A NOTE FROM PASTOR CHARLIE For these devotions from September 5 to September 18, I will be sharing devotions I wrote a couple of years ago for a previous blog. These will not be following the readings for the coming Sunday, but will still offer an opportunity for Bible readings and reflection.
We will be back to the assigned readings for worship once again starting September 19.
15 And how are they to proclaim him unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” 16 But not all have obeyed the good news; for Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?” 17 So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of Christ.
18 But I ask, have they not heard? Indeed they have; for
“Their voice has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world.”
19 Again I ask, did Israel not understand? First Moses says,
“I will make you jealous of those who are not a nation; with a foolish nation I will make you angry.”
20 Then Isaiah is so bold as to say,
“I have been found by those who did not seek me; I have shown myself to those who did not ask for me.”
21 But of Israel he says, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and contrary people.”
Faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of Christ.
A friend of mine told me that when he and his wife went on their honeymoon in Europe they were a minority – everyone they met spoke more than one language. There were amazed at how fluent the people were in English as well as their native tongue. This was also a hinderance, as they realized others could talk without my friend and his wife understanding what they were saying, but when they talked, those around them understood what they were saying. So my friend and his wife decided they would talk in Pig Latin instead. It took some work, but they found a way to communicate and be understood without others comprehending their message.
Faith comes from what is heard.
How very important it is to hear about God and what God is doing. How very important it is that we proclaim the message of Jesus Christ over and over again. How very important it is that we do not assume everyone knows the story. How very important it is to hear the good news that you are loved, you are forgiven, you belong to God.
Faith comes from what is heard.
Harvey was concerned about his wife's loss of hearing. As far as he could tell, her problem just kept getting worse. She stubbornly refused to admit that she had a problem and definitely refused to go to a doctor since that was the case. Finally, in desperation, Harvey went to a consultation on her behalf. He told the doctor of the problem and was told a simple home test he could try to gauge the severity of the problem. He was to go home, get out of his car, and call to his wife, “Hon, what’s for dinner?” If he heard no response, he should continue to move closer until the response was forthcoming. Judging by the distance, the severity of the hearing loss could be gauged.
So Harvey went home. He got out of his car and screamed, "Hon, what's for dinner?," hearing no answer, he moved to the front door. "Hon, what's for dinner?" Still no response. Finally he stuck his head in the kitchen, and called, "Hon, what's for dinner?" Harvey's wife turned from the sink, looked him square in the eyes and said, "For the third time, we are having roast beef!"
How good is your hearing?
Do you need to hear the Good News?
Well, I have good news for you – every week we offer the message of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who dies and rises for you and me. Because of this, you are forgiven and you are loved. God has named you and claimed you and will never let you go!
A little secret – we pastors only have one sermon – we just use different illustrations to get the message to you.
Faith comes from what is heard. Listen.
Dear God, open my ears to hear your good news for me, and my heart to your love. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.