Where Will You Flee for Safety?
In a tumultuous world, where do we find safety?
Transcript: Welcome to the Light of Christ weekly podcast. Light of Christ Anglican Church is located in Georgetown, Texas at MLK and University Avenue. We are a modern expression of the ancient faith. You can learn more about us at lightofchristgeorgetown.org
Our sermon soundbite today comes from Isaiah chapter 28:14-16.
Isaiah confronts the leadership of Jerusalem, who have made a covenant with Egypt, and he strongly exhorts them to instead find their safety on the foundation, the stone that God has laid for them. Starting at verse 14, "Therefore hear the word of the Lord, you scoffers, who rule this people in Jerusalem, because you have said, 'We have made a covenant with death and with Sheol, we have an agreement. When the overwhelming whip passes through, it will not come to us. For we have made lies a refuge, and in falsehood we have taken shelter.' Therefore, thus says the Lord God, 'Behold, I am the one who has laid as a foundation in Zion, a stone. A tested stone, a precious cornerstone of a sure foundation. Whoever believes will not be in haste.'"
How does this apply to us? I think we live in tempestuous times. We live in a time where there's a lot that's changing. There's a lot of, I sense, fear and anxiety. Would you agree with me on that? There's just a lot of fear and anxiety.
We need to ask the question, where will we go? Where will we flee for safety? What is it that people are fearing? I talk to people all the time. I know people fear illness. Death. Loss of power. The American empire is beginning to collapse. There seems to be a diminishing of the church in our culture. The family is disintegrating. The Amazon forest is burning and that's only one of many environmental disasters.
There seems more and more, just a pressure for people to forsake the way of Jesus. This can create fear and anxiety. As a church, brothers and sisters, where will flee for safety? Will we ally ourselves with spiritual Egypt? Will we covenant with death? Will we flee to those old patterns of living in order to find safety? What does that look like? What am I talking about?
It could be a sin like alcoholism or drugs or sex addiction. It could be reactionary. Reactionary politics, looking for a political figure to save us. It could look like reactionary religion, even. Tribalism. It could look like giving up Jesus Christ entirely.
These covenants are covenants with death, and they lead to destruction. Isaiah gives us a better way. He asks us, will you flee to Jesus? He is the foundation of the city that God is building. The crucified and risen Christ is the one place in this world of change, where we can find the unchangeable, immovable God. The one that builds his house on the rock will never be moved.
I'd like to end. I'd like to end first with a personal story and then, I'd like to read Psalm 46, that we chanted. In my soul, I've been deeply disturbed this last week, at just various things happening in the world. I felt that anxiety. It's amazing when I go to the scripture a lot of times, that I'm preparing to preach, how often that scripture is perfect for where I'm at in my life. God is in control!
In all of the fear and anxiety, I asked myself, where do I flee for safety in all of this? The Holy Spirit prompted me. He said, "Look, go back. Get in touch again with your first love, Jesus. He is the cornerstone. Forget about all this stuff that's happening for a moment and turn your eyes on Jesus. Read the gospels, read his words, fall in love again with God revealed through Jesus. He is the refuge where you're safe.”
Psalm 46. "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.
"There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God. The Holy habitation of the most high. God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved. God will help her when morning dawns. The nations rage, the kingdoms totter. He utters his voice. The earth melts. The Lord of hosts is with us. The God of Jacob is our fortress."
Thank you for listening to the Light of Christ weekly podcast. Let us end our time together with a prayer from the Book of Common Prayer. You can find the Collect for Peace on page 23.
"O God, the author of peace and lover of concord, to know you is eternal life and to serve you is perfect freedom. Defend us, your humble servants in all assaults of our enemies, that we, surely trusting in your defense, may not fear the power of any adversaries through the might of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."