05152021 – John 17. 6-19
Most preachers know the quote attributed to the famed theologian KARL BARTH: “We must hold the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other” – he is quoted as saying.
We HAVE “an INHERENT NEED” to be “RELEVANT.” We need to be CURRENT. We need to know WHAT is happening in the world around us.
It is important to us “as Christians” to both make the Bible “come alive” and “speak to the REAL-WORLD concerns” in which people live.
So, every single confirmation class begins with the question: “What is going on in the world AROUND YOU?” (And, after that weekly discussion) Then, WE PRAY for the NEEDS of the world around us.
- More SHOOTINGS in Milwaukee overnight.
- Young people NOW being VACCINATED.
- More chaos in ISRAEL and in GAZA.
- More than 2000 rockets fired by Hamas into Israel.
- American Family Field opening up 100% after June 25th.
- If FULLY VACCINATED – masks are no longer required out-of-doors and in many cases in-doors!
Many people report and say the news is just “too morose and too negative” to watch – any more, it is a real “downer” …and therefore, no longer worthy of our time and our energy.
So, I thought I would bring you TODAY “the lighter side of the news…”
BREAKING NEWS: Man arrested due to possessing “a stolen HALLMARK calendar”: He got twelve months.
A Cartoonist overnight was found dead in his home. But the details are still sketchy.
The Energizer Bunny was Arrested: He was charged “with battery.”
Franklin Police are seeking a shoplifter who was on camera stealing at a Pick N’ Save Store at lunch time – but was tackled to the ground by a quick-witted store clerk with his labelling gun.
Officers say they’re seeking a man with “a price on his head.”
Last one, I promise…
Breaking News: Wal-Mart to close 400 stores across the United States. Sources say, it could put as many as 12 cashiers out of work.
[AND Jesus] talking about his disciples says, ‘They do not belong TO the world, just as I do not belong to the world.
Jesus was implying that WE are people of the KINGDOM. We belong to the Kingdom of God. We belong FIRST and FOREMOST to HIM.
But it DOES NOT MEAN that we live outside of “the events” that happen IN THE WORLD or that these events have NO CONSEQUENCES FOR US…
We all live (obviously) – in this world – and are AFFECTED by the things that happen TO and AROUND US, each and every day.
We still have to come to terms with THE TRAGEDIES that we SEE around us, and we still have to GRIEVE at the INJUSTICES that we see through “man’s inhumanity to man.”
After all, AS God’s people here on earth, IS IT not OUR DUTY to stand against the INJUSTICE that we see in the world, and to SPEAK of God’s LOVE FOR ALL PEOPLE…that is what we have been called to do.
We MAY NOT LIKE what we HEAR…and SEE…on “the daily bad news” …but we should be INFORMED.
We are IN THIS WORLD…and have A ROLE to play, we are to CARE for the weak, SUPPORT the widow and orphan, FEED the hungry, CLOTHE the naked, visit the sick and the imprisoned, and welcome the stranger.
And pray like THE WORLD depends on us … because I THINK IT DOES!
At the heart of the Gospel message, we are reminded that each and every one of us has THE POTENTIAL to be “a shining light in our present darkness.”
You can stand up for those who are bullied…and those who are harassed.
You can remember all kinds of people in prayer, every single day.
One of my all-time favorite passages of scripture comes from “the minor prophet,” named Micah. (Just a little book)
As Micah winds up his prophecy to the people of Israel, he slips in “a profound thought.”
In one short sentence he tells what God requires of his people. It is succinct and simple. It is startling but profound.
What does God require from us?
He wants us to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with him
You can pray.
You can seek justice for all.
You can love mercy and show mercy to others…
And every single day, you can walk humbly with your God.