Sermon = Instruction/Covenant of the heart (Psalm 119 and Jeremiah 31)

jeremiah_lamenting

Sermon = Instruction/Covenant of the Heart
Text = Psalm 119 and Jeremiah 31
Sunday = 5th Sunday in Lent (B)

Presentation_Psalm119_Jermeiah31_Instructionoftheheart_5LentB_20180318 (PPTX)

Introduction

  • Jan Dismas Zelenka
  • *** Died 1745
  • Czech composer + musician of Baroque period
  • Knew Johann Sebastian Bach
  • Sometimes competed for same position
  • Bach had high opinion
  • Since World War 2 a movement to rediscover + publish + perform his compositions
  • Such as famous + difficult trio sonatas for oboes + bassoon
  • Listen + try to play one
  • Sonata = piece of music not sung but played
  • Very important during Baroque period
  • Usually short
  • Often 3 movements
  • Why talk about Jan Zelenka + sonatas on 5th Sunday of Lent?
  • This week felt led to two Bible readings
  • Share 2 sermonatas or homiletas
  • A sermon with two short movements
  • First movement
  • *** How does a young person – how do young people – keep their way pure?

  • Beginning of Scripture < Psalm 119
  • Psalm 119 is longest psalm
  • Is a Torah psalm like Psalm 1 and 19
  • Has 22 parts
  • One for each letter of Hebrew alphabet
  • Each section uses 8 special words describe instruction of the Lord – laws + commandments + so on
  • This section begins with bet like B
  • Structure… repetition… variation
  • Like good poetry + music
  • Good for public prayer + worship
  • Easier to remember + recite
  • Begins with vital question
  • How do young people keep their way pure?
  • *** As children grow + mature
  • Becomes teenagers + young adults
  • How do they navigate life in world God made?
  • Damaged by sin + rebellion
  • Avoid mistakes + dead ends + pitfalls
  • Not just how they go but who they are
  • How do they grow + mature
  • With wisdom + character
  • And faithfulness to God who creates us + saves us
  • How do we nurture + protect
  • Shape + instruct them to be unique persons God creates them to be
  • How do we work with God to make saints?
  • Simple answer
  • By guarding it according to your word
  • We talked about this a few weeks ago
  • *** Psalm 19
  • Word of God heard directly… through prophets… written in Scripture
  • Word of God incarnate God-man Jesus Christ
  • Verses 10-16 unpack + elaborate on this word
  • Mixes full range of how we know + experience God
  • I sought you
  • Stored your word in my heart
  • Teach me
  • I will declare judgments of your mouth
  • Rejoice
  • Think about
  • Delight and not forget
  • Instruction of God in many ways + forms
  • Including word of God
  • God instructs us through Scripture
  • Instructs – more than teaches information or ideas
  • But shapes who we are + guides us how we go
  • Reminds us of central role of Scripture
  • Do we recite it? Hear it? Ruminate upon it?
  • Do we teach it? Memorize it?
  • Let it feed us + shape us?
  • In worship
  • In prayer
  • Ministry with children / teenagers / adults
  • Basic central spiritual practice
  • Read 1-2 chapters each day
  • Know overall structure + story of Scripture
  • Do we memorize? Perhaps one verse each week?
  • Becomes part of conscious + unconscious mind
  • Movement or thoughts of heart
  • Resemble words of God in Scripture?
  • Bible memorizing + Bible drills old fashioned
  • So are eating + breathing
  • True for adults + children
  • Second movement
  • ***God through Jeremiah provides similar answer
  • How can young people keep their way pure?
  • Have one consistent desire for and commitment to God?
  • Comes from time when people of God in exile
  • Surrounded by culture that is different
  • Does not share their faith or way of life
  • Increasingly situation we face
  • As Christian church
  • So just recite + learn instructions of God right?
  • Well…
  • God rescued Israel from slavery
  • Makes them his special people
  • Gives them torah – instructions + commandments
  • So they can show in their life as people + society
  • Character + purpose of God
  • When they enter land
  • Experience good conditions for life
  • They turn away from God
  • Again + again cycle of bless / rebel / warn / judge / repent / restore / repeat
  • Now they are small minority surrounded by very different culture
  • Wonder if they will survive + continue + thrive as people of God
  • God speaks through Jeremiah to comfort his people
  • *** One of most important passages of Old Testament
  • Announces shape of their salvation
  • I will make a new covenant with my people
  • Not like before
  • *** I will put my instruction within them
  • Write it on their heart
  • Not simply summarize torah or say instruction of God will only be within us
  • Yes torah – yes instructions of God are central
  • Difference = human heart will be healed and made new
  • Not enough to know laws + teachings of God
  • What we want – our will – our ability to practice them is also the issue
  • No longer we resist or cannot do what God wants
  • By grace of God we have attitude of obedience toward instructions of God
  • And what is most important is not knowing about true teaching or about God
  • In this new covenant
  • We will know God
  • *** Small + great / old + young / rich + poor
  • is that heart of Christian faith + life?
  • Is this why we trust + follow Christ
  • So that we know God
  • Delight in / rejoice in / desire God
  • Want to practice what we instructs
  • And how?
  • Because he will forgive + forget our wrongdoing
  • We believe God accomplished this decisively
  • In incarnation / death / resurrection of Christ Jesus
  • In Christ we are forgiven
  • In Christ by work of Holy Spirit our hearts are healed
  • Minds are being renewed
  • Through Christ we enter this new relationship
  • Become part of new covenant community
  • And experience salvation
  • Ongoing healing + transformation of our souls
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About Rickwright67

I am the pastor of a Methodist church, spent 18 years ministering with internationals, as an adjunct taught Hebrew Bible and Biblical Hebrew, husband and dad, love astronomy, space exploration, science-fiction, computers, animals, cinema, and more.
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