Matters of the Heart.Â Â Â
PentecostÂ 22, Common Lectionary Year C.
Â©Rev Elisabeth R. Jones
I will write my Law â€“ My Dream upon their hearts. They shall be my people, and I shall be their God. Always.
If preaching is supposed to be the proclamation of the Good News of God, as found in Scripture, in Jesus Christ, and in the texts and textures of our daily living, then the preaching moment of this worship service has already happened.
It happenedÂ when Sam, Eleanor, Mark, Karen, Michael, Terry and Ron declared before us that they are committed to living out their trust in God, and their discipleship of the Way of Jesus Christ, in word and action in the heart of this community of faith.
It happened when ordinary tap water became for a moment, Godâ€™s fountain of Grace, for Grace, and through her public witness, for all of us. It happened when a tear was shed around this space because we knew for a moment that holiness happened; God and humanity were as close as a heartbeat, heaven touched our earth, and we were, are, glad!
Gospel, Good News, happened in words and will continue to happen in action as these people move into ministry among us with their time, their talents, and their treasure of wallet and heart.
Itâ€™s the heart that captures my attention in all of this, this day, this process, that passage from Jeremiah, about writing the dream of God upon the heart.
Itâ€™s the fullness of my own heart, which has been building over 6 weeks with these people who formed the â€œChurch 101 group.â€ Witnessing the growth in fellowship among strangers who thought they were coming to a baptism or a marriage prep class, and found instead welcome, safe space to ask questions, new insights and experiences of God, of Scripture, of the possibilities of Godâ€™s Dream being written on their own hearts. And todayâ€¦. hearts full.
Then thereâ€™s the unseen heart that is full today. The heart of God. Godâ€™s heart is full because we are here. Godâ€™s heart is full because today in this place Godâ€™s people have gathered to worship, toÂ grow, and learn in the safe company of a fellowship of people who share a common vision and purpose, to be the flesh and bonesÂ of Godâ€™s Dream, through word and action in the world.
It matters to the heart of God, what we do here. Now, we may, by many measures, be a rather small and insignificant community of faith and witness,Â tucked into an small corner of the world, but that matters not a whit to the heart of God. What matters is thatÂ for a moment, here today, our hearts, and Godâ€™s touch, and are glad.
This sounds abstract, so let me try to bring it close: Imagine a newborn infant placed onto your chest. Your own, a grandchild, a niece, cousin, sibling, no relation at all, just a precious, curled infant, nestled above your heart, warm, substantial yet fragile, bundle of life and potential, barely more than a handful. Two hearts, beating separately but together, in rhythmic harmony. And for a moment, the entire world is contained in your cupped hands above your heart.
Today, this is where we all are. Cradled close to the heart of God. Baptism, whether itâ€™s our own, or whether we are here to witness one, or here to renew our baptismal promises again through affirmation of faith, is a moment of being newborn again, a moment where the world can await with expectation what newness, what gift, what grace you will be to the world, while for that moment, you are held, precious, close to the heart of God.
We have this promise of God â€œI will write my Law â€“ my Dream upon their hearts they shall be my people, my children, my newborns, my beloved, and I shall be, always, evermore, their God.â€
For today thatâ€™s all that matters, to my heart, to yours,Â and to the heart of God.