I want to greet you on this Lord’s Day in the name of our Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
If we were to be given special glasses today as we walked through the doors that could enable us to see into the minds and hearts of those around us, what we would find is that this gathering looks much more like a hospital than anything else.
We would see minds tired and perplexed with as they wrestle with circumstances, decisions and the complexities of life. We would see those who once walked with strength and boldness in their sin now limping slowly in humility and grace. We would see many who, like Jacob, have wrestled with God and been crippled.
All of us here who long to be conformed to the image of Christ can at times become impatient with the slowness of the process. We lament our weakness. We all in some degree are the paralytic needing the help of others to move us closer to Jesus. But the slowness is the grace! The weakness is the strength.
O what terrible destruction and defilement we would bring to ourselves and others if we were allowed to rush headlong through this life with strong bodies and sound minds. What proud and arrogant people we would become! The man who has no weakness is the man who has been given over to his own strength and will only go as far as his own strength can carry him.
We, as the people of God, rejoice all the more in our weaknesses as they humble us under God’s Word, compel us to pray, keep us dependent on the wisdom and encouragement of others, and gather us here today to receive grace and mercy anew. His power is made perfect in our weakness. With the patience and wisdom of a seasoned farmer, God is taking us slowly along the hard but right road. John Calvin once wrote, “It is better to limp along this path than to dash with all speed outside it.”
“Therefore”, as the writer of Hebrews says, “lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.” AMEN!