We had a great service Sunday night baptizing four young people. We followed the baptism service with some great food and fellowship. Sunday morning I preached a sermon “Slightly Healed” from:
Jer 6:14 “They have healed the brokenness of My people superficially, Saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ But there is no peace.
Looking at the context of Jer. 6:10-16 I compared then and now to determine if we are in the shadow of God’s judgment now as we were then. Everyone was greedy then and now, the Hebrew word comes from the word for covetousness but it includes the idea of getting something for nothing. From the rich to the poor, I compared the bundling of sub-prime mortgages with good ones to sell them to others as if they were worth something like selling someone a box of peaches after putting the rotten ones on the bottom. Wall street loves to get something for nothing. That’s Wall Street but it is the same spirit working at the bottom of our society as everyone is looking to get something for nothing. Working side jobs while collecting unemployment, working under the table while collecting disability and willing to say whatever it takes to get that extra chunk of food stamps or government assistance. We are all looking to get something for nothing.
The word of God was offensive to them as the bible is offensive to us as a society today. There are hundred’s of them so I chose one example of the valedictorian not allowed to quote scripture in the graduation speech. In Jeremiah’s day they didn’t even “know how to blush”. Our local school paper included the mandatory salute to the homosexual agenda with an article about a visit to Saint Louis’s gay parade. She finally could find comfort with her sexuality being around others who are struggling with the same issues about sexual identity as she was.
The context is a message to a nation where all of the leaders are reduced to deceit and dishonesty. No one is really allowed to identify what the real issues are. We dance around truth as we throw more and more money to “slightly heal” whatever the wound is.
The premise of the sermon was a figure that 70% of female heroin addicts were sexually abused as children. Young men who were sexually abused are 25 times more likely to end up as heroin addicts. The point is that the wounds that these people carry cannot possibly be healed through our normal funded methods of treating them. So we “slightly heal” them as we ask for more funding to keep trying to help them.
The mixed up student knowing they have a body of one sex but seem to have a desire to have the body of the other sex and they get “slightly healed” when they submerge themselves with others of the same persuasion.
A woman with no husband gets a minimal government support for her and her children but it is only designed to “slightly heal” her economic circumstances.
The article discussing the wounds of the addict pointed out the need for proper counseling being made available. There are not enough therapists and there is not enough money in the world to pay for proper counseling to all of the hurting people. So every government or private do good program can at best “slightly heal”.
The last point of the sermon I used the old statistics from 1994 about Teen Challenge and their 86% success rate in moving addicts off the drugs. Sounds like a good program to invest our resources in. Well, no because the reason given for the success was the “Jesus Factor”.
We finished with the passion of
3 He was despised and rejected by men,
a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering.
Like one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4 Surely he took up our infirmities
and carried our sorrows,
yet we considered him stricken by God,
smitten by him, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
A third of the way through the sermon we had a father and son visitor come to hear a sermon that met a need.
The Conclusion – “Come unto Me”