A Devastation is Planned

16th Sunday after Pentecost
Scripture: Jeremiah 18:1-12
As we take up Jeremiah’s text today, we see that God is planning a devastation. The information we have is an excellent 3-point sermon.
1. The pottery shows the presence of God as the divine Potter. He may turn at any moment and change the circumstances of our lives if we repent from our evil ways.
2. The clay represents mankind being made as the potter has desired. He will remake mankind when we fall by the wayside. He created us in His own image, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply.”
Mankind is the clay, which is warped as we stray from His love and grace. Still, He is willing to remold us and make us able to walk in the fullness of His love and grace. I sense that mankind has strayed very far from God’s presence today. God desires to remold and make us as the potter did the clay when it was not perfectly formed.
Jeremiah’s mission was to call the stray ones back to the fold of God’s care.
We must repent of our sinful ways and return to our Lord, Jesus the Christ. No matter how far one has strayed, nor how far the depth of that straying, Father God has the power and the will to lift us up from the miry clay of our sinful acts.
In the story of the prodigal son, our Lord is the Father in the depth of the Father’s love for us. We all know the story, but have we really grasped the depth of God in the earthly father’s actions of love for his fallen son? There’s nothing that compares to the love of Christ the way the love of that father does. He yields the return of his fallen son, and when he sees him coming down the road (a sight no parent wishes to see their offsprings in), he doesn’t hesitate. Rather, he runs to meet him, throws his arms around his neck, and hugs him. I imagine there are tears of joy streaming down his face.
He calls one of his servants, saying, “Bring a robe for his body and a ring for his finger. Kill the fatted calf. We’re going to have a celebration.”
The scripture states, “There is more joy over one sinner who repents than for 99 who do not stray from the fold.” One of the greatest sins in the world today is that we do not celebrate the returning sinner coming home as the scripture tells us to.
Many of us in the fold think we are really good because we did not stray. We have completely lost sight of the depth of our own sinfulness before the Lord touched our own lives and made us whole in His loving grace. The Christian churches today are full of retired Christians. They believe they are right with God and that they have nothing more to do for the assurance of their spot in the kingdom of God in heaven.
They are equipped by the Lord, but they have strayed from the path of righteousness because there’s no retirement for the faithful disciples of Jesus Christ. We don’t sing out in our lives and our souls, “Savior, like a shepherd, take my hand and lead me that I may be a faithful worker in your vineyard today.”
The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few.
Tomorrow we will celebrate Labor Day, thanking the Lord for all the joys and riches we have obtained with the different gifts God has equipped us with in labor. Still, when was the last day you prayed and asked the Lord to give you wisdom and strength to labor for His faithful kingdom? We pray, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
May we pray that the love and actions of our lives will be offered in God’s laboring, drawing others from the wilderness of sin and death that He has drawn us from. We should pray that they may glimpse the blessed love of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen!