wilderness of weakness

Today I preached.  At the end of my sermon I referenced two quotes that people asked me for.  I told some of you that I would pass them on through the blog. 

Mark 1:9-13 – “In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.  And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being opened up and the Spirit descending on him like a dove.  And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”

The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness.  And he was out in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan.  And he was with the wild animals, and the angels were ministering to him.” 

Robert Murray McCheyne –  “You will never find Jesus so precious as when the world is one vast howling wilderness.  Then, he is like a rose blooming in the midst of the desolation.”                   

NT Wright –   “The whole Christian gospel could be summed up in this point.  That when the living God looks at us, at every baptized and believing Christian, he says to us what he said to Jesus on that day.  It seems impossible, especially to people who have never had this kind of support from their earthly parents, but it is true: God our Father looks at us, and says, “You are my dear, dear child; I am delighted with you.”                                                                

I then closed my sermon:

“Is it enough for you, right now, that in the howling wilderness of sin God has sent someone different for us to relate to – his Son who was victorious in our wilderness- so that we could relate to him as his beloved children?  Is it enough?  Or is it your demand that the wilderness go away?  Listen, the truth that God has come to relate to us in Christ is not only for your salvation in the wilderness… it is for your survival.” 

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One thought on “wilderness of weakness

  1. Alex Burdine says:

    great sermon, Jim. And great questions at the end of it.

    A funny thought: if we’re all in the wilderness, isn’t church is like a camp fire, and we’re all sitting around it for protection singing Kumbaya?

    that being said…days like today when I feel out of shape and in need are days that I long for a city away from the wilderness.

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