Most of the time, I follow the lectionary as the scriptural inspiration for my Sunday morning sermons. Well, this week I’ve decided to only partially follow the lectionary. I believe that God is seeking to do a new thing in ministry at Covenant and also in the lives of the people of Covenant. And so this Sunday, I feel led to use a non-lectionary text, Isaiah 43:18-21, as the main text for my sermon.
However, the lectionary text of Ephesians 5:15-20 will be used as the secondary text for the sermon. In that text, Paul is offering the Christians in Ephesus and us some very helpful advice on how to be aware of and make the most of the opportunities God allows into our lives. In short it tells us … be careful how we live by being wise, being sober and being thankful. It tells us “make the most of every opportunity and … Therefore do not be foolish but understand what the Lord’s will is.”
There are folks who make the most of every opportunity but not in a way that will enrich their lives, bless others and glorify God. I think what prevents many of us from making the most of every opportunity in the best sense of doing so has to do with how we view and pursue life.
For example, there are two birds that fly over our nation’s deserts: One is the hummingbird and the other is the vulture. The vultures find the rotting meat of the desert, because that is what they look for. They thrive on that diet. But hummingbirds ignore the smelly flesh of dead animals. Instead, they look for the colorful blossoms of desert plants. The vultures live on what was. They live on the past. They fill themselves with what is dead and gone. But hummingbirds live on what is. They seek new life. They fill themselves with freshness and life. Each bird finds what it is looking for. The same is true for us as individuals and also churches.
The essence of Paul’s writing in Ephesians 5 is that in life, even in the desert parts of our lives, we are one of two kinds of people. We are either looking backwards, angry and ungrateful; or we’re one of those who looks to what is and what can be while we hum a grateful hymn of thanksgiving. The irony is that either way you find what you are looking for. To understand what God wants to do in our lives as individuals or as a church, it requires us to be like the humming-bird and look to what is and to the future as God proclaims to us “I will do a new thing!”
Join us in worship this Sunday morning at Covenant. I will be preaching on God’s proclamation that “I WILL DO A NEW THING!” The scriptural text for this sermon is Isaiah 43:18-21 and Ephesians 5:15-20.