Ok ... admit it. Every one of us has those complaints floating around in the back of our minds. They are sometimes suppressed but are often they come out in unhealthy ways. We are angry because the world is going downhill in a hurry. We are upset because we see evil people get away with their crimes. We are puzzled why the world seems to work in a way that evil persists. Just remember, next time you feel this way, that your feelings and your complaints are not new, unique or even uncommon. They have existed for the entirety of human existence and they are expressed in the pages of a little Old Testament book.
There is a little book in the Old Testament called Habakkuk. It was written (probably in Jerusalem) in the 600's AD by an obscure prophet. It is part of the collection of books called Minor Prophets, minor because of the amount of material. Habakkuk, the book, is a series of complaints followed by God's answers to the complaints. The book will be the foundation for my Lenten series of sermons this year, because in this time we reflect on the nature of life, people and God. Why doesn't God listen to our complaints? Why does it seem that life itself is out to get us? Why does God tolerate wrongdoing? Hard questions and sometimes vague answers. And they are still our questions today.
My sermon series will be called ... Even Though. Because God is here, God and active even though I do not see Him. Habakkuk came to this conclusion and his prayer of trust is printed on the banners in the Family Life Center. Read them, and you will see the hope Habakkuk had for God's faithfulness. Take these words to heart before you buy into the next episode of negativity you hear on talk radio or TV. Because you must decide where you will live your days. You can wallow in fear, negativity, grief or self-pity. Or, you can do what Paul said ... set your eyes on the things above ... all that is pure, right, holy and light.
For the Easter message is that in the midst of pervasive evil, human cruelty, betrayal, torture, corrupt courts, evil church leaders and fickle people, "Sunday is a comin!" Praise the Lord! Randy