“It’s Hard Work”

Lk 13:31-35 (MSG)
South & New Life Presbyterian Churches – February 21, 2016
The Reverend Deborah Fae Swift
Scripture follows the sermon in this text.

 

Jesus said, “Tell that fox that I’ve no time for him right now. Today and tomorrow I’m busy clearing out the demons and healing the sick; the third day I’m wrapping things up.

I LOVE this image of Jesus … don’t tell me to be careful. Don’t tell me to be frightened … I  don’t have time for that kind of stuff.

We COULD talk about that in terms  of our current political scene and we could draw parallels between various candidates and Jesus, but I want to go in a slightly different direction here.

I’ve heard different ministers … usually fundamentalist ministers … talk about how EASY it is to be a Christian. All you have to do is welcome Jesus into your heart … declare that he is your Lord and Savior, and BAM! you’re a Christian.

There’s some truth to that. I mean, it IS easy to self-identify as a Christian. It’s just a matter of faith and aligning yourself with his teachings.

In referring to the Bible, people in that theological camp say things like, “God said it, I read it, and that’s all there is to it.”

 

And I’m here today to tell you that it may be easy to IDENTIFY as a Christian, but it is hard work to LIVE as one.

It is hard freakin’ work to live out the values and the teachings of Jesus. But that is what we are all CALLED to do. And like Jesus said in today’s reading … I’m too busy doing God’s work to be frightened or scared … I’m too busy to be worried about anything …  I am too BUSY!!! Being WHO I  am supposed to be.

 

Well, my friends … that’s exactly how we’re supposed to live our lives. And so I want to do something a little different today … I want to SING most of my sermon. It’s an African-American song  in honor of Black History month … and it’s what every single ONE of us should be saying in the world about our FAITH.

 

Lord, I keep so busy praisin’ my Jesus … keep so busy praisin’ my Jesus … I keep so busy praisin’ my Jesus. I ain’t got time to die.

‘Cause when I’m feedin’ the poor, I’m praisin’  my Jesus. when I’m feedin’ the poor, I’m praisin’  my Jesus … when I’m feedin’ the poor, I’m praisin’  my Jesus. I ain’t got time to do.

Lord, I keep so busy workin’ for the kingdom … I keep so busy workin’ for the kingdom … I keep so busy workin’ for the kingdom … I ain’t got time to die.

‘Cause when I’m healin’ the sick, I’m workin’ for the kingdom. when I’m I’m healin’ the sick, I’m workin’ for the kingdom. … when I’m healin’ the sick, I’m workin’ for the kingdom.  I ain’t got time to do.

‘Cause it takes all of my time to praise my Jesus, all of my time to praise my Lord. If I don’t praise him, the rocks are gonna cry out: Glory and Honor, Glory and Honor … I ain’t got time to die.

Oh, I keep so busy followin’ the Master. I keep so busy followin’ the Master. I keep so busy followin’ the Master, I ain’t got time to die.

‘Cause when I’m givin’  my all, I’m followin’  the Master … when I’m givin’ my all, I’m followin’  in the Master.  When I’m givin’ my all, I’m followin’ the Master. I ain’t got time to die.

Yes, it takes all of my time to praise my Jesus, all of my time to praise my Lord. If I don’t praise him, the rocks are gonna cry out, “Glory and Honor, Glory and Honor” … I ain’t got time to die

So c’mon now get outa my way … Let me praise my Jesus … outa my way, let  me praise my Lord, if I  don’t praise him, the rocks are gonna cry out, “Glory and Honor … Glory and Honor,” I ain’t got time to  do.

 

That is who we  are.

That is who we are called to be.

That is who Jesus TEACHES us to be.

 

So while it’s important to pause and take a minute and assess where we are … as a church … as a family … as aa nation …  we CANNOT stay in that position for very long. We cannot AFFORD to sit around and either feel SORRY for ourselves … OR feel PROUD of ourselves because every moment that we spend doing THOSE things are moments that we AREN’T doing the work we were put here to do.

It’s hard work. But we have to remember that life is what happens to us when we’re making other plans. And right now, our lives  as Christians … as worshipers with New Life / South Presbyterian Church we re making plans for the next step, the next Act of  Faith, the next ministry, the next worship service … whatever it is … LIFE is happening right here and right now. And we ALL  have to be about doing the work of the kingdom. We don’t have TIME to argue and worry. We don’t have time to debate and wonder. We don’t have time to  doubt ourselves or the messages we get from God. We just have to say, “Yes, God … here I am. Put me where you want me and show me what to do.” And that, my friends …  is hard work. Hard. Rewarding. SACRED. Work.

Amen.

 

 

 

 

Luke 13:31-35The Message (MSG)

31 Just then some Pharisees came up and said, “Run for your life! Herod’s on the hunt. He’s out to kill you!”

32-35 Jesus said, “Tell that fox that I’ve no time for him right now. Today and tomorrow I’m busy clearing out the demons and healing the sick; the third day I’m wrapping things up. Besides, it’s not proper for a prophet to come to a bad end outside Jerusalem.

Jerusalem, Jerusalem, killer of prophets,
abuser of the messengers of God!
How often I’ve longed to gather your children,
gather your children like a hen,
Her brood safe under her wings—
but you refused and turned away!
And now it’s too late: You won’t see me again
until the day you say,
‘Blessed is he
who comes in
the name of God.’”

 

 

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