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Reformer, Par Excellence

**Search and you will find** (Luke 11:9).
Genesis 18:20-32; Psalms 138:1-3,6-8; Colossians 2:12-14; Luke 11:1-13

Sermon Topic Spiritual growth

Sermon Week Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle C

Scripture Summary Luke 11:9


The author of "Treasure Island," Robert Louis Stevenson, once wrote a little essay called "The Reformers." He tells of four reformers who feel very strongly that the world needs to be changed -- radically changed. But how? They search and they search for answers and, finally, the four meet under a bramble bush to discuss their findings ...

"We must abolish property," says one.
"We must abolish marriage," says the second.
"We must abolish God," says the third.
"We must abolish work," says the fourth.

On and on they go with ideas on how to get things turned around ...

"The first step," says one, "is to abolish the Bible."
"The first step," says another, "is to abolish the laws."

Finally, one of them sums up the search's ultimate solution ...

"The first thing," he says, "is to abolish mankind."

We're here today to celebrate the Good News that the Lord Jesus had a better idea. Matthew's Gospel tells us that from the first moment of His public ministry "Jesus began preaching with the message, 'Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is close at hand.'" (Mt. 4:17). Repent! That means, "Turn things around ... change ... start living in a radically new way ... reform! Jesus came into this world as the Reformer Par Excellence. Then He said, "Do not imagine that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete them" (Mt. 5:17). This statement represents the spirit of Jesus' entire ministry: a series of demands for rebirth and renewal.

It happened on "Omaha Beach," during the big World War II invasion of Western Europe by Allied troops. A Navy radio crew was desperately trying to function under extremely hazardous conditions. Said the officer in charge ...

We were under attack by enemy planes. At one point, I heard one of the bombs whistling through the air, close by ... very close. Terrified, I hollered, "Hit the deck!" The bomb went off only thirty feet away and all of us in the crew were showered with rocks and dirt and shrapnel. When the crisis was over, we slowly got to [...]

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