Sorrow and Celebration sermon

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Mon, 02/24/2020 - 9:15am

Micah 7:18-20 [NLT]
18 Where is another God like you,
who pardons the guilt of the remnant,
overlooking the sins of his special people?
You will not stay angry with your people forever,
because you delight in showing unfailing love.
19 Once again you will have compassion on us.
You will trample our sins under your feet
and throw them into the depths of the ocean!
20 You will show us your faithfulness and unfailing love
as you promised to our ancestors Abraham and Jacob long ago.

Psalm 51:1–17 (NLT):
Have mercy on me, O God,
because of your unfailing love.
Because of your great compassion,
blot out the stain of my sins.
Wash me clean from my guilt.
Purify me from my sin.
For I recognize my failings;
they haunt me day and night.
Against you, and you alone, have I sinned;
I have done what is evil in your sight.
You will be proved right in what you say,
and your judgment against me is just. For I was born a sinner—
yes, from the moment my mother conceived me.
But you desire honesty from the womb,
teaching me wisdom even there.
Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Oh, give me back my joy again;
Let the bones which were broken rejoice.
Don’t keep looking at my sins.
Remove the stain of my guilt.
Create in me a clean heart, O God.
Renew a right spirit within me.
Do not banish me from your presence,
and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and sustain me with a willing spirit.

MESSAGE “Sorrow and Celebration” Sermon for 02-23-20 at Harbor Church
Some Fun philosophical questions:
• How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?
• -*What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object?
• Can God create something so heavy that he can’t lift it?
• Can God forget? Does God Forget?
On one hand He will never forget about us, or forsaken us or abandon us, no matter what. On the other hand, the scripture tells us that once we confess our sin and turn to him, he will remember our sins no more. In effect, he forgets about them. Can we do the same?
Psalm 51 is a prayer of repentance. BUT IT BEGINS and ENDS BY FOCUSING GOD’S LOVE, NOT THE SINNER’S FAILING
Does emphasizing God’s love Minimize sin? Absolutely not. We all have sinned. Many of us have great failings in life; all of us have character flaws.
Think about all the ways that we can fail or may have failed in the past… relationships, appetites, omission, commission.
(David’s adultery with Bathsheba and murder of her husband) – when he wrote this he was overwhelmed by remorse for what he had done. BUT- there is
Good guilt, and Bad Guilt…
Forgiveness’ for sin begins with confession, acknowledgement of wrong-doing, but it doesn’t end there. The sorrow that produces contrition is replaced with celebration, or else the work of grace is incomplete; not because of God, but because we don’t take it all the way to the end.
blot out the stain of my sins.
Wash me clean from my guilt.
Purify me from my sin.
For I recognize my failings;
they haunt me day and night.

How many of us are haunted by the memory of sins past?
Gods forgiveness is one part purification, and one part removal of stain and guilt and shame. To accept Anything less is not to experience the completeness of what the Lord has done.
Not only does God purify our spirits from sin, but the Lord can also remove the stain and guilt and shame of it from our minds as well.
The power of sin over us in the future has a lot to do with how we deal in the present with the sins of our past.
“Forgiven and Forgotten” God does this… can we? Forget about it! Stop remembering it!Can’t you hear God saying, “Get over it… get on with it!”
How white is white? -when forgiveness is experiences completely, not even the residue of sin remains….
STAINS: White laundry, No ‘ring around the collar’! Shout it out with joy and praise!
DIRT: white as snow… when enough Fresh snow falls. it covers the gray dead winter ground completely. Lets pray for a spiritual snowstorm; an inundation that buries our sin so that no hint remains.
All that God ever sees of our sin is Jesus. Not our wrongness, but his righteousness. “washed whiter than snow” -clothed in clean white linen. - Use this imagery
How can “Broken bones rejoice”?!! -illustration. “I heard so and so fell down the stairs last week and broke her leg? Isn’t that great? I’m so happy for her!” No; We don’t rejoice in the accident or injury; we celebrate the healing and growth of new bone. Often extra bone grows so that it is stronger than it was originally! And when our friend uses the stairs in the future, perhaps she is a little more careful not to stumble again the way she did then.
Don’t drown in guilt over past sins, because God can drown the guilt of sin entirely!
Buried at Sea. If we had a truer appreciation for how COMPLETELY we have been forgiven, we would celebrate more often!... What does God do with our sin; In our first reading, Micah tells us that he “stomps on it and then throws it in the ocean.” He buries it at sea. The sacrament of Baptism is a beautiful reminder of this; a symbol that new life in Christ means leaving sin and it shame behind, buried and forgotten.
The experience of forgiveness by God begins with sorrow, but should always end with joy and gladness . Guilt and shame are left behind, forgotten by God and by us. Sorrow is replaced by celebration. May joy and gladness fill our hearts as we forget our sins and remember this great truth today!