Sermon: Tears of Sorrow

Through Jeremiah, God was trying to reconnect with his people, who lost touch with God. Through tears of sorrow, God was showing his sincere sadness that people were forgetting about God. They were not heeding God’s call to serve others, to take care of our planet, to put God at the center of all our actions.

Is God crying tears of sorrow today?

“Tears of Sorrow” • Sermon by The Rev. Elaine Puckett

“Tears of Sorrow”
Sermon by The Rev. Elaine Puckett
Jeremiah 8:18-9:1
Oct. 6, 2019

Lenten Devotional: Thursday, Feb. 18

by JoBeth Allen

Jeremiah 22:3   Thus says the Lord: Execute ye judgment and righteousness, and deliver the spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor: and do no wrong, do no violence to the stranger, the fatherless, nor the widow, neither shed innocent blood in this place.

My Lenten Devotional is taken from the Sojourners weekly newsletter, specifically (and in places directly quoting) the lead article by Jim Wallis, and from the conversation our Sunday School class had about Lenten practices.

Wallis wrote about what Pope Francis said to the world in his Lenten message: “Indifference to our neighbor and to God also represents a real temptation for us Christians. Each year during Lent we need to hear once more the voice of the prophets who cry out and trouble our conscience.” Instead of giving up chocolate or alcohol for Lent, the pope seems to want us to give up our indifference to others. The Pope continued: “We end up being incapable of feeling compassion at the outcry of the poor, weeping for other people’s pain, and feeling a need to help them, as though all this were someone else’s responsibility and not our own.”

In thinking about “giving up indifference” for Lent – for always – I think my indifference comes in the form of choosing that which is clearly defined and “doable,” and turning a deaf ear to the outcry of the oppressed when the task seems too difficult. What would it mean to deliver our neighbors “out of the hand of the oppressor”? It’s overwhelming, and more than a little frightening. Oppressors have a lot of power. If authorities “do violence to the stranger” in my town, if they deport immigrants to face danger and even death in the countries from which they fled, what can I do?

In another Lenten message the pope gave when he was the Cardinal of Buenos Aries, he quoted early Christian leader John Chrysostom who said, “No act of virtue can be great if it is not followed by advantage for others. So, no matter how much time you spend fasting, no matter how much you sleep on a hard floor and eat ashes and sigh continually, if you do no good to others, you do nothing great.”

Prayer: Loving Mother/Father God, Speak to me so loudly that I can’t ignore you. Keep sending me Jeremiahs through newspapers and Facebook and the young people I interact with each week until I am able to give up my indifference. Amen

Lenten Devotional: Wednesday, Feb. 17

Jeremiah 31:31-34: The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt – a covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, says the Lord. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord. I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, “Know the Lord,” for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord, for I will forgive them their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.

Our journey through life is never a straight one; it zigzags. Sometimes it heads in the opposite direction from where we think it should go. We would probably be fine with the twists and turns if we had a map, and itinerary to follow. But what if our maps are out of date and inaccurate? What if they are borrowed from someone else’s journey? An outdated or borrowed map will never get us where we need to go; we have to depend our own inner map. God has written it there; it is written on our hearts.

When you feel lost, what do you know to be true for your journey? What are the gentle intuitions? What grounds you?

Prayer:  When I feel afraid, think I’ve lost my way,
Still you’re there right beside me.
Nothing will I fear as long as you are near,
Please be near me to the end.
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.
Amen.

Lenten Devotional: Saturday, Feb. 13

Unknown

Jeremiah 18:1-6:  The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Come, go down to the potter’s house, and there I will let you hear my words.”  So I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was working at his wheel.  The vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as seemed good to him.

Then the word of the Lord came to me: “Can I not do with you, O house of Israel, just as this potter has done?” says the Lord. “Just like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand O house of Israel.”

The word humble comes from the Latin humus, or “earth” which is also the root of human. Thus, all humans are of the humus. Being humble implies not the slightest lowliness relative to other human beings. Someone who is of the humus is only lowly with respect to that which is above the humus: the Divine. Being human means we constantly fall short of the ideals we set for ourselves and expect of others. But by accepting our humility, we live into our fullest humanity. When have you felt “less than,” or have berated yourself or someone else for falling short? What would it mean accept our human limitations and to trust that in God, we are enough?

Prayer:
Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.
Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.
Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me.
Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me.
Amen.

Sermon: In the meantime …

“In the meantime …”
Sermon by The Rev. Lisa Caine
Luke 21:25-36, Jeremiah 33:14-16
Nov. 29, 2015 • First Sunday of Advent

Sermon

Choral Response: “I Believe”
Soloist: Amanda Martin

Children’s Message