Slake Thirst, Sharpen the Saw: Sermon Series

finnish lumberjack
Finnish lumberjack in 1944

It’s easier to get fast food than to learn to make nutritious meals.

It’s easier to blow a paycheck on exercise machine that will sit in the basement than to coordinate a sensible schedule of diet and exercise.

It’s easier to take a self-help quiz in a magazine or on Facebook than to do the hard work of seeing a therapist.

It’s harder to keep in conversation with God than to turn to God in desperate prayers. “Last minute may be our preferred mode but it’s not God’s,” said Rev. Jana Purkis Brash in her sermon, “Thirst,” based on the lectionary verses from Jeremiah 2:4-13

“Beneath the  surface of the Jeremiah text is the theme of God’s covenant relationship with the Hebrew people. It was a hard sell. We have a huge appetite for novelty, and we are apt to forsake ordinary cistern water for fancy bottled water. But bottled water won’t slake our thirst for very long.”

Stephen Covey’s “7th habit of a highly effective person” is to “sharpen the saw.”  Covey tells about lumberjacks who keep sawing away, back and forth, with their dull saw because they are “too busy” to stop and sharpen it. The longer they work, the less effective they are. It is easy for them to imagine if they just keep going they will succeed. There is something soothing, even hypnotic, about it.

Worship is like sharpening the saw. Day in, day out, we need to do it, to be still, to devote time to prayer. As Jeremiah predicted, the cistern needs to be kept on good repair – it is our means of grace.

When our blade is sharp, and our cistern is full — God is with us, even in the anxious times.

Gather with your brothers and sisters in Christ, remember your baptism, come away from the Communion table renewed and refreshed.