Sermon Details

What Do You Say?

June 12, 2022
Wabash Avenue Presbyterian Church in Crawfordsville, IN, invites you to join us as we worship in this time of SARS-CoV-2. Thank you for joining us remotely.
(1) Does not wisdom call, and does not understanding raise her voice?
(2) On the heights, beside the way, at the crossroads she takes her stand;
(3) beside the gates in front of the town, at the entrance of the portals she cries out:
(4) “To you, O people, I call, and my cry is to all that live.
(22) The Lord created me at the beginning of his work, the first of his acts of long ago.
(23) Ages ago I was set up, at the first, before the beginning of the earth.
(24) When there were no depths I was brought forth,
when there were no springs abounding with water.
(25) Before the mountains had been shaped, before the hills, I was brought forth—
(26) when he had not yet made earth and fields, or the world’s first bits of soil.
(27) When he established the heavens, I was there, when he drew a circle on the face of the deep,
(28) when he made firm the skies above, when he established the fountains of the deep,
(29) when he assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters might not transgress his command,
when he marked out the foundations of the earth,
(30) then I was beside him, like a master worker;
and I was daily his delight, rejoicing before him always,
(31) rejoicing in his inhabited world and delighting in the human race.
– Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31

The news lately is not good: There is war in Europe. Another democracy is under continuing attack – the United States – as people from the Proud Boys to possibly a sitting President sought to prevent the peaceful transfer of power. Old demons like inflation and soaring gas prices are shocking us. Experts say the economy is slowing. Scientists say climate change is accelerating. 25% of adults who choose to not have children cite the ecological crisis as why, saying that they do not want to bring children into a world that is about to die. And we are still in a pandemic that refuses to give up the ghost.

But we aren’t giving up the ghost either – the Holy Ghost, that is. And the Holy Ghost, the Holy Spirit, isn’t giving up on us. God is in the mix. So, even though despair tempts us, God holds us; therefore, we can hold onto hope, too.

As my mother got older, she would tell me her list of everything going wrong in the world and she would always conclude, saying: “Things are just getting worse and worse.”

To which I would always reply: “Mom, you aren’t reading your Bible. Things aren’t getting worse. Things are staying exactly the same.” We are still constantly, invariably seduced by the seven deadly sins: pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath, and sloth. Human nature isn’t changing. But the good news is that God isn’t changing either. Our Triune God, our Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer, is still on the job: working, healing, blessing, loving, reconciling, and making all things new. And when we seek to live life God’s way, we can and will be blessed by the fruit of the Spirit, which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:5).

How can we move from bad to good? Wisdom helps us. The Spirit of wisdom; she was there – here – from Day One. Before creation was born, she was. And she still is – right here. She is easy to find: Wisdom speaks daily here in this church in recovery meetings and counseling sessions. Wisdom is a way of living that connects us with God. Knowledge about God leads us to obey, but Wisdom from God causes us to understand.

You can obey without understanding. When I take my daily blood pressure medication, I don’t understand the science. I am obeying my doctor. But if and when I change my life; to lose weight and exercise like my doctor has been telling me to do, then that medication won’t be needed. Why? Because I will have embraced being healthy. That wisdom will be alive in me. I will be alive in it. All I have to do is make the right choice and follow through.

I have all the power I need to do that. We all do. But I only have limited power to change the world. No, I can’t do everything, but I can do something. We all can. We have that power. We also have each other – and we have God, who has us. Who has wisdom to give us; vision to inspire us; and hope to move us.

The enemy of Christianity isn’t atheism; it’s apathy. Lowering our expectations of what God can do, which lets us off the hook for doing anything at all. Apathy is the enemy. Hope is the remedy.

Hope isn’t optimism. Optimism believes things will be alright. Hope believes things will be alright because God is at work to make it so. Hope isn’t passive. Hope knows that God is counting on us to do our part. So, we do. For example: We can’t change the past. We cannot undo the tragedy of Afghanistan. But we can act today – and we can change the future. We can embrace the wisdom to partner with God and other local churches to resettle an Afghan family. We can do that. We are doing that with God and each other. And because of that active, wise, hopeful faith, today is better than yesterday – and tomorrow will be better as well.

God is not done with creation or history or humanity or us. God is not done with you. How can you welcome the wisdom that is saving lives and changing the world? How can you live more hopefully and actively to bless, share, forgive, heal, and love? Wisdom says that that is our calling. Faith says that God will accompany us on that way. Hope says that God will bless that way.
What do you say?

In reading this, your heart may be stirred. What you’re feeling is the Holy Spirit drawing you to Christ. To begin or renew a relationship with Jesus, just pray:

“Lord, help me receive your love. I regret the wrong I’ve done. Forgive me. Jesus, I believe you are God’s Son and the Savior of the world. Be my Savior. Save me from myself. Save me for yourself. Enter my heart. Fill me with your Holy Spirit. Help me to serve you faithfully and well. Help me to love as you love. Lead me in your Way, Truth, and Life now and forever. Continue to show me who you are and who I am in you. Amen.”

If you pray this prayer, contact a pastor. They’ll show you how to live for Christ with purpose, peace, and joy. Jesus says: “Behold, I make all things new.” That definitely includes YOU!