April 3, 2022
Confirmation Message - A New Heart
Scripture: Psalm 119
I invite you to listen to some ancient words from Psalm 119 and search them for what they could mean for you today:
Verse 105: Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path
Verse 114: You are my refuge and my shield. I have put my hope in you.
Verse 89-90a: Your word, O LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens.
Your faithfulness continues through all generations…
We’ve had a strange, wild ride for Confirmation this year, I think.
Here’s my main point: I am looking forward to making MORE and MORE memories with you.
Because SERVING and LEARNING with wonderful young people like you renews my heart and faith.
Did you know that simply by SHOWING UP to Confirmation, others have been encouraged?
That’s the POWER of YOU – the power God has given you that JUST in SHOWING UP, you can bring others light and hope.
YOUR FAITHFULNESS can impact generations that have come before you AND generations that come after you.
Some of you have chosen to be confirmed today – some of you have said “ I need to wait and think and learn a bit more.” All of you have listened to your heart and I respect that. Sometimes life gets so busy and overwhelming, we don’t take time to slow down and listen to our hearts. Sometimes our hearts can feel old, tired and broken no matter what age we are. So why is the title of this message A NEW HEART? Because, as you know already, there are times in our lives our hearts are disappointed, crushed and even broken. Yes- even when we choose the path of Christian and follow in the footsteps of Jesus, our hearts can become sad and discouraged.
Think about this for a second – how many times in your life have you wished you could start over – take back the words you said – choose a different action or doorway to walk through?
Where do you go when it feels like your heart has a glitch…?
where do you go for a Heart-Re-Boot, a Heart Tune Up? I know you talk to good friends, family members – but I’m here to remind you that you can always go to the One who Created your heart in the first place to help you feel renewed. I chose the three scriptures from Psalm 119 at the beginning to help show you how to do it. Listen again to what this clever poet said in Psalm 119 which is 176 verses long!!!! Don’t worry, I only chose three to focus on.
READ, PRAY, WORSHIP & SERVE
To wrap this up, I formed an ACROSTIC to help us remember what we’ve talked about today. An ACROSTIC IS a poem, word puzzle or other composition in which certain letters in each line form a word or words. In fact, Psalm 119 itself IS AN ACROSTIC where each line of each stanza begins with a letter from the Hebrew alphabet! So I worked on this on Friday and here’s what I came up with:
“WORPS” – that’s not inspiring me, then I thought of…
“PRAWS” – for Pray, Read (and)Worship, Serve – still doesn’t sound right
Then I found it….
“SPRAW”- if I add an L there’s a real word – and I think God is ALL for laughter – so let’s add an L to the word for God’s gift of Laughter and we get SPRAWL
That means to spread the arms and legs out carelessly in an untidy way while sitting or lying down…think of when your dog or cat is REALLY relaxed and on its back with all its legs spread way out – A true SPRAWL is when you are letting everything go and feel you are in a safe space to do it.
By the way, the Urban Dictionary has a slightly different definition for the word sprawl, but we don’t need to use that one.
Let’s see how we can use SPRAWL to help us remember to go to God when our hearts hurt.
The last words John Wesley was said to speak before he died were these: “The best of all – is God is with us.” Those words mean a lot to me, and I hope something I’ve shared today can mean a lot to you. Through all life’s trials, I’ve come to this conclusion: There are no guarantees in life except this: God loves us and God is with us through it all. SPRAWL out in God’s love and let your heart be made new and healed.