“Our Hope and Our Trust from Birth”
Jeremiah 1: 4-10; Psalm 71: 1-6;Luke 13: 10-17
Pearl: God is our security and our savior all through our lives.
Function: To encourage worshippers that their Lord is their constant rock of refuge and true hope from birth to death and even beyond (Christ sees you with compassion from birth to death—even eternally).
Psalm 71 contains the reflections of someone in the twilight of life crying out for relief from the God who was always ready and willing to be there as a fortress and refuge from birth.
- Many of you listening to these words here today are likely older than the person who made these declarations and you would surely agree.
- You may have some kind of distress now but as you look back over the course of your lives you see God’s presence and compassionate care for you.
The prophet Jeremiah testified from a youthful perspective of how God knew him in his mother’s womb, in fact, even before he was conceived, God knew him.
- You affirm, as you did today at Landon’s baptism, that before you knew God, God knew you!
young couple who live in Delta, PA, and who belong to one of the churches in
the Peach Bottom Charge of the United Methodist Church, suffered the death of
more than one child sometime during pregnancy and including even at birth.
These parents know a grief which some of you know as well.
- A walk through our church cemetery contains several small tombstones as memorials to these tiny ones.
- One piece of comfort for you who have lost these little ones is that while you never got to know them, because they died so very young or even before they were born, THEY ARE KNOWN TO GOD!!! Yes, God knows them very well and so will you one day. You will know them because you love them. Love is eternal…because God is love. We will return to this notion shortly.
- This young couple began a ministry called “My Little Loves Ministries” and you can find it on Facebook. It is a means of support for all of those who have experienced the death of such very young ones, who were known mostly to God.
Your God cares for you for all time!
Consider the woman who Jesus saw in the synagogue one day. Jesus saw her, but no one else saw her. They saw a crippled woman.
I preached on this passage previously there was a woman in my congregation who
I immediately thought of. She was very hunched over and looked uncomfortably
crippled from a similar arthritic condition. Ironically, I knew her for about
- Sometimes people are so visibly deformed that this is all that you can see of this person.
- No one in the synagogue really saw this woman. They only saw a cripple and likely cast her aside from their attention and consideration.
Jesus saw her. And do you know who he saw? He saw a “daughter of Abraham!”
pronounced just who this woman was: a daughter of Abraham. That is, a child of
God. This is everyone! Everyone is a child of God.
- This is a mantra of many children’s ministries: “Everyone is a child of God and deserves to be treated that way.”
did not see her for her crippled condition but he saw her for who she was: a
child of God.
- Every one of you are children of Abraham, children of God. That is who you are. You are somebody! And you are known to God.
- Before you had a heartbeat and before you were even conceived in your mother’s womb God knew you. Long after you die, God knows you.
- You are not a cripple; you are not an addict; you are not a label; you are child of Abraham. That is who you are.
- Jesus pronounced just who this woman was: a daughter of Abraham. That is, a child of God. This is everyone! Everyone is a child of God.
And your God cares for you for all time!
Remembering this woman who Jesus cured from her crippled condition and God’s hand in the life of Jeremiah as a boy displays God’s compassionate oversight of your lives from birth to death. There are no seasons of life where God looks away or removes his care for you. The aged writer of Psalm 71, not David this time, declares several ways in which God is known to be there for all of his children.
is your rescuer and deliverer.
- This past week a small plane crashed into the ocean. The two people on the plan survived the crash and were left floating in the ocean as the plane slowly sunk. They did not have any flotation devices and were left to tread water.
- Another plane became aware of the crashed plane and circled the wreckage, reporting it to authorities. The pilot of the plane did not see the survivors swimming in the ocean.
became fatigued as they kept treading water. Finally, a rescue helicopter
arrived and they were sighted. They were rescued and rejoiced in being found
alive and well. One of the survivors was interviewed afterwards and reported
that he was almost out of energy to continue treading water. Rescuers arrived
in perfect timing.
- God is your rescuer and your deliverer.
is your security, your strong fortress.
down Route 1 lately I see a homemade wooden sign in of someone’s front yard
advertising “bullet-proof panels” for sale.
- Your security, your strong fortress is your God.
- There is no need to armor up. There is no need to build an arsenal fortress in your home or underneath your home.
- Your God is your strong fortress.
- Driving down Route 1 lately I see a homemade wooden sign in of someone’s front yard advertising “bullet-proof panels” for sale.
is your hope and your trust through eternity.
God is eternal, you are known to God eternally.
- In this way God knew you before you were born. Not that you existed before you were born. You are eternally known to God.
is your hope and your trust.
- Having hope in God is not just optimism. It is not just hoping for the best outcome.
- Having hope in God is having a living hope. This is a hope which eternally safe and secure.
- Since God is eternal, you are known to God eternally.
Your God cares for you for all time!
Mt. Rainier in the State of Washington is one of the most popular mountains in our country for climbers. It stands 14, 411 feet high.
is a big mountain which beckons many to climb its bald faces to its majestic
summits. I enjoy reading tales of climbers challenging themselves beyond what I
could ever do physically. I am intrigued by the kind of agility, endurance, and
fearlessness that is required to climb mountains like these.
- Climbers give themselves to these massive rock mountains.
- They literally give themselves to the cliffs becoming one with them in order to survive.
is a Rock like no other.
- You give yourselves to God who is the largest rock of refuge. God as Rock can be climbed. God welcomes you to climb and to advance upon him. God bids you to address him like no other.
- God is a Rock that will always be big for you.
- God is a Rock big enough for everyone. There is unlimited space on this Rock.
will not deviate from watching after you.
- The daughter of Abraham who was crippled for 18 long years caught the eye of Jesus. No one else really saw her.
was so accustomed to being stooped over crippled that she no longer looked
anyone in the eye either. She had lost hope.
- Then Jesus spoke to her. She did not seek him out as many did during his life and times.
- But Jesus saw this woman who had lost hope and he, as her living hope, released her from her oppressive burden. She was literally doubled over from her affliction.
- Jesus told her she was set free from her ailment.
- When Jesus laid his hands on her she immediately stood up straight and began praising God.
some did not rejoice in her being cured.
- They instead criticized Jesus for healing her on the Sabbath.
- Jesus called them out on that. He called them “frauds, fakes, hypocrites.” He pointed out how they would without hesitation lead their oxes or donkeys to water so that they could maintain their businesses without interruption.
- They were being incredibly small. It is a good thing that God is so big!
- God, who knew you before you were born is very big as your strong fortress, your majestic rock, your hope and your trust for all time!