AT WHAT TIME DOES A BURDEN BECOME A CROSS?

AT WHAT TIME DOES A BURDEN BECOME A CROSS?

•    Isaiah 55:1-9  • Psalm 63:1-8  • 1 Corinthians 10:1-13  • Luke 13:1-9

Woke up this morning feeling great. Had a big day planned with friends.  I looked around the room acknowledging what needed to be done to get me out the door and set for what was ahead of me.
I pulled the cover off, began to swing my legs out of the bed when all of a sudden a spine shattering scream went from my foot up my spine to my head. NO is all I could say. For three weeks now this pain has been persistent! I just want to peel it off, roll it up, put it in a bundle, start a fire and destroy it.

Call to Worship:

Heavenly Father we live in a real world, there is a lot of pain, a lot of suffering. Today we confess we want you to do something that will just FIX IT!  Now in the awareness of pain we give ourselves to you. We have decided to rest in your presence. Please do something.

Music: Hymns of surrender.

I surrender All   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUIIKBx_mFU
I Surrender  Hillsong  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HcnfT4arZtI

AT WHAT TIME DOES A BURDEN BECOME A CROSS?

In this context the burden is what slows a person down, blocks our freedom and potentially our desire to walk with God. In Isaiah 55:1 these words come to us. “Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you that have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.” There seems to be an invitation to enjoy life in a specific way. Not everyone gets to do this.

The Psalmist, aware that a roadblock, a burden had gotten in the way echoes these words. “Psalm 63:1-8
63:1 O God, you are my God, I seek you, my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. 63:2 So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory.
63:3 Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. 63:4 So I will bless you as long as I live; I will lift up my hands and call on your name.

The Psalmist resigns himself to his life experience and with a spirit of stoicism, keeps a stiff upper lip, and confesses his faithfulness to God. In this confession he answers the question. Burdens are roadblocks, crosses are life itself.

So much is missed in today’s Christianity when this is misunderstood. In 1928 Herbert Hoover promised A chicken in every pot and a car in every garage. Politicians have been bantering up promises and pledges ever since. Recently it was President Obama who wanted to undo hundreds of years of what racism and injustice did, not only to the black community but as it gnarled and twisted the white society as well. Now it is Donald Trump promising economic gain for everyone. When will our political aspirants learn this is not what life is about. The ability to say a few words as if these words are the formula echoing from the magic wand, all will be right! all will be healed! all we need is a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage!

The words of the Apostle Paul are strong as he writes to the Corinthian people: 10:7 Do not become idolaters as some of them did; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and they rose up to play.” Jesus own words Luke 13:5
No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish just as they did.”  He strongly encourages us to consider what we are about. Can we look at our lives, acknowledge today, I want to rise up, have a great day, enjoy myself, but I cannot ignore the roadblocks. Ultimately these burdens will bring us to an understanding about the meaning of life itself.

Yesterday I brought my heel questions to our online sarcoidosis group. We are now over 5000 members. Each day people bring questions about this illness. I was in awe by the discussion that happened. Person after person described something similar to what I was experiencing. Doctor after doctor denied any association with sarcoidosis. Then one person, then another came forward and said their doctor decided to experiment. They tied it not to the disease but to the results of the disease. This is a ramification of what was happening because of what the disease does to the human body. They came up with a treatment. Shots on a regular basis relieved the pain in long term settings.

AT WHAT TIME DOES A BURDEN BECOME A CROSS?

I have a sore heel. My day got interrupted again. In the process of attempting to clear the roadblock we now become cross bearers. Together we will bring this message forward, we know that the “average treatment team” will say we are wrong. We know that a great deal of pain and discomfort will be lived with. We know that insurance companies will have trouble approving the treatment. We know that in our world this is one of the realities we face. We know we are a minority. We know that being a minority does not negate reality.

The message of the Christian Gospel is not just about some heavenly retreat center. It is about a man who dared to become a part of his world. It introduced him to a cross that ultimately took his life. It is then about a people who dare to recognize the need to follow in his footsteps and not only deal with the burdens but to take that cross for real.

A Closing Thought:

We are a part of a broken world.
We experience we are broken.
We do not minimize what is around us.
We choose to maximize our intentions
We choose to maximize our will
to remove the burdens of life.
We choose to recognize the model set before us
We choose to take up that cross and make it real.
For in so doing there is no partiality
There is no one up-man ship
There is only the activity of giving our lives for another.
amen.

A moment of meditation:

Comments

One Comment on "AT WHAT TIME DOES A BURDEN BECOME A CROSS?"

  1. Ron Nelson says:

    Amen. Carl thanks for sharing these thoughts. Brings a lot of things in our lives into perspective


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