For Everyone Who Knocks, the Door Will Be Opened
Rev. Thomas Cary Kinder
The Congregational Church of the United Church of Christ,
July 24, 2016 Tenth Sunday after Pentecost
Psalms 138; Luke 11:1-13
The 138th Psalm has a surprising verse. The Psalmist has walked in the midst of trouble and is surrounded by enemies. Imagine what you would ask God to do for you under those circumstances, in a time of trouble or conflict. The Psalm says, “On the day I called, you answered me,” and we expect it to say that God gave the Psalmist what we would want, like help fixing things, or triumph or escape, but instead it says, “You increased my strength of soul.”
Maybe that is the answer to every prayer. Maybe that is why we pray. God responds to our prayer by increasing our strength of soul, and when others know we are praying for them, it increases their strength of soul.
The increase of the strength of one soul in the world has a positive effect that ripples out farther than we can see. The first and perhaps most important thing every one of us can do to help this world is to call out to God in prayer and let God increase the strength of our soul. Nothing could help us more in a time of trouble or conflict.
There is a similar surprise in today’s gospel passage. Continue reading Sermon, July 24, 2016