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The River of Life

Our nation is trying to recover from the trauma of the worldwide COVID 19 pandemic. We’ve made some progress, but I don’t think we’ve paid the psychological bill that is due.

As a nation, our collective desire coming out of this thing is that we just want life to be “good again.” If we could just go back to the way things were.

We’re not much better in the church. We only sort of want God. What we really want is life to be good again and for life to go back to the way it was before this awful interruption. If God or the church seem to be helping with that, wonderful! If not, we’ll deal with that later after we chase down the good stuff.

But it doesn’t work. It can’t work. Vacations can’t solve our deep issues of the soul. More Amazon purchases won’t help either.

In the sixth century BC, Jeremiah lived in an era of stress and doom, too. Israel was staring in the face of her own looming national trauma. Here was his warning:

Be appalled at this, heavens; be shocked and utterly desolated! This is the Lord’s declaration. For my people have committed a double evil: They have abandoned me, the fountain of living water, and dug cisterns for themselves— cracked cisterns that cannot hold water.” (Jeremiah 2:12–13) That’s a picture of us attempting to fix things on our own – trying make life good again.

In this sermon series, we’ve talked before about the enemy’s plan for desolation…for believers to fall away and abandon their faith. Are his plans working?

For months on end, our souls experienced trauma, disappointment, loss, fear…the loss of hopes and dreams. Graduations postponed or cancelled. Dream weddings traded for Justices of the Peace. Babies were born and welcomed into the world through glass and masks. Loved ones passed away alone.

This is certainly traumatic, but what of the church – the people of God? Since COVID, church attendance has decreased (some say) by 40-50%. Many churches have closed. Forty-two percent of pastors are considering quitting.

This is desolation. Wilderness. Death. What we need is life – living water – the life of God in us.

Join us Sunday as we finish our sermon series “Manifold Witness” with my sermon, “The River of Life.”


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New Life Church, Denton