Rev. Dr. Ronald E Braxton, Senior Pastor
Metropolitan AME Church, Washington DC
Sunday, January 09, 2011
Scripture Text: Isaiah 42: 5-95-9 God’s Message, the God who created the cosmos, stretched out the skies, laid out the earth and all that grows from it,Who breathes life into earth’s people, makes them alive with his own life:”I am God. I have called you to live right and well. I have taken responsibility for you, kept you safe. I have set you among my people to bind them to me, and provided you as a lighthouse to the nations, To make a start at bringing people into the open, into light: opening blind eyes, releasing prisoners from dungeons, emptying the dark prisons. I am God. That’s my name. I don’t franchise my glory, don’t endorse the no-god idols. Take note: The earlier predictions of judgment have been fulfilled. I’m announcing the new salvation work. Before it bursts on the scene, I’m telling you all about it.”
Last week I encountered some visitors in the building. This couple was from a small town in Arkansas and this was their first trip outside of their hometown. They said visiting Washington, DC was the dream of a lifetime for them. They had heard and seen and read so much about Washington, DC from a distance. They said: “Every morning we wake up, on the TV, newspapers, radio, movies there is Washington, DC. We want to see the church where our president worshipped for his inauguration.” The couple had toured the monuments, the president’s residence, the Capitol, and all of the usually places.
This encounter reminded me that Washington, DC represents the center of world affairs. It is the center of American life in the same way that Jerusalem was the center of the Israelite community. Jerusalem was a city given to them by God, a land of plenty, a “city on a hill” where God’s people gathered and worshipped in God’s house as one. It reminds me of our ancestors who didn’t have but a little bit, but they made a life for themselves as best they could. It reminds me that, no matter how messy we make life, no matter whether there are political, social, and human disasters, it really doesn’t matter whether Republicans or Democrats are in charge, we will be suffering through and “As the World Turns” kind of existence. The scripture provides three lessons on how to weather the storms.
1. When God is at the center of your life, as the world turns, you have a sense of stability.
The scripture provides a message from God who created the cosmos and all that grows from it. As the song says: “He has the whole wide world, in His hands…He has the little tiny babies, in His hands.” God’s presence in our lives gives us a sense of stability. Jesus taught in Matthew 7 that a foolish man builds his house on sand, while a wise man builds his house on the rock. If your house is built on a rock, it will stand.
2. When God is at the center of your life, you have a sense of endurance and security.
The scripture says: “I have called you to live right, but to live well. I have taken responsibility for you”. When God is at the center of your life, you can endure anything life as to offer. You can lose it all, but there is a sense that you can endure whatever comes. When your life is in God’s hands, you can endure whatever comes. Just fall down on your knees and cry out: “It is well!”
3. When God is at the center of your life, you dare to live a life and speak a word of HOPE.
Even when your dreams are out of reach, HOPE springs from a sense that He is guiding you along the way. The song “He walks with me and he talks with me and he tells me I am his own…” is a testimony that God is guiding you along the way. When God is the center of your life, you might be daunted by your present condition, but hope still lives and thrives in your life.
Most of the time, we live and we walk by faith. You are the lighthouse. It may seem as if you don’t have much, but you are the “lighthouse”. God’s hope in us is that you will be a lighthouse – a testimony that he is still lives, that he is the center of your joy. Your testimony is in how you live your life. Live your life – let your light so shine – that it will glorify your father that is in heaven…that they may see God in your right living, your right disposition. If you live right, if you live your life with God at the center of your life, your life will glorify God!
- Sermon Notes: When the Winds Blow Your Life Off Course
- Sermon Notes: When God Goes to Work in a Life
- Sermon Notes: Live a Grateful Life
- Sermon Notes: Living a Marked Life
- Sermon Notes: Hope for Weeping Eyes