Tuesday, August 06, 2019

The Bethany Bullet Sermon Message - Week of August 4, 2019

Sermon: “The Ultimate Box Score –“

Every true sports fan knows what it is to check out the box scores.  For that matter every fake…I mean Fantasy sports fan knows what it is to check out the box scores too.   If you are neither and thus unfamiliar with the term ‘box score’ - the box score contains the tally of a players accomplishments.  For a game, a stretch of games, or the entire season, a fan can find in the box score the record of a players performance for good or ill.  The box score will record the number of hits, as well as how many times the player struck out.  The box score will list the number of assists, but also the number of turn-overs.  Box scores reflect how many TDs were thrown, and how many INTs were tossed.

Once upon a time, so the story goes, Martin Luther had a dream in which Satan himself was reviewing the Reformers “box score” so to speak.  In this dream the devil began to read the account of the professor’s failures.  “Lusted and lied have you Luther?”  “Is this true?” asked the “father of lies.”    

Sorrowfully, he had to admit that that was the case.  “Martin,” scowled the old evil foe, “have you maligned others and been malcontent with God?”  “Yes” shamefully confessed the monk.   The adversary continued the inquisition, “I see that on occasion you’ve doubted God’s action and been depressed over your situation. Is that the case?  “Occasionally I have” conceded Luther.  The dream continued in this direction, on and on and on; fault, upon failures, upon folly had been recorded.  Again and again and again the Reformer’s response was “yes”.  Satan seemed to have succeeded in bringing Luther to the lowest depths possible when a voice from heaven ran out, “Cancelled!  Everything that stood against him has been erased.  For it’s been nailed to the cross!”

Whether in a terrifying devilish tone or in the familiar lilt of your own conscience, every one of us has lived through such a “nightmare” of accusations.  When such happens heed the voice from heaven, “Cancelled! Everything that stands against you has been erased.  For it has been nailed to the cross!”  Those words are recorded in Colossians chapter 2:14.  The author of those words knew that the result of hearing them would not be a life that ignored the law and sought to embrace “lusting and lying, maligning and doubting” but rather a life, even while yet and ever a sinner this side of heaven, is found striving to be “lived in a manner worthy of our calling.”  Colossians 1:10

NEXT Sunday we start a 3-week series reflecting upon the end of Paul’s letter to the Colossians:  Back to School… ‘er Church.  The Three Rs.  Rising in Christ, Reflecting the Christ, Relaying to Christ.
-Pr. Kevin Kritzer


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