March 12, 2021
March 16, 2021

So what are we talking about today? Finding answers to our Earthly test!

William Phelps taught English literature at Yale for forty one years. As he was marking an examination paper shortly before Christmas one year, he came across the note on one student’s paper. “This is a mystery to me. Only God knows the answer to this question. Merry Christmas.” Phelps returned the paper with this note. “God gets an A. You get an F. Happy New Year.”

I was struck by the word “mystery”. No matter how intelligent we are, or think we are, there’s always a sense of mystery with God. There are always questions seeking answers. We are often left asking this question…why? Why am I here today? Why won’t my children listen? Why can’t I fall asleep? As humans, we search for answers. Through Jesus, God provides the answers that we seek. That is what we will visit this morning.

PROVERBS 25:2 “It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings to search things out.”

DEUTERONOMY 29:29 “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.

EPHESIANS 1:9 “Making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ.”

To go one step further, I have discussed this with people in this very building. If God has all the power on earth and in heaven, why does he allow tragedy? Why is wicked allowed to live and prosper among us, when the good often suffer or die young? We seek answers, but we are hard to teach. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks! Maybe the answer is we don’t want to explore further questions. Why? We are happy with our routines, our little private worlds.
For some of us, it would take a shock of dynamite to get us out out them to enlighten us!

I spent my week thinking about this sermon because we were having a special guest. I might not be the type of messenger he sees around the state. How can I make this good? How might I make my message maybe more traditional? As I was pondering that, I thought our faith is not always how others want it to be. The human questions we have that we want answered might not be the same. Just like my preaching style might not be like others.

The disciples would have been content to wander the dusty roads of Palestine with the Jews for the rest of their days. They fled in terror and hid trembling during the days of the crucifixion and resurrection. But the effect of all of their suffering and mental turmoil was to raise them from complacency. It raised them from the question why did this happen and what are we going to do? John 16:7 “It is to your advantage that I go away” said Jesus. Finally, they realized that God had taken from them the staff on which they leaned in order to make them stand on their own feet, powerful and unafraid!

And there is our example this morning. God can get us out of our earthly spiritual rut! He can perform miracles within us. I was made aware of that in an earthly context this week. We are stronger than we think! God has great plans for us. We just need to pay attention to Him and listen to His words.