The Roommate

7/18/2021

Message Title: The Roommate
Theme:
Reruns & Glory Days
Season: Ordinary
Main Text: 2 Samuel 7:1-14a
Scripture Reading: Ephesians 2:11-22
RCL Scripture: 2 Samuel 7:1-14a or Jeremiah 23:1-6 Psalm 23 or Psalm 89:20-37 Ephesians 2:11-22 Mark 6:30-34, 53-56
Focus: David intends to make God a home but God has other plans.
Function:
To turn our intentions for (insert thing) towards God’s intentions rather than our own.
Other Notes:

SCRIPTURE READING: Ephesians 2:11-22 11 So remember that once you were Gentiles by physical descent, who were called “uncircumcised” by Jews who are physically circumcised. 12 At that time you were without Christ. You were aliens rather than citizens of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of God’s promise. In this world you had no hope and no God. 13 But now, thanks to Christ Jesus, you who once were so far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 Christ is our peace. He made both Jews and Gentiles into one group. With his body, he broke down the barrier of hatred that divided us. 15 He canceled the detailed rules of the Law so that he could create one new person out of the two groups, making peace. 16 He reconciled them both as one body to God by the cross, which ended the hostility to God. 17 When he came, he announced the good news of peace to you who were far away from God and to those who were near. 18 We both have access to the Father through Christ by the one Spirit. 19 So now you are no longer strangers and aliens. Rather, you are fellow citizens with God’s people, and you belong to God’s household. 20 As God’s household, you are built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. 21 The whole building is joined together in him, and it grows up into a temple that is dedicated to the Lord. 22 Christ is building you into a place where God lives through the Spirit.

RERUNS:

  1. AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT: What is your favorite TV show that includes roommates?
    1. New Girl, Grey’s anatomy, Friends, Big Bang Theory, The Odd Couple…?
    2. Some of my favorites include: Facts of Life, Threes Company, and Golden Girls.
  2. The story of any group of roommates guarantees entertainment:
    1. We watch roommates fight over dishes, rent, or romance.
    2. We see roommates support each other in tragedy.
    3. We observe chaos unfold through miscommunication and laugh.
  3. It’s much easier to laugh at the misfortunes of a fictional character.

TRANSITION: In our text for today, David considers the dwelling place of God. Will David and God become roommates or is something else brewing?

MAIN TEXT & EXPLAINATION: 2 Samuel 7:1-14

We will read this in two portions.

VS 1-7 A House for the Lord: When the king was settled in his palace,and the Lord had given him rest from all his surrounding enemies, 2the king said to the prophet Nathan, “Look! I’m living in a cedar palace, but God’s chest is housed in a tent!”  3Nathan said to the king, “Go ahead and do whatever you are thinking, because the Lord is with you.” 4But that very night the Lord’s word came to Nathan: 5Go to my servant David and tell him: This is what the Lord says: You are not the one to build the temple for me to live in. 6In fact, I haven’t lived in a temple from the day I brought Israel out of Egypt until now. Instead, I have been traveling around in a tent and in a dwelling. 7Throughout my traveling around with the Israelites, did I ever ask any of Israel’s tribal leaders I appointed to shepherd my people: Why haven’t you built me a cedar temple?

  1. Previously on The story of Israel: David returned the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem and celebrated unabashedly.
  2. Now that the ark has returned, David wants to build a permanent building for the Ark to reside.
    1. David thought: I have a place to lay my head, God should have a place to dwell.
  3. David is advised by a man named Nathan.
    1. Nathan is not previously mentioned but this passage refers to him as a prophet. Nathan will continue to play a significant role as an advisor to David.
  4. However, Nathan receives a correction by God. No, David won’t be the one to build him a temple.

VS 8-14 Role Reversal: 8So then, say this to my servant David: This is what the Lord of heavenly forces says: I took you from the pasture, from following the flock, to be leader over my people Israel. 9I’ve been with you wherever you’ve gone, and I’ve eliminated all your enemies before you. Now I will make your name great—like the name of the greatest people on earth. 10I’m going to provide a place for my people Israel, and plant them so that they may live there and no longer be disturbed. Cruel people will no longer trouble them, as they had been earlier, 11when I appointed leaders over my people Israel. And I will give you rest from all your enemies. And the Lord declares to you that the Lord will make a dynasty for you. 12When the time comes for you to die and you lie down with your ancestors, I will raise up your descendant—one of your very own children—to succeed you, and I will establish his kingdom. 13He will build a temple for my name, and I will establish his royal throne forever. 14I will be a father to him, and he will be a son to me. Whenever he does wrong, I will discipline him with a human rod, with blows from human beings.

  1. God speaks to David through Nathan:
    1. I will provide for my people as I have been providing for my people.
    2. I’ve provided for you and will continue providing for you.
  2. You will not build my temple, your descendant will.
  3. I will care for you and your descendants different from how I cared for Saul. Even in your mistakes or failures, I will not abandon you.

INTERPRETATION: David intends to make God a home but God has other plans.

  1. God clarifies that he doesn’t *need* anything from David.
    1. Nor should David put words or actions in God’s mouth.
    2. Rather, David should be in the habit of turning to God for each step David makes. 
    3. Instead, God reveals how God will provide for David’s monarchy.
  2. How often do we put words in God’s mouth?
    1. Even our best intentions cannot honor God when we do not first hand them over to God.
  3. Role Reversal:
    1. I think this is especially true when we consider ministries.
      1. When little churches compare themselves to big churches, all they will see is a large gap.
        1. More volunteers
        2. More participants
        3. More money
      2. We don’t see our strengths when we compare ourselves to other churches.
    2. We play the game of David- assuming we know what God has in store for us instead of asking.
    3. The whole struggle of ministry comparison becomes as complicated as roommates mis-communicating.

APPLICATION: To turn our intentions for (insert thing) towards God’s intentions rather than our own.

  1. State of the Church Post-2020- Let’s take some time to assess things.This last week in particular I feel particularly in tune with the state of the church: Saturday was ABW IN/KY summer conference. Monday morning, I zoomed with female pastors across the US, then saw Ruth’s program, and another zoom call with ABC pastors across the US. Tuesday, I was in Indy for a lunch with ABC Young Pastors.  Wednesday was Circle of Concern and a zoom call with small church pastors about current problems. Thursday, I met with Judson Association pastors. Bottom line: I’ve gathered some information.
  2. The Stats:
    1. Attendance across the world is down- this isn’t just Liberty. It’s cross denominations, states, and even countries. Many families choose online worship on a Sunday in place of in person but even that attendance is dwindling.
      1. Multitask, Pajamas, Wine–Believe me- no judgement. Sleep is my love language.
    2. Division- Tensions are high between groups that vote, love, worship, or live differently. 2020 was no help to that. And each of us, myself included, are part of the lines of division.
    3. Burn Out- All the while our expectations for ministry compares to other large or even mega churches in cities. Many pastors are burning out over the added responsibilities on their shoulders while church funds are struggling.
      1. Volunteers are low or exhausted but expectations for ministries and opportunities are the same.
      2. The Few- The Proud: The few voices calling out to “come back to church” are frequently misinterpreted: Give us $$! Fill a pew! Show up you sinners!
  3. 2020-enabled us to custom build church. Sure, we can drink wine and fold laundry while hearing a sermon BUT we’re missing community. We’re missing the people who can teach us, encourage us, and keep us accountable.
    1. I miss the faces of those we lost in 2020 to death.
    2. I also miss the faces of those we lost in 2020 for 100 other reasons.
    3. If you are listening on line, Liberty is not the same without you. Our community notices your absence, not because of our budget, because no one can replace you.
    4. Covid Precautions: Now we recognize that everyone is “sick” of COVID but COVID is not done in this world. There are still families connected to Liberty impacted by COVID. We must be wise in our words in order to honor them. It is unfortunate this topic has become so polarizing.
  4. A New Era: Building Bridges—I want to share a dream with you that started as heart break in our Christian Ed meeting last week. We struggled to find solutions for the kids at Liberty. The only solutions we knew were examples from churches with bigger budgets or a large volunteer base. I left that meeting distraught and burdened with prayer.
    1. And then this week of meetings and stories unfolded that filled my heart with hope and direction. My hope is you will hear these words and affirm the dreams unfolding:
    2. Mentoring- k through 12
      1. Sunday School format- Kid friendly using The Story. Starting Sept 1st.
    3. Spiritual Listening Workshop Aug 27-28
      1. 25 person cap.
      2. Josh is providing supper on Friday and lunch on Saturday.
    4. Grace Tables for 8 – Ruth’s new project
      1. Deacons/leadership start out this first year
      2. 2 Sundays in October

CONCLUSION: Churches are struggling worldwide. The Church as a whole is at a turning point. We can dig in and try to fit an expectation we are doomed to fail OR We have a chance to do ministry unlike any other church.

Our community is unique. We don’t fit the make up of any other congregation. Only Liberty can serve like Liberty. Let’s step into our skills. Let’s step into our gifts. And let’s build bridges for the future.

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