The Way of Death True Life Rick Wright Church of the Nations 16th Sunday of Pentecost (C) September 08, 2013
A Tale of Two Speeches • Abraham Lincoln • Gettysburg Pennsylvania 1863 • Gettysburg Address • This nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
A Tale of Two Speeches • Martin Luther King Jr • Washington DC 1963 • I Have a Dream • Lincoln Memorial • I still have a dream, a dream deeply rooted in the American dream – one day this nation will rise up and live up to its creed, 'We hold these truths to be self evident: that all men are created equal.'
Deuteronomy 30 • See – I set before you life and goodness, death and evil. Choose life. • Book of Deuteronomy • One long great speech by Moses • Story of what God has done for his people • Rescue from slavery in Egypt • Ready to cross Jordan River and enter land of Canaan
A time like ours? • Ronald Clements • Deuteronomy written ~ 550 BC • During Babylonian Exile • Nation and temple destroyed • People taken to another nation • Find a land that is economically ruined, politically divided, and spiritually demoralized (they have lost hope). • Less than what they are supposed to be
Moses speaks to us • Our nation / community / church / family / career less than what it should be? • We are broken by sin • We want to be set free from the passions (spiritual sickness of the soul) • God can forgive and heal and transform us! • God speaks through Moses • Shows us the way
Deuteronomy 30 • I set before you life and goodness / death and evil. Today I command you to love the Lord your God / to walk in his ways / and to keep his commandments and laws and decisions. And you will live and grow and the Lord your God will bless you in the place that you are going. If you turn away to other gods – today I tell you that you will perish.Life and death I set before you – blessing and curse. Choose life! in order to love the Lord your God / to obey his voice / and to hold on to him. Because that – or because he! - is your life and length of days.
Life and goodness and blessing • Does not happen automatically • Deuteronomy is not(?) a reward-punishment system! • Ways that lead to life + blessing in world God created • LoveGod + show that by obeying + hold on to God • Creates possibility for life + goodness + blessing • When we do not – there is hope
True Life • Life > biological life • True life • This is eternal life – to know you the only true God and Jesus Christ whom you sent. • That (or he = God!) is your life and length of days. • God is source of life + goodness + joy • Knowing God = true life