Promises, promises. We like to make them and we think that we can hold each other to them. Consider those we have elected to the federal parliament. They will talk and they will promise. We mere mortals demand that we get effective political leadership and that everything must go smoothly into the vision of whatever the utopian ideal we have set for ourselves. We hold up democracy as the way to live in a pluralistic society and yet we seem to live frozen in fear that someone is going to come along and shatter that dream and we aren’t going to receive what we have been promised. We see such things all over the place and particularly in the media. In fact I can remember when my wife and I were getting ready to be married there were many people who kept telling us that the odds were that more than half of the marriages would fail to live up to their promises and would fail to be life long bonds.
Oh yes we like to make our promises and yet we forget that there is a need to keep them. It is not so with God. Even when we prove faithless and our word is shown to be something else that true. When we don’t live up to what we have promised God is still faithful and chooses to live up to what he has promised. The Scriptures reminds us that, “if we confess our sins (God) is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9) So maybe it is good news that ministry – all ministry, whether it is lay or ordained, personal or public – is about God. God almighty calls you and I into mission and ministry with him that he might work in us and through us to change us and to transform this world so that it might come back to the relationship it was meant to have. God desires to have you come with him and serve him that he can use you to impact the world around you. God has promised to bring people back to him and he is going to use you and I to do that.
Divine Promise is more than just the simple things. Being poor is not alleviated by lots of money. You can be a billionaire and still be poor. You can have everything that the world can offer and still be in jail. You can go and offer yourself to this world and this culture and find you are held captive by it. You will never be free if that is the way that you choose to live. The promise of eternal life and the freedom of serving God might not compare well with what seems sexy or right in this world but then this world is changing because God is at work in it – drawing people to himself.
What promises have you made in your lives that are unfulfilled? Promises to a spouse? Promises to a child? Promises to a friend or a colleague? What have you promised God that remains left between you?
Let us take this opportunity to recommit ourselves to honouring those things in our lives that will honour both God and neighbour. And let us listen for the voice of God that we might be encouraged to keep going and keep faithful this week, in Jesus name.