2nd Sunday of Lent February 28, 2010
Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson go camping. They pitch their tent under the stars. During the night, Holmes wakes his companion and says: “Watson, look up at the stars, and tell me what you deduce.” Watson says: “I see millions of stars. Wow If only even a few of those have planets, it’s quite likely there are some like Earth, and there might also be life there as well.” Holmes replies: “Watson, you idiot. Somebody stole our tent …”
Let’s see what we can deduce from our scriptures today that will help us explore who we are and what we should be about! Then we can answer the question; are we a Sherlock Homes or Dr. Watson?
Upon this rock I will build my church. Peter wakes up from a deep sleep. He must have rubbed his eyes in disbelief. Before him stands the Lord in dazzling white with Moses and Elijah – Ghosts stand before him. Peter, just awakening is unable to digest the fullness of the moment, being true to his nature, pipes in saying, let us pitch 3 tents. As Peter is speaking a cloud comes over them, they became frightened and a voice spoke out from the cloud. “This is my beloved son, listen to him.”
So what is the message for us this day? Did anyone notice what Moses, Elijah and Jesus were talking about? They were speaking of Jesus Exodus in Jerusalem. What does this mean? They had something very much in common, an exodus story. Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt. Elijah delivered a message of covenant curse to Ahab the King: a drought would afflict the land (1 Ki 17:1). Oh Ahab wasn’t happy with Elijah and called for his head. The Lord told Elijah to “go hide” east of the Jordan (17:3). Moses and Elijah both made flights into the wilderness wanderings for the purpose of leading Israel back into a covenant relation with the Lord.
Ah ha! Ah ha! Oh Sherlock and Dr. Watson – someone has stolen our tent!
I don’t think you got it yet!
Peter wanted to pitch 3 tents in this safe and sacred place but he did not know what he was saying! In other words the Lord Jesus Christ is not calling us to stay put and camp out! That is not the purpose for which God is calling us! – ya can’t stay where your at – like Moses, Elijah and Jesus we all have an exodus journey call and need to move on. We can’t stay where we are at! It’s time to move on!
Let’s start over; we can’t leave Dr. Watson behind. The Genesis story today is the bedrock story, upon which stands, not only Abraham’s faith but yours and mine as well.
God commanded Abraham to leave his home in Ur of the Chaldeans and go to a land I will show you. God promises the land to Abraham.
Speaking for myself, for much of my life I went into a deep slumber. From time to time I would awaken to ah ha moments and like Peter I would respond recognizing, man it is good to be alive in those moments. If only I could stay here and I would pitch a tent! Are you with me?
Like Peter, we want to stay in our ah hah moments – the symbol of the tents. Stay in that safe moment and cover our ears. For when the cloud comes and casts a shadow over us we are unable to respond to the words, the Lord our God speaks. This is my beloved Son listen to Him.
Jesus exodus story – He went before us. He suffered for us. He plowed the path way for us. He calls us to follow where he went.
When the sun had set, a deep terrifying darkness enveloped Abraham. There appeared a smoking brazier and a flaming torch which passed between the split pieces of animal offerings. It was on this occasion that the Lord made a covenant with Abraham. Normally both parties would pass through between the animals, but here only God passes through showing his willingness to suffer for us. Abraham makes no promises, but simply believes in God’s promises.
When we finally get the picture and move on, God is with us. We do not walk alone! In the year 2010, the evil one has stolen our Christian tent of faith. The mother figure, the father figure, the church, Christianity, marriage, the family, the right to life, what it right and wrong have all been under attach, under mined and stolen by a great big lie!
Every possible issue is in a crisis today except any of the above! Are we asleep? Every crisis we have today is caused by a lack of the practice of our Christian faith. If we are to remain a free people, we must embrace and embark upon an exodus journey and lead this nation back into a covenant relationship with the Lord.