This is the Day the Lord has made!Let us rejoice and be glad in it!
Pastor Nathan Buch
Introduction: This is the Day The Lord Has Made; Let Us Rejoice and Be Glad in It
During COVID many congregations did the only thing that they could to continue worship, they worshipped outside. If we had done that, this outdoor service wouldn’t be something that we looked forward to and made sure that we told everyone about. Yet, think about that time during COVID. Did we rejoice in what the Lord had done? Did people rejoice in the opportunity to worship even though it was outside or online?
Right now we are in God’s original church. There was no building in the Garden of Eden. There was a tree that was the Lord’s. There was no church that the people knew Jesus would be at. His pulpit was the mountainsides, the beaches, the areas where large groups of people could join together. He went to the meeting places at the rivers under the trees and there he began to preach to people of Jesus.
When our God tells us to rejoice we can rejoice in everything and at every time. We can rejoice during COVID — God is with us, His Word endures. We can rejoice today because we don’t need a building to praise and thank God, we stand in the best church that God has ever created, we stand in his creation — let us rejoice and be glad in it.
I. Let Us Rejoice: He has Created This For Us
Genesis 1: 27-28. 27
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. 28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
Have you ever stood and looked at what God has made. Growing up I loved to be in the woods and build forts. I liked to sit and listen to the sounds of the woods and the breeze going through the trees. At night I loved to go out and look at the stars.
As I have gotten older, I haven’t had as much time to do that, but as I have traveled across the country, you can’t miss the beauty and majesty that God has made.
Have you ever thought that all that God has created he has created for you. He has created the beauty of all that is here on earth so that you can see it and live in it. He has created things for companionship and to help us in our labor. He has created things for us to use to make and to build our homes and buildings. He has created things for us to eat.
Within all of that creation is so much variety. There is not one landscape, but many. There is not one animal that we use for labor or companionship, but many. There are many building materials, there are so many tastes and textures of things to eat that everyone can find something.
When we look at God’s creation we see his wisdom and power in creating all of this, but we also see his love. There is love here, that our God would not want man to live a dreary life. Instead he wanted man to live a life that had so many possibilities to praise and thank him, a life where we could choose which gifts and abilities to use and how we would use them to give God glory.
There is reason to rejoice because our God continues to preserve and protect us every day. He did not just create this world and stand back and let it all go. He continues to bless and preserve this world with his almighty power. Although we may complain that God does not give us the exact blessings that we want, he provides for us all that we need for our life —- usually he has blessed us with more than we need.
We have reason to rejoice, our God has created all this for us and he continues to provide us with the amazing blessings that we need through this creation.
II. Let Us Rejoice: The Sheep Have A Shepherd
John 10: 11, 14-15.
11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father— and I lay down my life for the sheep.
So often we focus on the sheep needing shepherd, but for a moment let’s think about the shepherd. How many good shepherds do you think there were? How many shepherds were just bad because the job was too hard or the sheep were too dumb? I don’t have any statistics, but when Jesus talks about a good shepherd and a bad shepherd, I think that is his point. There were many bad shepherds who didn’t do their jobs simply because it was too hard to keep these sheep in line, there were too many dangers, or the sheep were just dumb.
How long does it take you to get really frustrated with someone and just walk away? It depends on who the person is and what they are doing that is frustrating, but we all have the breaking point where we just don’t want to deal with it anymore. We blow up, walk away, we go off by ourselves.
Think about us, the sheep. How frustrating must we be? A people who claims to love the Lord and follow him, yet, we sin. We use his name to curse and swear, the name of the one who saves us. We neglect his Word, the one thing that God tells us the Holy Spirit uses to build us into strong Christians. While we know what God directs us to do, we often do the opposite. Instead of following God’s way, we follow our own way.
I would not be a very good shepherd, how about you?
Yet, let us rejoice, we have a shepherd whose love extends to eternity. Even though we are foolish and want to do our own thing, our Good Shepherd still is willing to watch over us and protect us. He does not run away, he does not fall asleep, he is willing to lay down his life so that we would live.
And that is what he did. We rejoice because sinners like us need a shepherd like Jesus. We need that Savior who loves us and is willing to come and take away our sins. We need what the Savior has done for us because we can’t do that ourselves. Let Us Rejoice. We have a Shepherd, not just a good shepherd a great shepherd. We have our Savior who is our Shepherd.
III. Let Us Rejoice: He is the Living Water
John 4:10, 13, 14.
10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water. 13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
Look at the river. In the Midwest we have rivers and lakes and ponds all over the place. But just for a moment think about where you live. What is the nearest natural source of water to you? What would it take for you to walk to that water source every day and bring water back to your house.
This is not an easy job. Whether it is a long walk or not, water is heavy. Have you ever tried to move a 5 gallon bucket of water which is full?
We might be getting closer to understanding the people of the Middle East. Water is not common in the Middle East. The people are forced to go to the water and bring that water back to their homes. It must be a terrible job to go every day or every other day to go get the water that is necessary for life.
We remember that on this day, Jesus had stayed at the well and the disciples had gone into town to buy food. As he sat next to the well the woman came out to draw water from this well and bring it back to her home. Jesus asks her for a drink.
During their conversation, Jesus offers her living water. Like every other person who came to this well to draw water, the thought of a spring or a well of water that was closer to a house was the best news ever. Water that they could drink and never be thirsty again was a myth or a fable, something magical.
Jesus was using this need for water to teach the woman about repentance and forgiveness. When she asks for the water, Jesus points out her sin, “Go get your husband.”
I don’t think she expected that Jesus would know her background when she answered that she did not have a husband, but he did. “You have had 5 husbands and the man you are with now is not your husband.”
I don’t know if there was deception in her heart when she answered Jesus. But I know there is deception in my heart when I think about my own sins. Maybe you have the same problem? If I were sitting at a well with Jesus and he asked me a pointed question I would not want to be totally honest about my sinful background or about what is going on in my heart and mind.
What we don’t realize is that this conversation about sin happened after Jesus offered her the living water of salvation. Her sins did not discount her from hearing the Word. Her sins did not discount her from being forgiven. With these words Jesus is showing her the love of a Savior in offering her peace for her life and forgiveness for her soul. He does the same for us.
Our Savior calls us to repentance. We cannot hide our sins from Jesus, we cannot keep sin in our life and think that God is OK with it. He sees our sins and he calls us to repentance.
We see the woman’s reaction, the Holy Spirit worked in her heart and she believed along with many in her town. Through the Holy Spirit, they had that living water that led to heaven.
What is our reaction when we are called to repentance? Do we confess our sins or do we try to keep them in our life? Our Savior offers us the living water of heaven. May we hear the Savior’s call to repentance, may we confess our sins and know that forgiveness that only comes from a Savior who wants to forgive us and bring us to himself in heaven. Amen.