We come together today to celebrate the annual Cox reunion. When we gather for family reunions we re-unite, we re-member and we re-joice! We embrace, we share stories and we laugh. The whole purpose of a reunion is to get to know each other again! Some people live far away and others are right up the road.
When I was a kid we used to have our reunion on the 4th of July. We had tables filled with food! We celebrated and enjoyed each other’s company into the night-often ending the reunion with fireworks! Today, everyone is older and has moved away and we don’t get together as often as we should. We have lost touch with each other over the years. This happen in our relationship with God too. Sometimes we need to take some time to re-unite ourselves with Him by getting back to church or pouring God’s Word into us.
This morning I want to talk about DIRT and LIFE!
Let’s look at Genesis 2:4-7.
It says: When the Lord God made the universe, there were no plants on the earth and no seeds had sprouted, because he had not sent any rain, and there was no one to cultivate the land; but water would come up from beneath the surface and water the ground. Then the Lord God took some soil from the ground and formed a man out of it; he breathed life-giving breath into his nostrils and the man began to live.
We come from dirt. Dirt is filled with LIFE. That life was breathed into us by our Creator God, Father, Daddy. Most of us think of dirt as being dirty, but I don’t. When Spring comes and the ground is soft and pliable there is nothing I like better than getting dirt under my nails. I love the smell of dirt. It smells like LIFE.
Ecc. 3 says “ For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.”
We are in a new season here at Glenwood. A season of change, a season of healing, a season of love. Christ came so that we might live again and live this life to the fullest. We are to live it to the fullest while we are here, under heaven , and there in heaven. God has purposed us to faithfully plant His seeds of love. We are called to nurture them, to fertilize, to water, to pray for the harvest and then wait in great anticipation for them to bloom! God is our Master Gardener and we are His workers. He gives us instructions to till the soil, to break up the hard rocky places, to rake, to dig, to haul off debris and to do it all in joy.
I have seen all of this activity in the past several weeks in and around the church. It is a wonderful representation of the love and care that lives inside. Just as the OT Temple was filled with generations of family so is Glenwood.
God gave us the job to be good stewards of the earth and everything in it. This includes the land, the animals, and the people. God has left us with this responsibility- to care for the earth and the people so that they might come to know Him. How do we do this? By seeking Him in all that we do and say. When we seek the Kingdom of God first , above all else, and we live in right standing with Him, He will give us everything we need. ( Mat 6:33) Like a vine-we are to be so entwined with God that people cannot tell us apart or tear us apart!
Romans 12 says we are to dedicate ourselves to God. ..
Brothers and sisters, because of God’s compassion toward us, I encourage you to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, dedicated to God and pleasing to him. This kind of worship is appropriate for you. 2 Don’t become like the people of this world. Instead, change the way you think. Then you will always be able to determine what God really wants—what is good, pleasing, and perfect.
We are to be holy and pleasing to God- a LIVING SACRIFICE. How do we do this? By transforming our mind-changing the way we think, talk and act. When we do this-it is an act of spiritual worship. We are to fill ourselves with God’s Word -eat it, breathe it, live it, walk it, work it and love it. It takes work! A lot of it! Romans 12 is my life verse.
I have often asked myself this question:
Am I, Donna Godwin, holy and pleasing to Jesus Christ? Am I like the world? Do I need to change the way I think, act or speak? Am I good, pleasing and perfect?
My answer is NO! I am not perfect by any stretch of the imagination-however I do keep trying and God keeps teaching, encouraging, disciplining, and loving me to the place where I need to be. He woos me closer everyday, never giving up on any of us!
The Good News is this: No one will ever be perfect and all IS forgiven when we seek forgiveness. God sent His Son to save us from our sinning selves and it is through His dying that we are able to have eternal life-all we have to do is ask. He loves us because He loves us. We don’t feel worthy and we don’t understand why He loves us the way He does-He just does. It’s mystery!
Like a gardener tends to their garden , God works in us, on us, over us and through us to produce a beautiful bloom that is filled with a sweet aroma!
Do you remember the question from last week? “What breaks your heart?”
This week my heart was broken for a friend who has been battling cancer. Through this friend- God has shown me what breaks his heart. My friend’s pain and suffering. Life is not fair and life can be very difficult as some of you well know. We cannot do this alone and we need God in our lives to help us along the way. Our hope is in heaven. Everlasting life will not be anything like this life. We know this is not our permanent home. My friend is running the race of his life, and some of you might be too. He knows that his prize is not here on earth-it is there with our Father in Heaven. We have to help people get this Truth into their bones.
Through our time together, I was reminded that life is but a vapor and time is short. I thought about this scripture:
We must also consider how to encourage each other to show love and to do good things. We should not stop gathering together with other believers, as some of you are doing. Instead, we must continue to encourage each other even more as we see the day of the Lord coming.
There is no time to waste. We do not know when the Lord will come back and we must be ready to take as many with us as possible. So, let us not give up running this race and let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus! When we do what He has commanded us-to LOVE God with all our being, to Love one another and to love our neighbor as ourself- -then the world will be re-united with their Creator.
The ultimate reunion!
When I spoke with Missy about the reunion she told me she had lived here all of her life and I said, ‘ you are part of the ground, aren’t you? “ What I meant was that her roots are in the dirt. There is beauty in the dirt and it is God who makes all things beautiful .
There is a song called “Something Beautiful” that goes like this:
All this pain
I wonder if I’ll ever find my way
I wonder if my life could really change at all
All this earth
Could all that is lost ever be found
Could a garden come up from this ground at all
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us
Hope is springing up from this old ground
Out of chaos life is being found in You.
We go back to Genesis and we read it again-
Just as it was in the beginning- the earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep water. The Spirit of God was hovering over the water, and then God said, “Let there be light!” And there was.
Out of the chaos came forth Light and Life.
Did you hear that? Out of the chaos came Life and Light. God took a hand full of dusty dirt, formed a man and breathed life into him. There is life in dirt. Scripture says that we are a workmanship created in Christ. I say we are a beautiful, holy, and pleasing workmanship created in Christ to do good works! God has ordained this from the very beginning.
So, let us gather together to re-unite with family and with God. Let us re-member good times and what Jesus did for us on the cross. Let us re-joice in family and in knowing that Jesus Christ IS our Lord and Savior!
God truly does make all things beautiful!
Father, you make all things new. You have created us from a lump of dirt and you have breathed yourself into us. May all that we speak and do be a reflection of our love for you and may we be acceptable in your sight. We love you and we praise you. Amen.