On being open and closed / Luke 6:17-26 / Pr. Lucas Andre Albrecht / Sunday, February 13th, 2022 / Season of Epiphany
SERMON NOTES (listen to the audio sermon for more)
Text: Luke 6:17-26
Theme: On being open and closed
Intr – Do you find sometimes yourself in that spot when you have to stand for biblical truths in face of modern values? Even inside your own family. That happens for sure.
One of the most recurrent things that come up in that type of spot is the famous framing: “You need to be more open minded” The topics may vary, from authority of the scripture to past mistakes; from the biblical constitution of sexuality and gender to the roles in marriage; from the concept of faith and love to what happens after life to those who are not in Christ… but the challenge remains the same: are you staying “closed” in the historical teachings of your Church or are you opening your mind to the new, brilliant ways in which our generation is offering you to construe the world and the meaning of life?
You know what Jesus calls these types of situations? Blessed. I know, it’s hard to take it at face value but Jesus is clear in the Gospel today that you are blessed when this types of things. Actually, there are 4 “blessed” and 4 “woes” in the Gospel which are exact opposites. They mean that when you are cursed then you are blessed. And when you feel blessed then you are doomed.
Jesus talks about the contrast between following Him and not following Him.
Blessed – poor are rich, hungry are satisfied, weeping is joy, persecution is reward
Woe – rich is poor, well fed is to be hungry, joy is weeping and good words are bad words.
You are blessed every time you stand for God’s Word in your life, even went it brings you woes from the World.
You are a “woed" every time you go with the flow against God’s Word, even when it brings “blessings” from the world.
From the Biblical perspective, what is true is not relative. Wrong is wrong even when everybody is doing or agreeing with it. Right is right even when everybody is shaming or condemning it.
Sounds like these corona virus times we live in which being negative is positive news. Being negative before a godless World is always positive before God’s Word.
As we mentioned before, we have been constantly called to be more “open minded.”
I would say that in one hand this is a good concept when it comes to review some lifelong stances that could be relearned in a different perspective, especially when it comes to improve life, relationships and the work in the Kingdom of God. (some examples)
On the other hand, when you hear calls to a more “open mind” way of life, you need to listen to it closely. When you do, you’ll notice that when you hear the advice "you should be more open minded", what it really means in many cases is: "you cannot think like that; you need to go with the flow of the current values." Which means you can only be right if you change and think like them.
Open; closed. When we think about this we realize that Jesus has already showed is both ways.
Jesus Himself in one hand called for a change of mind:
-From traditionalism only to the Word of God;
_From sacrifices only to mercy;
_from self righteousness to soul righteousness – in Him;
_from going with the flow to going with the Word
But Jesus also called for a stay-of-mind. Stay where you are: The Word, God’s promises, Faith, Salvation. For example, the topic of today’s epistle: The resurrection of the dead, as a fundamental teaching from the Scriptures.
In Jesus we learn, grow, change and advance when it comes to areas in our life where progress can be made as we all do many things differently from what past generations used to do. But when it comes to your faith, your God, your Saviour, your life, remember that your mind and your heart are already opened. When you were called to faith by the Holy Spirit of God, he opened your mind and your heart to receive Christ in your heart through faith. Your mind and your heart are already well served, you don’t need the wit and wisdom of the most advanced generation there was (this is what every generation thinks about itself), your were regenerated, born again, filled with God’s wisdom as a gift and a present to cherish, care and cultivate your whole life.
In Christ your heart and your mind are already open enough and closed enough. They will be closed though when it comes to catering to the world’s values; or our own ideas when they are out of synch whit God’s word. But they will be always open when it comes to love, to serve, to grow, to connect - to love God and to love our neighbor.
Cc – We will be always open to new ways of sharing Christ, as we are locked securely inside His care and Love.