Each week on the front of your worship folders, there is a “Big Q.” Those are intended to get us thinking about the message for the week . . . today that question is: Are you the kind of person who sees a glass as half full or half empty? And in case you’re wondering how that might be a “spiritual” question, keep listening.
Read each of these scenarios and think about whether you are pleased or displeased with half a glass:
- You buy a large Diet Coke that is delivered half full
- You are working in the backyard and drinking out of the hose
- Hiking in the Grand Canyon and all you have is warm water in a half empty canteen
Our passage of scripture this morning is one of the most important in our understanding of right relationship with God and of prayer—read Romans 8:26-30:
These 1st 2 verses (26-27) form one of the most important passages on prayer in the whole NT. Paul is telling us that because we are weak (admit it!) we don’t really know what we should pray for. Now I can make a list of things that I think I lack:
- A paid off mortgage
- Super powers
And you can probably add a lot of things to that list for me! But if I try to be honest with myself and with God, I have to admit that I am not certain that those are the things that would make me whole and healthy for God’s kingdom if I received them.
But what Paul is saying here in verses 26-27 is that I don’t REALLY know what I need to be praying for. Because of my weakness. What kind of weakness?
- I cannot know what the future holds for me (imperfect knowledge)
- I don’t know what is best for me (imperfect understanding)
- I remember the week before my oldest daughter’s wedding, and my niece, who was to be a flower girl, found a pair of scissors. Now, when you’re looking in the mirror, the part of your hair that you see is right here [pull up a lock of bangs]. So that is the part of her hair that she decided to cut. As close to the scalp as she could get. Was that really a good decision on her part?
But because she was 4 years old, she did not have a lot of experience in making important decisions. And she didn’t really understand consequences. Or what grownups would consider a good haircut.
And have you ever tried to go in or out of a door with a 2 year old? Where do they stand? That’s right. Right in front of the door that you have to open into the space where they are standing. Why do they do that? Because they want to go through the door! But they’re standing in front of it! Why don’t they move? Because they don’t understand that in order to go THROUGH the door, they need to move out of the way.
Do you know where I’m going with these childish illustrations? That’s right. Childish illustrations are perfect when it comes to understanding our relationship with the Almighty God, the Creator of all we are and everything we might be.
- We do not understand God’s standards of good haircuts, or beauty.
- We do not understand that in order to go through a door, we might have to move out of the way.
As we discuss this scripture this morning, we will unwrap what to do with our weakness and imperfections
Originally preached Sunday, July 30, 2017