Sermon notes, if you need them.
LENT 2011- “Inhale” sermon for 1st Sunday in Lent, Psalm 51
Originally, Lent was the time of preparation for those who were to be baptized, a time of concentrated study and prayer before their baptism at the Easter Vigil, the celebration of the Resurrection of the LORD early on Easter Sunday. But since these new members were to be received into a living community of Faith, the entire community was called to preparation.
Today, Lent is marked by a time of prayer and preparation to celebrate Easter. The number 40 is connected with many biblical events, but especially with the forty days Jesus spent in the wilderness preparing for His ministry by facing the temptations that could lead him to abandon his mission and calling. Christians today use this period of time for introspection, self examination, and repentance, repenting for failures and sin as a way to focus on the need for God’s grace.
Common Symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder
- Trembling, twitching, muscle soreness
- Headaches, sweating or chills, nausea, dizziness
- Shortness of breath
You need breath more than you need food or water.
26000 breaths, 14000 liters of air, 4 to 6 breaths a minute, 16 to 20 when stressed, 99% of our energy but we only access 10%
L O R D – Hebrew YHVH, not pronounced b/c so sacred, letters were breathing sounds, and therefore unpronounceable, is the name of God the sound of breathing?
Are You a Shallow Breather?
Put your palms against your lower abdomen and blow out all the air. Now, take a big breath. If your abdomen expands when you inhale and air seems to flow in deeply to the pit of your stomach, you’re on the right track.
God’s life giving breath- creation, valley of dry bones, Jesus with the disciples, day of Pentecost.
David’s was referred to a one “after God’s own heart” by Samuel when he was explaining to Saul that Saul was about to be replaced as Israel’s king.
I Samuel 16:13- Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the presence of his brothers; and the spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward.
II Sameul 11-12
-David wasn’t at the battle where he was supposed to be. I guess he that he “had arrived.” He was all that, the king, that king whose soldiers no longer meant that much to him.
-sees Bathsheba, sends for her. She had no choice. Has sex with her. She gets pregnant.
-Tries to talk Uriah into going home to sleep with his own wife, but he won’t, not even when the King gets him drunk.
-Has Uriah placed at the front of the front lines, where fighting kills him.
-He takes Bathsheba as his own. She bears him a son.
-the Prophet Nathan confronts David with a parable.
27 But the thing that David had done displeased the LORD,
12:1 and the LORD sent Nathan to David.
13David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” Nathan said to David, “Now the LORD has put away your sin; you shall not die.
Against YHWH, the name of God, whose name is unpronounceable, but it is a breath, which is His essence- the breath of Life. David violated half of the Ten Commandments: covet, stole, adultery, murder, lied
-to subtract from the human dignity of another, such that you no longer see the other (or the other group) except for what they’ve done to you or could do for you.
-enemies, spouse (even in bedroom), pornography, business customers, people selling you things, our kids, other drivers, the waiter, the drive-thru person, the person at customer service, the teacher.
OBJECTIFICATION happens when you ascend the throne, and the Kingdom of YOU overcomes the Kingdom of Heaven which is supposed to come through you.
But it’s human; it’s normal; it’s sinful, and it’s what is in mind when words like sanctification are tossed around. How do we get there from here? Listen….
1Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.
Even before we hear about the sin, David is banking on the mercy, amazing grace and love he’s seen and heard about before (Exodus 34 again)
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.
“transgression, iniquity and sin” all three words used for sin, but for different kinds of sins, so that in using all three, David is admitting that his life drowns in sin, completely pervaded and invaded by sin
3For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.
4Against you, you alone, have I sinned, and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are justified in your sentence and blameless when you pass judgment.
Any sin against another is a sin against this particular God.
God is the author of life- orderly, reliable, healthy life, and the SIN introduces chaos, cancer. A sin is a move against the Life God has created and intended.
This is the perfect place to look at ourselves, look at God (or Christ) and confess the difference. God is about us; we tend to be about ourselves.
5Indeed, I was born guilty, a sinner when my mother conceived me.
I’ve been self-directed, self-oriented as long as I can remember. From the earliest age, I’ve wanted what I’ve wanted.
6You desire truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.
Sin doesn’t have the final, determinative word. I can be made new, even inwardly. Teach me.
7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Hyssop is a sacred plant used in Judaism, it appears repeatedly in the Hebrew Bible as Ezov. In Exodus 12:22 the Jews in Egypt are instructed to “Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it into the blood in the basin and put some of the blood on the top and on both sides of the doorframe. Not one of you shall go out the door of his house until morning.”
8 Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have crushed rejoice.
The sin has resulted in felt pain and illness, perhaps shortness of breath. Our sins, quite often, cost us physically.
9Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit (breath) within me.
A new spirit, or breath, is to be breathed into me here and now.
David had received the wind/spirit which enabled him to rule in I Sameul 16:13. David is in need again.
11Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take your holy spirit from me.
12Restore to me the joy of your salvation (gift of Life), and sustain in me a willing (or generous) spirit.
Those who receive grace-filled gifts are likely to be good gift-givers themselves.
13Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you.
14Deliver me from bloodshed, O God, O God of my salvation (gift of Life), and my tongue will sing aloud of your deliverance.
Sentence has been commuted, the crime pardoned. “Deliverance” here probably should be translated “righteousness” or “justification.”
15O LORD, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.
16For you have no delight in sacrifice; if I were to give a burnt offering, you would not be pleased.
17 The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
We don’t know how to blush? JEREMIAH and Brueggemann
The film is set in the 1750s and involves the Jesuit Reductions, a programme by which the Catholic Church sought to Christianise and “civilize” the indigenous native populations of South America. Spanish Jesuit priest Father Gabriel (Jeremy Irons) enters the South American jungle to build a mission and convert a Guaraní community to Christianity
The Guaraní community above the perilous Iguazu Falls ties a priest to a cross and sends him down the falls to his death. Afterward, the gentle Father Gabriel scales the falls and reaches out to the Guaraní. Entering the jungle, Father Gabriel sits and plays his oboe. The Guaraní warriors prepare to kill him, but they are captivated by the music and allow him to live.
A mercenary and slaver, Rodrigo Mendoza (Robert De Niro), makes his living kidnapping natives and selling them to nearby plantations. He cares both for his younger brother Felipe (Aidan Quinn) and his fiancee Carlotta (Cherie Lunghi). Carlotta reveals she has fallen in love with Felipe. Mendoza subsequently finds them in bed together. In his anger he kills Felipe in a duel. Acquitted of the killing, Mendoza spirals into depression. Father Gabriel, who has temporarily returned from his mission and learned of Mendoza’s situation, visits and challenges Mendoza to undertake a suitable penance.
Mendoza accompanies the Jesuits on their return journey, doggedly pulling a bundle filled with weapons as the party scales the Iguazu Falls. After Mendoza collapses, one of the Jesuit priests, Fielding (Liam Neeson) cuts away the bundle. Mendoza recovers and re-ties the bundle, resuming the grueling journey. Fielding discusses with Father Gabriel that he and the others believe Mendoza has suffered enough, but Father Gabriel replies that only God and Mendoza may decide that. When they reach the Guaraní camp, a member of the tribe cuts the ropes of Mendoza’s burden. Symbolically absolved of his brother’s murder and his past transgressions against the Guaraní, Mendoza weeps and then begins to laugh.
Divine forgiveness, to which you have access today, has nothing to do with evening the score; in fact it has less to do with your offense, and so much more to do with the relationship between you and God, that God seeks to restore to health by the offer of His forgiveness.
READ PSALM 51 TOGETHER and then take EUCHARIST