Psalm 27: 1-5
MARK 4: 35-41


November 3, 2019

One bonus hour of sleep … all for the benefit of having an extra hour of light outside in the afternoon while having more darkness every morning.   Is it worth it … did you get the bonus sleep?  I know that when the clocks SPRING forward in March we grumble about losing sleep and some folks find a ready excuse in that SPRINGING FORWARD to miss out on regularly scheduled Sunday morning gatherings.  But, friends can you feel it … the clocks changed and with today’s technology we didn’t have to actively change time pieces because at exactly 2am the clocks moved back.  Today in effect has 25 hours in it.

I wasn’t awake last night at 2am but if any of you were awake did you feel it?  It was literally earth changing … well at least in the time zones and locations locked into our coded clock regulations.   So, if you were fully awake at 1:59am this morning … what did you feel as the second hand moved you to what your brain and body perceived would be 2am but suddenly it was 1am and you had instantly an extra hour for a redo of the 1am hour of November 3rd 2019 and it was deja vu all over again … an hours worth of Ground Hog’s Day … a chance to relive an hour of your life according to the clock.  I have a question … could you feel it if you really focused in on that change could you feel your movement with time?

Church, do you ever wish that you could relive an hour of your life?   Did you ever think or claim that you experienced change but you didn’t feel it?   How are you doing in your life and your relationship with God … have you been getting closer?  Have you been praying more?  Reading more?  Discovering God more?  Do you wish you could redo an hour with the Creator?  Do you want to feel the change in life that you say happened through Christ?

Today, as we once again move to the Lord’s Table I would like to invite each of us to focus again not on our church building or if you are watching online not on your home or your current location … I want each of us to try to put aside the world for the next 30 minutes or so and focus again on our relationship with God.

During the first weeks of this sermon series I have tried to provide exercises and stretches that provide the means for changing how God fits into our lives.

Now, I know we get busy … I am still struggling to finish the 368 pages of A MAN CALLED OVE, which is one of several books I am reading right now so imagine how hard it is for me to find time to read one or two pages of the Gospel of John for a 30 minute Tuesday Bible Study when I really need to figure out Ove’s story.  Maybe when I finish Backman’s funny novel I will have time for the Jesus history stuff.

Last Sunday morning in church I was fortunate to hear Reverend Robert Harvey’s message of the day.  The sun was still shining as the words of the psalmist were read to those of us in church … “Our sins are stronger than we are, but You O God will blot them out.  Happy are they whom You draw to Your courts … they will be satisfied by the beauty of Your house.  O God of our salvation.”

This morning church … which do you feel more your sins or our God?  It’s a complex question because the elements of Holy Communion are in front of us all.  Our clock moved back an hour over night and yet so many of us are drawn away from the Holy, don’t have time for quality prayer much less the opening of our Holy book … and so many in church today aren’t willing to have the Holy Spirit guide us.

And, that is the challenge … OUR CHALLENGE and that is a decision of faith that we each need to face day in and day out … each of us have sins that are really strong and in need of God’s eraser and God is ready to blot them out but we need God … we need Jesus and not just superficially in the moment but God’s truth as the essential elements of our daily reality.  My argument is that to be connected with God we need to feel God at work in our lives rather than showcasing God on the shelves of our lives.

So, church have you been working at your faith … when you work out your muscles change and you feel it.  I had coffee with my friend Pastor Drew Ludwig on Monday and he’s been doing free weights … and is now lifting 300 pounds.  You can see the change in Drew but I asked if he felt it.  His response was that he began this change slow and easy and before he knew it he was lifting more weight than he ever thought he could but it has been a process of being committed to getting strong and improving his overall health.

One of the reasons for this series of sermons friends is tied directly to this summer’s series of. Sermons called FAITH and ACTIONS.  I want each of us to get stronger in our faith, to sense God’s call to bring the light of Jesus Christ into the darkness of the world.  God needs people to understand that God has given each of us certain abilities and gifts that are designed to make God’s Kingdom strong here on earth.  To showcase God’s incredible love for ALL!  But we have to feel God .. sense the Holy Spirit … accept Jesus.

David in today’s Psalm wrote that he had just one thing to ask from the Lord.  I have a long list of things that I wish I could ask God but perhaps David had a better perspective … David not this Pastor named David … David knew that what matters is to just experience God … to feel God … David asked that for all the days of his life that he could “live in the house of the Lord.  Seeing God’s beauty, which would then allow David to constantly adore God’s temple knowing God would shelter David in troubling times … hide David away.” 

David is not talking about the after life but this life.  David is asking to experience and sense God to the level where God’s Holy Spirit is present and that God is the answer to the troubles of. David’s life not some reality tv show.  The peacefulness of that special relationship we can each have with God … the joy Paul refers to when Paul writes in more than one letter “REJOICE in the LORD, again I say REJOICE.”   And, David in this one thing that he is asking is also what each of us asks every Sunday in this church and we will be asking it again today, “THY KINGDOM COME on EARTH as it IS IN HEAVEN.  GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD.”

If you pray that prayer with sincerity then you are asking God to be in your life … to be your provider … you are asking to feel God … to live in God’s House; God’s world … now … is that your prayer?  Is that what you are asking for?

Friends … God doesn’t cross us off God’s list when we screw up or get busy but God keeps calling saying COME TO ME …. GET IN THE LIGHT of JESUS … FEEL MY SPIRIT … BE FORGIVEN!   God’s love doesn’t go away … God’s forgiving grace is always there … God’s call to be difference makers to believers living in the House of the Lord is always available but … and I can’t do this for you … I can only do it for me … YOU and I have to say yes.  You and I have to want to feel God’s presence … we need to feel Christ’s love … we need to embrace that love and then welcome God’s Holy Spirit to direct us.

God never promised us that we wouldn’t go through storms … God never claimed that we wouldn’t face challenges but God gave us Jesus just as God gave the disciples Jesus in that boat in that storm and they were afraid with the Son of God in their midst.

WINDS AROSE … WAVES CRASHED AGAINST THE BOAT … the disciples cried out ‘we are drowning … Jesus don’t you care?’  And, Jesus got up and said ‘BE STILL.”  And, then looking at those men who followed Him He said, “Why are you frightened?  Don’t you have faith yet?”

So church … this morning are you willing to pause in these moments to sense God’s presence?  God is here!  Jesus is with us!  God’s Holy Spirit wants to lift each believer up with a renewed energy but we have to say we want God … We want our faith to be alive … and we need to stretch out and work on our faith to build it up because that’s what God wants for those who love God and Christ.

God will lift the weight of our sins from our shoulders … God’s love will change the lives of those who believe … God wants us to sense … to feel God’s Holy Spirit.  So, today as we share in the Table of the Lord .. as we pray the Lord’s prayer .. do you have one thing to ask of the Lord and it is “To Live in the Lord’s house all the days of your life?” So that the person you are, the words you speak and your actions reflect God always.  FEEL IT!   LIVE IT!  Let GOD’s LOVE CHANGE YOU and the SPIRIT GUIDE YOU!


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