Lenten Season 2020
[broke context and defined]
broke - broken - brokenness;
1. having been fractured or damaged and no longer in one piece or in working order
2. having given up all hope; despairing
3. generally it probably means a person was hurt & just can't get over it;
4. a feeling of emotional brokenness - feeling empty, incapable or unavailable; the idea that something inside a person is broken; a state or condition of brokenness
And finally it is the time to be… SPIRITUALLY BROKE. We have to know going in that no one can have that WOKE and YOKED mentality of Jesus, and not be BROKE like Jesus - surrendered to the process. Without BROKE there is no life-force or power to this whole thing. Without BROKE there is no way to call-out the “fake news” of who WE are, and to clean-up the mess of what WE are REALLY doing with what WE have actually been given. Broke is humble not arrogant - Broke is love not hate - Broke is His way not our way. Without BROKE there is no Hope - BROKE is good - we need BROKE.
[broke in reality]
When I wrote these words a little over four weeks ago as the final part to our Lenten season series called WOKE -YOKED - BROKE. Even though then I knew there was real concern for the potential of the COVID-19 Virus, (like most of you) I certainly did not see the exponential spread of the virus and its global power to generate a pandemic fear and visible panic in the hearts and minds of reasonable, capable, logical and intelligent people. I know that some of that fear and panic has been a flame fanned by irresponsible and agenda driven voices. But, we would all be foolish to not acknowledge that a very real adversary and threat exists and it is capable of probably more than we have initially imagined. People are getting sick, and some are not recovering. That is very real and of course should be acknowledged. This disease has broken many hearts, spirits, and the will and life of many - even in our own city. I would say that the BROKE message took on a whole new meaning for our world in the last 10 days. I have no intention this morning to exploit that message, but rather to explain that message so that we can all find the faith, hope and courage to acknowledge the difference between what is real and what is reality. I have just described what is real - now I want to lovingly remind you of what is not only an alternate, but an even greater reality.
As your pastor, and as an extended voice of hope, I also believe it is even more important right now to acknowledge and attach to an alternate and greater reality. Let me explain. Much of what people are feeling is made possible not just because of the existence of a highly contagious and (for a small segment) potentially fatal virus. It is my shared belief with many others, that much of what people are feeling is made possible by the general loss of faith and trust in God. It is easy to doubt and disbelieve in a God that you have decided does not exist, or to blame and despise a God who may do or not do what you want that God to do - that becomes a reality choice. It is easier to make those choices than it is to choose to believe, trust and have faith in God during a global pandemic caused by an unknown and dangerous virus. The alternate and greater reality for those who choose to trust and believe in God is this. We have faith in God, not for what He does or does not choose to do - but we have faith in God because of who He is to us. hat is a greater reality and that is how we then speak of God during times like this. The brilliant theologian, Thomas Oden, called this process "theodicy." Theodicy means... To speak justly of God amid the awesome fact of suffering. I would like for each of one listening and watching today to take a moment and speak to someone using "theodicy." Here is an example; Brent, even though many people are troubled right now - God is my Peace. Can you take a moment and do that? (one minute)
Even while we were speaking to one another, the Holy Spirit gave me a greater reality. God is my Peace, God is my Hope, God is my Refuge, God is my Love, God is my Provider, God is my Vision, God is my Maker, God is my Strength, God is my Wisdom and God is my Dwelling Place.
Because He is all of those things and more to me, it is only reasonable that I fully trust in Him no matter what He does or does not do - He is God, and my greater reality is that I have placed all my hope in Him. We are BROKE by the very real circumstances of the COVID-19 virus, and we are humbled before the greatness and gravity of our God, whose love is our greatest reality and whose whose gravity pulls us to Himself. It becomes very comforting to V and I, as we confidently trust God for the health and well-being of our five children and five grandchildren during this time. It is so very comforting in this greater reality to trust God and have complete faith in Him for our extended family and our community here at Reunion Church. It is important that even though we find ourselves broken by life - to remain humbled by the greater reality of our God. it is important that we speak of God to one another, and to anyone needing hope about who He is, and why really knowing Him allows us to fully trust in Him. What does that look like in a biblical context?
[broke in the biblical context]
The LORD is my shepherd; I have all that I need. 2 He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. 3 He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. 4 Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. 5 You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. 6 Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the LORD forever.
Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. 11 Do not banish me from your presence, and don't take your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you. 13 Then I will teach your ways to rebels, and they will return to you. 14 Forgive me for shedding blood, O God who saves; then I will joyfully sing of your forgiveness. 15 Unseal my lips, O Lord, that my mouth may praise you. 16 You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one. You do not want a burnt offering. 17 The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.
Praise the LORD! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting. 2 The LORD builds up His people; he gathers the outcasts. 3 He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. 4 He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names. 5 Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure. 6 The LORD lifts up the humble; he casts the wicked to the ground.
[broke in a practical context]
For Practical Discussion –
What Does that Alternate and Greater Reality Look Like?
...when someone we know is afraid and panicking?
...when we are navigating the grocery store?
...as we interact and are seen in public?
...as we "tweet, post, like and share" on social media?
...when someone asks us to pray?
...in moments when we ourselves are weak?
Located in Peoria, AZ, we are a non-denominational Christian church. We love God and teach His Truth. We invite you, your family and friends to join us on the faith journey, growing closer to one another, the Christian community of believers at Reunion, and most importantly with God. Read more about the timeless Truth we build our lives and faith in Christ on HERE.
We are conveniently located just off the 101 on 83rd Ave and Cactus Rd. Join us on Sunday mornings, Weds. evenings, and throughout the week at our small groups, meeting in homes around the Valley, including Surprise, Glendale, Peoria, Phoenix, Goodyear, Litchfield, and more. Connect with us on Facebook and YouTube