Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The Seventh Trumpet

I do not remember the sermon title or the content, but I do remember that I started the sermon with a series of questions.  After each question, I paused to give folks time to think about it for just a bit.  And, then, finally after the questions were asked, I went on with the rest of the sermons.  What makes me remember the sermon is a daughter who asked me after church, "What would you have done if someone had stood up to answer your questions?"  "No one would," I assured her, "they were rhetorical questions and I expected no one to answer?"  "If you did not expect anyone to answer, why did you ask?" was her response.
I suppose every preacher has asked those kind of questions from time to time in a sermon.  Rhetorical questions.  No one need feel burdened to verbally answer.  Most likely the answer is coming somewhere in the sermon.  As Paul comes to the end of what we know as the 8th chapter of Romans, he asks several rhetorical questions.  "If God is for us, who is against us?...Who will bring any charges against God's elect?...Who is to condemn?...Who will separate us from the love of Christ?..." (Romans 8:31-35)  The questions are like powerful sections of music with each piece building upon the one before it.  There can be no doubt that it was a moment that was heralded by trumpet blowing in heaven.  When the questions were done, everyone surely waiting in a silence filled with expectation for the answer.
We still rejoice in the answer.  "For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord."  (Romans 8:38-39)  It is a Word we never tire of reading or hearing.  It is a Word which takes us through whatever darkness it is that hangs over us.  Never are we outside or away or apart from being loved by our Father God and our Savior who died on the cross for us.  Hallelujah!  Amen!

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