Saturday, March 5, 2011
Luke - good news for the damaged!!
Tonight we began a new series at church, a study on the gospel of Luke. Pastor JD began calling Luke a gospel for cynics. He defined gospel as good news and proceeded to call this sermon good news for the damaged. You see, Zechariah and Elizabeth with whom the book opens were damaged goods, damaged in the eyes of humans. They had not been able to conceive a child during their lives and now they were old, too old to have a child come into their lives. Children were seen as a heritage much more than they are today because they were how your name was carried on and how you were cared for when you were old and how the blessings of the Lord for your family continued from generation to generation. Sure, they had prayed for years for a child and for whatever reason God had never blessed them with one. In those times it would be thought that something was wrong with the couple, that God's favor was not on them because of some sin or something hidden and that's why they could not bear children. But the Bible is clear that this is not the case with Z and Eliza. It calls them blameless, not sinless but blameless before God. But finally, in their old age, God chose to use this couple and bless them with the mouthpiece that would announce the coming of the King. Why did He choose them, seeing that they were damaged goods? I believe no story in the Bible is there without purpose. He chose Z and Eliza to show us that He chooses us too, even when we are damaged or feel we are damaged. Our damage may not be childlessness but some other thing that God has chosen not to fulfill in our lives, leaving us scarred thinking we are unworthy (side note: these are all lies of Satan btw). Jesus' death and resurrection paid the price to make us all worthy of His love because of His grace and mercy. Aren't we all damaged goods somehow if we truly think about it, even if we have everything we need? The Bible says all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God -- DAMAGED!! But there are soooo many promises that there are for us, so many things He wants to give us and wants us to ask for. It doesn't mean He will bless us with everything we pray for but it does mean He will listen. Remember, the greatest gift of all is Jesus Himself!!!! I challenge each of us to examine our lives and our "damage" and give it over to God, accept the "good news" and lean entirely on Him.