Sermon Details

More Than Enough

February 14, 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 Rev. John Van Nuys leading worship and preaching the sermon, “More Than Enough”. The Scripture for today is Mark 9:2-9. Jennie Fights Swick sings “Fairest Lord Jesus” and “Why Should I Feel Discouraged?”.
(2) Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, (3) and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them. (4) And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, who were talking with Jesus. (5) Then Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” (6) He did not know what to say, for they were terrified. (7) Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, “This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!” (8) Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them anymore, but only Jesus. (9) As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them to tell no one about what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead.
– Mark 9:2-9

Years ago when I got my first bird feeder, I thought it would make me happy. But it had the opposite effect. Whenever I looked at it, I was mostly angry.

I thought my feeder would attract red birds, robins, blue jays, goldfinches, woodpeckers, bluebirds, and other colorful, flashy songbirds. And some of those birds that I wanted to see did come. But mostly the feeder attracted not the pretty, rare birds, but the common, dull ones: Sparrows, crows, and starlings.

What were they doing at my feeder? I wanted rare, colorful, attractive songbirds. But what I mostly got were birds that were ordinary, dull, and unattractive.

One day my elderly, next door neighbor said how much she enjoyed watching my feeder. But I told her how disappointed I felt about it. In response she said this, “God loves them all. You should, too.” I was speechless. She was right.

I remember those wise words when my old, mistaken opinion arises not when I think about birds, but when I think about my days.

I want my life to be filled with attractive days filled only with sunshine, happiness, and success – and those days do come. Sometimes. But my life is mostly common days filled with ordinary, unremarkable things like struggle, uncertainty, and thankless tasks like cleaning the toilet and taking out the trash.

Given that, when I come to the story of Jesus’ Transfiguration, I mostly read it with a sense of envy: What doesn’t my walk with the Lord have more mountaintop moments like this? This moment described in Scripture is like seeing a bald eagle. My moments mostly involve seeing another, boring old sparrow.

But what if my neighbor was not only right about God loving every bird, but also about God loving every moment? About God being in every moment? And about God loving us and being present to us in every, common moment of our lives? If that is so, then God is here, right now – hiding in plain sight.

After all, that was the point of the Transfiguration: The disciples finally got it: That Jesus was who he said he was. If that is the case, then that realization and joy can be ours as well.

The Catholic spiritual writer Richard Rohr sums it up this way: If Jesus is the face of God, then we can trust that God is good and we are loved and that all shall be well. You don’t have to trudge up a mountain to find that rarified truth. That truth is right here – permeating all our “common” moments; empowering us in all our struggles; even accompanying us in moments that seem unremarkable, tedious and even terrible.

After all, isn’t that the ultimate truth of the cross? That no place is too terrible; no moment is too dark; and no fate is so doomed that Christ will not enter into it out of solidarity with us. Christ is with us in it all. And Christ shall bring us through it all. That is the truth of Easter and the promise of the Resurrection.

If we keep faith in that truth as we walk with Christ through the common moments of our lives, maybe they won’t seem so ordinary or overwhelming – or under-whelming! Maybe if we can keep sight of that in the valleys of our lives, then we won’t envy or need anything “higher,” “better,” or more “glorious.” Maybe we will realize that in the mixture of success and failure, joy and pain that comes to all of us that Christ is with us in it all – and that is all we need.

Maybe if we just hold onto that, we would begin to see the miraculous in the everyday, the extraordinary within the ordinary, and the glory of the mountaintop moment in our common, valley floor days. Maybe then we wouldn’t crave the special quite so much and we could begin to savor and enjoy the grace God gives us all the time. Maybe then, like Peter, James, and John, we would only see Jesus – and that grace would be more than enough.

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!