Anamaniac Theology

It’s a great big universe. Everybody lives on a street in a city. Or a village or a town for what it’s worth. And they’re all inside a country which is part of a continent. That sits upon a planet known as Earth. And the Earth is a ball full of oceans and some mountains. Which is out there spinning silently in space. And living on that Earth are the plants and the animals And also the entire human race. It’s a great big universe And we’re part of a vast interplanetary system Stretching seven hundred billion miles long. With nine planets and a sun; we think the Earth’s the only one Across the interstellar voids are a billion asteroids Including meteors and Halley’s Comet too. And there’s over fifty moons floating out there like balloons In a panoramic trillion-mile view. It’s a great big universe And still it’s all a speck amid a hundred billion stars In a galaxy we call the Milky Way. It’s sixty thousand trillion miles from one end to the other. And still that’s just a fraction of the way. ‘Cause there’s a hundred billion galaxies that stretch across the sky. Filled with constellations, planets, moons and stars. And still the universe extends to a place that never ends. Which is maybe just inside a little jar! It’s a great big universe. And we’re all really puny. We’re just tiny little specks. About the size of Mickey Rooney. It’s big and black and inky. And we are small and dinky. It’s a big universe and we’re not.

It is a great big universe and we are not big. Have you ever felt lost in the size of this creation?

Have you ever felt alone? Devalued? Insignificant? Small? Abandoned?

The expanse of the universe shows us how small we really are. Even still there are 6 billion people in the world And we can still feel very alone In June (2011), I was working with churches in New York City. We walked around the neighborhoods We saw one house stacked on another. There were no yards or parks for the children to play in.Often times, one house was subdivided for six to eight families.

People literally living on top of people. In a city of over 9 million people,It is still easy for the residence to feel alone or irrelevant. In a city where you have to fight for space to breathe. It is easy to feel like nobody cares. it’s still a great big universe. Yet, the world has never been smaller. Cell phones make it easy to call all around the world. We find it easier to get in contact with our loved ones. We can send text messages when phone calls aren’t possible. If calls, texts and emails just aren’t enough, We can always video message (Skype) all around the world.

One of my friends at the seminary is from India. Sam was not able to bring his wife and daughter last year. But when Sam preached, Sam put his laptop on the pulpit And  Sam was able to video message his sermon to India and other parts of the world. Technology has really brought the world closer together.

Even though the world is closer than ever,  Sam never felt more alone.No matter how small we make the world, It is still great big! Sam felt alone because his family was still in India

 

It’s a great big universe.

 

Here in our text was, Israel. A family.

All around this family, nations had been established for years.

Kingdoms had been set up for generations.

Kings had elite armies developed over decades.

Yet, here were the descendants of Abraham.

They had no kingdom.

They had no land.

In this great big universe, they were SO small.

The promise to Abraham seemed so far away.

The generation delivered out of Egypt was disappearing.

Even though God had promised a people…

Even though God had promised a land of milk and honey…

Here they were.

Small.

 Alone.

No land.

No Kingdom.

Discouragement had set in for this family

The heart of the book of Deuteronomy is to contemporize the Abrahamic covenant to God’s people.

The heart of the book is to make the promise real.

Numbers Chapter 5  says

The Lord our God made a covenant with us in Horeb.

3 yNot with our fathers did the Lord make this covenant,

but with us,

who are all of us

here

 alive

 today.

4 The Lord spoke with you zface to face at the mountain, out of the midst of the fire[1]…. He said

 6 c“ ‘I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. [2]

Moses says the covenant didn’t apply to the fathers anymore

Because the covenant is for Israel, now.

A church I visited in the South Bronx had Bible study on Rahab.

The pastor pointed out that Rahab was a prostitute

And later the pastor pointed out that Rahab was in the lineage of Christ.

A lady new to the Bible study was excited because she had been rescued out of prostitution.

The lady said,

“I didn’t know the Bible was about us.”

This was what Israel was going through.

They didn’t know the Bible was about them.

They didn’t know the word of God was about them.

They didn’t know that the covenant was for them.

Brother’s and sister’s:

The covenant is for us today.

The covenant is not for Israel.

The covenant is not for your fathers.

The covenant is for YOU!

The story is about YOU!

For you are a people holy to the Lord your God.

YOU ARE CHOSEN!

In this great big universe,

YOU have been set part.

In this great big universe

 YOU have been chosen to be a people.

Out of this great big universe,

YOU have become a treasured possession.

Out of all the people who are on the face of the earth

YOU are chosen.

It was not because you were more in number than any other people.

In fact, you were the fewest of all people.

The smallest.

You were looked down upon.

But despite that,

out of all the peoples in this great big universe,

the Lord set his love on you.

Out of all the peoples in this great big universe,

the Lord chose you.

The Lord loves you because he loves you.

The Lord loves you for no other reason than he loves you.

The Lord has redeemed you!

Whee:

I once heard a story about a man in China whose job it was to work waist deep in raw sewage.

This was his job in the great big universe.

Government officials had warned him about sharing his Christian faith.

But, this man was able to get around this warning.

Waist deep in sewage the man began to sing praise and sing psalms to the Lord at the top of his lungs.

None of the of officials would do anything to him,

Because that would require going out into the sewage.

This man knew even in a stinky situation,

he was a person Holy to the Lord.

Even all by himself in the middle raw sewage,

he was not alone.

He knew he was chosen.

He knew he was treasured possession of all the peoples on the earth.

Through his baptism,

he was made holy to the Lord.

Through his baptism,

he became a part of something bigger than this great big universe.

Through his baptism

he became part of the story.

Through his baptism

he became he became part of the body of Christ.

Brothers and Sisters, so it is for us.

In our baptism,

we are chosen.

In our baptism,

 we are made holy.

In our baptism,

 we become a part of something bigger than the great big universe.

In our baptism,

we are buried with Christ’s death and resurrection.

In our baptism

we are raised to new life.

In our baptism,

We are part of the forever community.

In our baptism,

We are given everlasting life.

While the rest of the world has their kingdoms, we pray “Father, your kingdom come.”

While the rest of the world has their kings, Jesus is our King.

While the rest of the world has their land, our promised land will come on the last day.

It is a covenant and a steadfast love to a thousand generations.

Conclusion: It is a great big universe but we are all connected through our baptism. We are all made holy. We are all a treasured possession.

 

 

 

SDG

 

 

 

Deut 7: 6“For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. 7It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the LORD set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, 8but it is because the LORD loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers, that the LORD has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. 9Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations.


y [Heb. 8:9]

z [ch. 34:10; Ex. 33:11; Num. 14:14; Judg. 6:22]

[1] The Holy Bible : English Standard Version. Wheaton : Standard Bible Society, 2001, S. Dt 5:2-4

c For ver. 6–21, see Ex. 20:2–17

[2] The Holy Bible : English Standard Version. Wheaton : Standard Bible Society, 2001, S. Dt 5:6

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