If you are like me by now you have cabin fever. I certainly do. I don’t have to recreate the feeling of going outside. One morning I walked outside because I left my phone in the car, it was around 7 in the morning. There was not much sound I said Wow this cold fresh air feels awesome. I quickly changed my mind on the way back inside. One bad habit I have that I will confess to you is when I clean my car off I usually don’t do a very god job, a) I’m cold and b) I’m lazy. So when I get in the windshield is not very clean and I’m ducking and trying to look in the spaces I have cleaned off. Kind of like a veil.
You know what happens when you take a hot shower or run the hot water in the sink. Yes of course the mirror gets all fogged up. I can’t see myself in the mirror I know I’m there because I just nicked myself shaving and it hurt. The steam fogs it all up and you can’t see it’s like I’m trying to see through a veil.
Many people, most of them young, use the internet for finding someone that they want to date and eventually fall in love with. I never used them of course because on August 29 I will be married 28 years. When you see Ann give her a pat on the back. The phenomenon of using the internet has taken over lives. It has huge drawbacks. Because I can go on there and make myself anything I want, Rocket Scientist, astronaut, pro football player. You see people can create a veil of untruth so they can fool someone into meeting them.
In this letter Paul is writing to the church of Corinth. He was teaching them about the gospel and how quickly they can be manipulated into using it in way that is not conducive to the word of God. The citizens there of course were influenced by the daily grind of their lives. It is no different than today. Paul is telling us that we must pursue the truth in what Jesus is teaching us, of course this is found in the scripture. Verse 4 should move us and make us squirm a little; the god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. When we cannot trust in God then we become unbelievers. The world can do this to us. Sometimes we cannot see the gospels light because our minds have become blinded by the god of this age.
Truth be told I am very concerned every time I talk about or am asked about scripture and its use. I stand before you today hoping that my message will give hope, confidence, and a teaching that when you leave you can implement it into your everyday lives. Every chance I get I’m going to a bible sturdy or reading a book and of course delving into the bible. I’m attending seminary so not to be able to brag but so I have more of an understanding of how the word of God can be used in our world so we can soak up the light of our Lord God. I have taught Sunday school and been a Senior High youth leader, chaired various committees on session, and lead a group to build a Habitat House. But I worry still, not about my own confidence, but that I am reading and interpreting the word of God properly so that all of you will be able to enter the world with confidence.
Did you know all you have to do is take a pill or sprinkle powder on your food and you will lose weight?
Did you know that if you have a little gray in your hair that all you have to do is dye your hair and wah la you are instantly younger and better looking. Of course if you buy the newest sports car in the ads you saw on Super Bowl Sunday you will have all the success you need and a beautiful woman by your side. I want to tell you now if you go to the mall and by all of your clothes from those expensive stores you will never have to worry about how popular you are and you won’t lose your job and not only that you will get promoted. Oh and by the way if you give 20% to the church every week you will have instant salvation, it’s like you have a free pass to go to the head of the line when it’s time to have that conversation with God. There is a constant temptation in the ministry to preach what people want to hear rather than what they need to hear. I might not know what you need to hear, I will at times preach and no one will get anything I have said. In verse 3 and 4 Paul’s critics are harsh on him because there is a lack of audience, like today we are judged on how butts are in the seats. Paul is ok with that, remember he has no ego. But what he is concerned about is the truthful nature of the message he is delivering. He does not allow fault with the message that he preached. If the content of his preaching is veiled, it is not because he did not present the truths of the gospel plainly. So what are we to do? How do we know what the truth is? I think we do have some responsibility to do some work, to study and learn. It is good for us to read and discern what the word of God is telling us. Don’t you think it respectful to Jesus to listen and absorb his teaching? If we do this work then we can go into the world and do the Spirits work. Sometimes when we agree to volunteer for something we are not completely sure of ourselves, the veil of uncertainty covers our spirit so we don’t want to take part or we don’t feel very worthy. My friends if I tell you one thing today it is this, you can have all the confidence in the world because you have done the work and lived a life worthy of a Christian. If for some reason you don’t believe this then call on your brothers and sisters here at Byron Presbyterian Church. History here shows a membership of faithful people doing the work of the Lord this is proof of a truthful life of faith that continues to move this community. All you have to do is look at each other!
When I did not clean the ice off my windshield I was blind to the things around me, I was not being safe or responsible. The veil was keeping out a bright sunshine that was beautiful that day. As the car warmed up and the ice melted off, the sun shone through the windshield and on to my face. Its beam warmed me inside and out. It was natural warmth and I turned off the artificial warmth the car was producing. I thanked God for the truth of faith in my life and his son who has given me everlasting life. I thanked the Holy Spirit for moving me towards an authentic being. Let us all gives thanks that we all have the ability to live in the living Spirit. Amen