February 14, 2016
Stetson Memorial UMC
First Sunday of Lent
Adapted Sermon Series
by Marcia McPhee
“The Wandering Way”
All Scripture is from the AMP Bible
“I Am A-Maze-D…”
Prayer for the Spirit’s leading…
A reading from the Gospel of Luke, chapter four, verses one and two…listen to the Word’s of Life from God to you and me, pilgrims on a journey…
Have you ever walk through a maze? I have done several of them and boy are they confusing. You think you have it figured out and then you wind up at a dead end. So you back track to see if you can figure out where you went wrong. It is so good to get to the end of it because all the confusion has left and all you see is the exit. Ok…spoiler alert…if you keep you left hand on the wall…and keep following it…you find your way out…
Life itself can feel like a maze. You twist and turn trying the best you can to find your way through life and then it happens. You hit a dead end. Speak of some of those dead ends we come up against. You may think to yourself “how am I going to get out of this maze? When am I going to find the end? Where is the exit door? Am I lost forever never to return to the land of the living”?
We have begun our Lenten pilgrimage to the cross. During this journey we will bring Marcia McPhee with us as we look at her sermon series “The Way”. We are going to be looking at the different “ways” or paths that we take in life. My prayer is that as we journey together we will help each other and those in our lives find our way.
We began it last Wednesday as we realized that Ash Wednesday is “the way back”…we are taking a u-turn so to speak…back towards God…back to the relationship that God intended from the very beginning. In Ash Wednesday we are called to “repentance” which means to turn around and head in a new direction.
But there are times that we take “the wandering way”…As Marcia McPhee would put it…we walk through that maze and search for the way out…the way to the right path instead of hitting those walls of a wrong turn. How can we turn around and leave this wandering way? How can we know the way is wrong before we even begin?
I think part of the answer is in what Jesus did in the desert from the Luke piece this morning. Jesus was lead by the Spirit and wandered in the desert. He became hungry…as would everyone who was wandering for days on end…when we wander we to get hungry…hungry for something that will lead us out…hungry for that which is missing that caused us to wandering the first place… The first thing He was tempted with was his hunger…the next was His ego and the last was His faith in God. But every time He was tempted He answered with the Word of God. It is in the Word of God we find our strength to keep on “the way”…it is through the Word of God that we are filled…it is in the relationship with God we find our reason for living…it is the faith in God that will bring us back from the maze into His amazing love and light…
So…how sure can we be that God would accept us back after we have wandered? Have we wander too far and can’t come back? Is God so mad at us that He will not even look at us and turn His back? Are all who wander lost for good? Have you ever heard the story of the prodigal son…you know the one who wandered off on his own? Let me paraphrase the story for you…paraphrase the prodigal son story…
Is there a way home…can we make a u-turn…can we get out of the maze we are in? Yes…praise God YES! He is there watching and waiting for our figure on the horizon. He is waiting for us to come home. He is ready to put the robe of righteousness through Christ Jesus on us to warm us from the bitter cold of wandering. He wants to put the signet ring…the seal of the Holy Spirit…upon us that is sealed by the blood of our Risen Lord, Jesus Christ.
Are you in need of making a u-turn in your life? Are you needing a way to get out of the maze and become a-maze-d by the power and love of our awesome God? Come…find your way home…come and satisfy your wanderings hunger…come to the foot of Calvary and live…