Sermon Details

Location, Location, Location

September 19, 2021
Wabash Avenue Presbyterian Church in Crawfordsville, IN, invites you to join us as we worship in this time of SARS-CoV-2. Today's virtual service features Pastor John Van Nuys leading worship. Sermon Title is, "Location, Location, Location". Hymns "Shall We Gather at the River" and "I've Got Peace like a River" performed by Jennie Swick, piano accompaniment by Alan White.
(1) Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked,
or take the path that sinners tread, or sit in the seat of scoffers;
(2) but their delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on God’s law they meditate day and night.
(3) They are like trees planted by streams of water,
which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither.
In all that they do, they prosper.
(4) The wicked are not so, but are like chaff the wind drives away.
(5) Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
(6) for the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,
but the way of the wicked will perish.
– Psalm 1:1-6

We live right in the path of a miracle. It’s too bad so many people don’t even see it.

Every year the Sand Hill Cranes fly over us on their annual migration from their summer home in the Great Lakes region to their winter home around the Gulf of Mexico. Tens of thousands of these magnificent birds with 6 foot wingspans migrate overhead — and it is a joy to see.

I didn’t know until this week how precise their migration routes are. In February, I saw a long V-shaped squadron of Sand Hill Cranes fly right over the Jamestown Cemetery. On Wednesday, I saw another migrating group fly right over the Jamestown Cemetery.

They know that path that keeps them alive and they stick to it. Psalm 1 says we should do the same.
People who stick close to God are like trees on a riverbank. You’ll never see them dying of thirst in the middle of a drought. Leaves always green. Limbs sagging low because of all the good fruit they’re bearing. Whatever comes along — good weather, bad weather — doesn’t matter! Because they have their roots sunk deep in the Source that keeps them alive.

We live right in the path of a miracle. It’s too bad so many people don’t even see it. And that miracle is God’s love for you.

Most people have it all wrong: They think that all God wants to do is load a bunch of rules on top of our already-hard lives in order to take away all our fun. But God actually wants to make our lives easier so that our lives are filled with joy.

Slaving away to have it all in order to live “the good life”? Why not simply live “The Life that is Good”? Skip all the white-knuckled striving to get more. Just receive all the good gifts that God is eager to give you right now.

Our culture indoctrinates us to be consumers; to work harder to have more. Our Creator invites us to live for something way more important than that — because the most important things in life aren’t things. God created you, me, all of us to live humane, holy, happy lives filled with compassion, generosity, forgiveness, humility, peace, and love. When your life produces those God-filled things, you don’t have to consume anything — because your life, relationships, moments, days, and years are already full of goodness, grace, and the gladness that comes from being in sync with God and with all that is good, right, and beautiful in this amazing, difficult, wonderful, painful, glorious thing called life.

The One who lived that life to the full is Jesus Christ. His path of self-giving love is the Way, Truth, and Life that saves us; that sets us free; the puts us in sync with our Source so that we can live the Life that is so Good that it never ends.

That’s why Christ says: “Come to me, all you who are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Christ’s tree by God’s stream is the Cross; the place where God’s love makes us whole. The water in God’s stream is the water of Baptism, which connects us to Christ so that we are forever his; so we are immersed in grace, always and eternally alive to all that is good.

The good news is that we can receive, enjoy, and share that Life, which welcomes us all. That Way is here for you to embrace and incarnate right now. Because God’s word to you today is this: I am right here. I love you. Always have; always will. Draw near to me, and I will draw near to you. What else could I do? You are my beloved child. Welcome home.

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!