Created with Purpose

Sunday, September 8, 2019
Pastor Mark Aune

Genesis 2:4b-7, 18-25

Dear friends in Christ, grace and peace. Amen

Did anything unexpected happen to you this past week?

And if it did, what was it? Can you recall?

Was it a good thing, something that brought a moment of joy or a feeling of encouragement and hope? I suspect if you are the parent or the grandparent of a school aged child something like this happened for you this past week.

Or was it a difficult thing? A disappointment, a put down, a loss of some sort or some really bad news?

Do you pay attention to how you respond when the unexpected happens in your life?

Whether they are things that bring joy and encouragement and hope or things that bring disappointment, loss or bad news, how do you respond?

How we respond to the unexpected matters and it says something about who and what we are.

This morning we begin a new series of weekly bible readings at the beginning of God’s book in Genesis 2.

In the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens, when no plant of the field was yet in the earth and no herb of the field had yet sprung up—then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being.

Take in the magnitude of this story – in the same day that the heavens and the earth were made by God, in the same day when the universe was brought to life, God breathed the breath of life into the man and the man became a living being.

God does the unexpected and we understand right at the beginning of the bible’s story that God’s purpose is to give life.

God has breathed the breath of life into your nostrils and you are a living being. This is the definition of the unexpected. God gives life. God breathes life into you and me.

Did you wake up this morning and realize that God’s breath in your body is the epitome of expecting the unexpected. I did not think about that when I woke up this morning. I was thinking about worship and everything happening here this morning.

But when I do think about it, when I am aware that God’s breath is my life, I better understand what my purpose in life might be and why God has given me this unexpected gift of life.

If you think you are here only because of a random biological event and nothing more, then you do not fully understand the role of God in your life and why you are here.

For what purpose did God place you on this earth? Do you know? Have you discovered what it is? Are you still looking? Are you confused about what it might be? Are you afraid to seek it out and is it different now than what it was 5 years ago, 10 years ago, or 30 years ago?

Everyone’s purpose – every single one of us – our purpose in life is unique to who we are and to who God has created us to be.

To discover what that purpose might be is an unfolding and exciting discovery in each of our lives. And it changes, it evolves, it stops and starts and there are challenges and joys.

What I’m talking about is a process, a discernment, yes even a spiritual practice of understanding and living into the reality of who you are as a child of God’s creative purpose.

And when we understand that our purpose in life is grounded in the very breath of God, we are better equipped to handle and respond to the unexpected that happens in our lives.

Do you notice how the man handles the unexpected in today’s reading? It is natural and it flows seamlessly out of the man’s relationship with God.

Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner.”

So out of the ground the Lord God formed every animal of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name.

The man’s unexpected purpose is to name the creatures God forms as God seeks to find a suitable partner for the man.

The man participates in creation. The man has purpose and meaning and is equipped to handle the unexpected because the man is in relationship with the one who gave him life.

He doesn’t even have to think about it he just does it and yet it doesn’t turn out as expected. A helper fit for the man is not found.

 So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then he took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man.

This at last is bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh and a suitable partner is found for the man. The unexpected becomes an occasion for God to provide, create and make it possible to move forward.

When our lives are aligned with God’s purpose and the unexpected happens, God is there to direct and provide and make whole. And because we are in relationship with God we are better equipped to respond and keep moving, to keep living when the unexpected happens.

This is where faith meets life right. You know what I’m speaking about. As a parish pastor I have witnessed more times than I can count how people whose purpose in life is aligned with God’s purpose in their lives are incredible equipped to face life when the unexpected happens.

The unexpected happens. How will you respond? What will you do? Where will you get the strength to keep moving forward?

You ask for prayer and the community commits to praying for you and thru the power of prayer you are given purpose and the power to face the unexpected.

But in order for this to happen, you need to be part of a community that is committed to prayer.

You need to be part of a community that understands prayer is God’s purpose and our purpose in life.

Perhaps a bible verse comes to heart and mind and that word is alive with meaning and purpose and you know God is speaking directly to you, equipping you for the unexpected.

The Lord is my shepherd.

Fear not for I have redeemed you, I have called you by name. You are mine.

I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.

But in order for this to happen you need to read your bible. You need to somehow get God’s word into your life in any way possible. You need to be part of a community that understands and uses the power of God’s word when the unexpected happens.

Maybe you will be the unexpected presence of God in the life of someone in need of God’s breath of life.  Jesus tells us that out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water. Perhaps you will be the living water, that breath of life which changes everything for someone in need.

But in order for that to happen you need to know that your life is in alignment with God’s life and that you have been created with purpose and meaning to be God’s very presence in this world and to not be afraid.

Do not be afraid to let the light and the love of God flow through you in order for the breath of God to give life to someone else.

You are created with purpose.

God has given you everything you need for whatever life brings your way.

You can expect it. You can count on it. And because of this promise we can say thanks be to God. Amen

Past Sermons