Genesis 12:10-20 provides such vital contrast with last week's upbeat message.
My sermon's main impact will be:
By God's grace my sermon will say that God keeps working when bad things happen to good people, and good people do bad things. And my sermon will do: bring trusting realism for the Christian walk, right where we are.
I continue to value feedback.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
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Hi Dr. Quicke,
Thank you for another great sermon... it is always a joy to hear your reflections.
I wanted to share something I heard in the church pews this morning. A woman next to me was really enjoying your sermon, often saying an "Amen" or "that's true" after your statements. She also mumbled after you said "good people can do bad things" that "bad people can do good things." And I thought, how true!
"Bad" people do do good things all the time... we see it through media stories and even in our own life experiences.
In Chi-town, for example, mobsters were notorious for showering their loved ones with riches and protecting their own, even unto death.
We also see this is Scripture with Matthew 7:11 (If you then being evil know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him.)
Similarly, I was thinking good things happen to "bad" people. I think of Matthew 5:45 (For he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust).
When good things happen to "bad" people, it humbles me to remember that in this age of grace, God loves everyone and no matter what someone has done, they are still God's creation, worthy of love, respect and yes, good things.
I think the core problem is that we distort God's goodness. We take this blessing, a demonstration of God's character (that is goodness), and we manipulate it into our own purposes. Instead of letting God's goodness flow through us, we try to fit it into our own desires which can cause all sorts of trouble.
Ahhhh, good things for me to thing about... and then act upon. And isn't that what a good sermon is all about?
When you were preaching yesterday about Abraham's little problem with the desire for self-preservation and how his lying about his "wife-sister?" may have impacted Sarah I started thinking about someone else who may have indirectly suffered because of it also. Remember when the Pharoah gave Abraham all kinds of flocks and herds as a gift (presumably as a thankyou for Sarah)?
In the next chapter Abraham and Lot have to separate from each other because their flocks and herds are so large that the land cannot sustain all of them. Abraham let Lot have first pick and Lot picked the fertile land by the city of Sodom.
We all know about the sin in Sodom and Gomorrah and what eventually happened to the cities. I'm assuming Lot could have been compromised by all the debauchery. He almost didn't make it out alive, in fact, his wife didn't.
What if Abraham hadn't gained all those additional flocks and herds from Pharoah for his "sister" Sarah? Might he and Lot been able to stick together, support each other, stay in fellowship? Abraham almost lost him, and maybe it could all be traced back to those extra flocks and herds.
Just a thought.
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