Often we hear about death and disease, tragedy and betrayal, poverty and pain. In light of this suffering we might ask, why do these things happen God? Where are you in the midst of suffering? As we gather today as people who’ve experienced the deep wounds of pain in our lives we are hungry to hear the voice of hope and to know that God hears our cries.
Often differences among people can lead to division. Our nation in embroiled in racial tension and division in part due to the recent deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor among others. Unity does not just happen; we have to work at it. Rev. Julius Keller asks: what role can we who dare to follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ do to bring about healing and reconciliation? What role can our church play in this process?
The world is filled with disappointments, challenges, joys, and tremendous sorrows. It is also filled with the worries of COVID-19. But in the middle of this Jesus speaks a fresh word for us. He speaks a word of hope. He speaks a word of grace. What fresh word do you need to hear?
A diverse group of people were drawn to Jesus. Tax Collectors, Sinners, Pharisees and Teachers of the Law were all interested in Jesus. Some thought they were unworthy of God’s love and some thought they had earned their way into God’s love. Both these assumptions turned out to be wrong. Those who knew they were lost were on the right track and those who thought they weren’t part of the lost group were in jeopardy of being lost. In the lost and found chapter of the Bible, Jesus reaches out to both types of people.
God loves you and there is nothing you can do that will make Him love you any less.
Every one of God’s creatures needs water. We certainly know that we can’t survive in the desert for long without water. In a similar way we need the “Living Water” that Jesus offers. Yet, we often choose to drink from other sources which pollute our soul. So where is you watering hole?
Sermon preached at Gold Canyon United Methodist Church in Gold Canyon, Arizona on May 14, 2017 by Rev. Fred A. Steinberg