On Sunday, June 27th we will livestream our service 10:00 a.m. service through our YouTube channel: ParkviewUCC The link will be active on Sunday at 9:55 a.m. or as a recorded option after that.
From Pastor Debi - 7-14-2021
Written On Our Hearts
After church one Sunday, someone dear to my heart asked me if I could put the last part of my sermon in the church newsletter. The words had meant something to her, and she wanted some people she cared about to hear them for themselves. A request always appreciated by the preacher. So here is the last third of the sermon on the text Jeremiah 31:27-34.
This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, "Know the Lord," for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord (Jer. 31:33-34a).
I will write it on their hearts. Not on their minds, not on their bodies, not on their hands. They need not understand it with their intelligence, or their appearance, or with their hard work. They will not be held to the letter of the law. God will write God’s word on their very hearts.
So what will God write on the hearts of God’s people. What has God written on my heart and your heart and on the hearts of all humanity?
1. You are enough. Just the way you are. You have everything you need to live a good life. The world will always tell you that you need more, that you should be more, that who you are is not enough. But I made you from dust, I created you in perfection, you are who I made you to be. You do not need to be more than who you are to live in covenant with me. I know you, I hear the beating of your heart, and you are enough just the way you are. I wrote who you are on your heart, and you are enough.
2. You are beautiful. Beautiful on the outside and the inside. If the world tells you you are ugly, or that you need to be thinner or you need to dress better, or you need to go to the gym or buy the latest beauty product – if you measure yourself by the standards of the world, know that the world is wrong. I made you with a beautiful body; I gave you a beautiful face. And your beauty emanates from the beauty of your soul. Your eyes reflect your joy, your voice expresses the feelings of your heart, your body carries your passion, your posture tells of the way you love yourself. Your beauty is a reflection of all you feel – anger, passion, joy, hurt, gratitude, awe. Your are beautiful. It is written on your heart.
3. You are strong. You can do hard things. You can stand up for what is right, you can walk away from what kills your soul. You can take a chance that others see as foolish; you can hurt in a way that no one else understands. You can fight for those you love; you can risk your life for what you believe to be right. You can chase big dreams, you can say no when enough is enough. You can try again when you have been beaten down, and you can risk being hurt again to follow your heart. I have created you with a strength that will persevere.
4. You are good. You know in your heart what is right and what is wrong. When you listen to the quiet voice of your conscience, you will stand up for the weak, you will give to the needy, you will fight for the hurt and the despised. You will admit your blind spots; you will take responsibility for your privilege. You keep your promises; you do what is right even when no one is watching. You will make mistakes and you will forgive yourself and try again. My laws are written on your heart, and they speak to you and you know what to do. Because deep inside, you are good.
5. And finally, and ultimately, and most importantly, I have written on your heart that I love you. You, yes, you. Imperfect, weak, sinful you. There is nothing you can do to make me love you less; there is nothing you can do to make me love you more. My love is not earned. I love you because you are enough, because you are beautiful, because you are strong, because you are good. But more than all that, I love you because you are you.
Now there are people in this broken world who do not live these truths. They live in violence and hate and selfishness and greed. But God has not written this evil on their hearts. In every beating heart there is the possibility of God’s love redeeming even the most lost of souls. Even when we do not understand or approve, these truths are written on the hearts of those we would call enemy or evil. There are always going to be people who become consumed by hate, or by violence, or by poverty, or by plain old evil. But these truths – that you are enough, that you are beautiful, that you are strong, that you are loved – these truths can redeem the human heart. These truths are at the heart of the message of Jesus, who taught peace and love and justice and hope in the face of the most despicable of evil. God’s covenants are not false because they are defied. The truths of God’s covenant are the hope of humanity in the face of overwhelming evil.
So say it with me.
I am enough.
I am beautiful.
I am strong.
I am good.
I am loved.
When we can believe these truths, we can be changed and we can change the world. Pastor Debi