We are reading such great stuff this morning, from Peterson’s introductions in his Bible translation, The Message. We feel like highlighting every word! From the introduction to the Prophets:
“For a people who are accustomed to ‘fitting God’ into their lives, or, as we like to say, ‘making room for God,’ the prophets are hard to take and easy to dismiss. The God of whom the prophets speak is far too large to fit into our lives. If we want anything to do with God, we have to fit into him…
“They don’t explain God. They shake us out of old conventional habits of small-mindedness, of trivializing god-gossip, and set us on our feet in wonder and obedience and worship. If we insist on understanding them before we live into them, we will never get it…
“Prophets make it impossible to evade God or make detours around God. Prophets insist on receiving God in every nook and cranny of life. For a prophet, God is more real than the next-door neighbor.”
And here’s how we can segue into our sermon notes: one of the scripture readings was from the prophet Micah! (Micah 5:2-5a) Our present series is about Hope, and our Lead-Pastor-Elect made some good points:
- Hope is NOT wishful thinking, but confident expectation.
- Hope comes when we give up false hopes. Micah did give a promise, but also prophesied the exile, which the Israelites did not like, of course, but needed in order to be able to receive the promise.
- Hope comes when we receive God’s promises, which we cannot do without first letting go (of false hopes, of things that may be limiting our ability to receive God’s best, etc) What we think should be the Hoped-for thing, is never as good as what God knows is much better.
Finally, to add in our theme of Simplicity: though her sermon was good, our new preacher is not the flashy, dynamic, sure-to-bring-crowds type of speaker. Our family has had several opportunities to speak to her personally, and she is really quite “ordinary” (though we know she’s extremely intelligent). This is a Very Good Thing (the fact of her simplicity), because it means that attention will not be drawn to her, but to the One whom it should be drawn to.
Amen. Doesn’t that hay smell great?