Lose Your Baggage

Dear friends,

Sunday we will wrap up our Gratitude stewardship emphasis with one of our famous 5th Street Celebrations with good food, good friends, and good fellowship. Plan on staying after worship to enjoy the time together. Stayed tuned for information about the weather. Plans will change if it looks like rain is likely. Oh, and don’t forget to turn in your Commitment Card for your 2019 giving to the ministry and operating budget of the church so that the Finance Committee will be able to more accurately plan a budget.

Sunday I also wrap up my sermon series Timeless Wisdom — our walk through some of the wisdom literature of the Bible, drawing from both the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament. We’ll be looking at the age-old wisdom of losing your baggage.

It has only happened to me a couple of times, but the feeling is always the same. I stand there, fixated on the baggage emerging on the conveyor belt from the mysterious little door with the rubber flaps. The tension grows with each unfamiliar bag that makes its appearance. There it is! No, that’s not it. Close — but no cigar. Wait! I think I see it! No, same color, different tag. Oh, no. No more bags are coming through the little door. Oh, there’s another one, but not it. Then, it happens: the conveyor belt stops. It’s over. There’s no question now. My baggage didn’t make it. Who knows where it is. It. Is. LOST. UGH. Do you know the feeling?

The thought of losing your baggage as a wise thing to do is counter-intuitive, isn’t it? Yet, it is timeless wisdom. The writer of the New Testament book of Hebrews says this: “So then let’s also run the race that is laid out in front of us, since we have such a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us. Let’s throw off any extra baggage, get rid of the sin that trips us up, and fix our eyes on Jesus, faith’s pioneer and perfecter.” Timeless wisdom.

In Psalm 8 we have the beautiful, poetic, timeless wisdom about the nature of God that enables us to lose the extra baggage that is weighing us down:

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me,
bless his holy name.
The Lord is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
He will not always accuse,
nor will he keep his anger forever.
He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.
For as the heavens are high above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far he removes our transgressions from us.

Are you carrying around extra baggage that is weighing you down? Guilt? Shame? Painful memories? Destructive habits? Negative attitudes? Is it time to lose your baggage?

Perhaps we can paraphrase the words of the psalmist: “As far as the east is from the west, so far he removes our extra baggage from us.”

I look forward to being in worship with you on Sunday as we think together about this timeless wisdom and how it applies to our lives.

Grace and Peace,


Dr. Tim Bruster
Senior Pastor

 

Psalm 103:1, 8-12   New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name. The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He will not always accuse, nor will he keep his anger forever. He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far he removes our transgressions from us.

Hebrews 12:1-2   Common English Bible (CEB)

So then let’s also run the race that is laid out in front of us, since we have such a great cloud of witnesses surrounding us. Let’s throw off any extra baggage, get rid of the sin that trips us up, and fix our eyes on Jesus, faith’s pioneer and perfecter. He endured the cross, ignoring the shame, for the sake of the joy that was laid out in front of him, and sat down at the right side of God’s throne.

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