like we put away the hope of peace.

There may be empty seats in our churches, but the seats that are filled have the power of the Holy Spirit to change a world that is dying and doesn’t think Christmas is coming.

We each have a role to play in God’s plan. Every one of us! You have a mission. It doesn’t matter where you’re at in your faith journey, you have a mission.

If you think it’s never getting better, that’s unbelief. Don’t put it on God. It’s your unbelief!

For some reason those words jumped out at me. There is so much fear in this world. Evil people do evil things and the innocent suffer.

But we need to show the world that God is good. Yes, we live in a broken, evil world, but it’s time for Christians to rise to the occasion! Quit judging people and start loving on them.

God has been and still is moving for reclamation and restoration. I know it seems slow, but that’s because we’re not moving with him!

We yell at a broken people and act surprised when they don’t know that God loves them. We’ve got to tell them, show them, model it for them.

We can’t fix everything on our own, but we can all do something! We can all keep praying and keep God in the equation.

Christ is in us! We carry the light of grace and mercy. Let that light shine brightly to a darkened world.

Evil was defeated on the cross and resurrection.

What can you do for the Kingdom? God’s got a plan for you. Pray about it. He’ll reveal it. Trust me, God can do more than you can imagine. I’ve experienced things I would have never thought possible.

This is a sermon worth listening to and here is the link to Jon Porter’s sermon from 12/4/22.

Have a blessed Christmas season!

In Faith,

Pam

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