We’re Just Not That Important, But We Are That Beloved

We have a tendency to take ourselves, and our lives, a little too seriously.  But, you know, we’re just not that important.  Nevertheless, we are that beloved.




5th Sunday after Epiphany (Year B) – February 8, 2015 – Isaiah 40:21-31, Mark 1:29-39

St. Jacob’s-Spaders Lutheran Church, Harrisonburg, Virginia

We’re Just Not That Important, But We Are That Beloved” – Pastor Evan Davis

  • People of Israel were in captivity in Babylon. In some sense, it was their fault. In some sense, not. They felt like they had certain rights and responsibilities vis-a-vis God. Like they had earned commitments God needed to uphold, and/or that they had to fix this situation themselves.

  • Likewise, we’re held captive by so many things – failures of our own, possessions/addictions/idols, disease, heavy burdens of work or caregiving or grief or just keeping up all the things we used to do, or becoming what we or someone else has told us we have to be. We feel like we’ve got to get ourselves out of Babylon. Or like Jesus we have to heal and set free the whole city gathered right outside the door!

  • Sometimes we think we have a certain claim upon God – that we are equals in some sense, partners working on a deal together. We feel like we’re obligated to do something or be something in order for the deal to work with God, in order to receive something…like love, or life, from God.

  • Have you not known? Have you not heard? We’re grasshoppers. [read some more of the text.] We’re scarcely planted weeds blown about and withering in the wind compared to God. We are not equals. We do not make deals with God. We do not control our own destiny.

  • We cannot fall so far as to fall out of God’s mind, out of God’s care, which is what the people of Israel thought in Babylon. God’s still in charge. We can’t screw up that bad. Even there, God is still in charge. Even when we fail, even in the depth of our grief, God’s still in charge. God is good, all the time. All the time, God is good. [Psalm 139 ref]

  • Have you not known? Have you not heard? We are God’s creatures – God numbers us, calls us each by name, not one is missing – b/c God is great in strength and mighty in power. We are God’s beloved children – he never loses track of any of us.

  • We complain that God is not fulfilling God’s end of the deal…that God doesn’t see us, that “my right is disregarded by my God.” We have no right!

  • Have you not known? Have you not heard? ALL IS GIFT. ALL IS GRACE. The LORD is the everlasting God. Not us. The creator of the ends of the earth. Not us. He does not faint or grow weary. We do. His understanding is unsearchable. Ours is pretty faulty.

  • But this God knows we’re weak and limited creatures, and this God responds to that: he gives power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless. Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted; but those who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. God gives us enough, God gives us what we need – wait for it…

  • Story: “He’s just not that into you…” (recent book/movie) I could really be getting it wrong, but as I understand it, this is about knowing “it’s not you.” Nothing wrong with you. You’re a great person. He’s just not that into you. Get over yourself, get over him. You know what? You can do better than him anyways – go out there and go get ’em!

  • Well, we’re just not that important. Let’s get over ourselves on this. The world does not depend on us. It depends on God. We’re faint, powerless, weary, exhausted, and we’re allowed to rest. God’s still in charge.

  • And yet, to God, we are so important. So beloved by God, more accurately. To God, nothing is more important than us. Jesus absolutely shows us that the kingdom is about healing, teaching, setting people free from unclean spirits and whatever else holds them captive. God clearly wants us to be instructed in God’s ways, God wants us to be healthy, God wants us to know we are free from sin and death in the power of his love and life. As disciples of Christ, citizens, above all, of the kingdom, we’re about teaching, healing, setting people free, serving with love, pouring ourselves out for the sake of our neighbors, for the sake of the world. God has given us so much that God wants us to share with the world, and we get to do that. Our whole lives – everything we have, everything we are, everything we can do, is a gift from God!

But we’re not Jesus. We need to rest.

  • Take time to rest and renew yourself. Engage in spiritual practices – prayer, silence, writing, walking, yoga, gardening, making things, fixing things, mindfulness in daily activities. Not as new obligations, but as gifts.

  • Simply be grateful for God’s grace, for the wonder of creation, for the beautiful and amazing person God has created you to be. Gratitude changes your life.

  • Have patience, wait for the Lord. Discernment. We’re not called to do everything or be everything to all people – honestly, I kinda want to talk to Paul about that, maybe even refer him to a therapist. You’re great, but you’re not Jesus, man… 🙂 Take time to really, truly be honest with yourself – about who you are and who you’re not. Don’t have to be who you’re not.

  • Be self-confident and self-aware, non-anxious, unafraid. Be the person you are. Be the church we are, not as we think we need to be, not as maybe we once were, but what God has made us to be now, doing what we can, organizing in the way that makes the most sense for how God has gifted us. Don’t have to fit a mold. Just be the people of God, as God has enabled us to be.

You who are faint, weary, exhausted, young and old together, wait for the Lord. Let God speak. You will hear of how you’re loved, named, claimed, gifted, gathered, and sent – that’s being mounted up with wings like eagles. You shall run and not be weary! You shall walk and not faint! Amen.