SERMON TITLE: “Awesome God of Assurance”
SERMON TEXT: Luke 8:28-36
PREACHER: Rev. Kim James
OCCASION: February 27, 2022, at First UMC
Many of you have asked me about my vacation. Since it fits well with today’s scripture reading of the Transfiguration story, I’m going to tell you about it. To get to our destination, Steve and I drove through southern Idaho and across the middle of Oregon. Heading west on US Highway 20, we drove from Ontario, Oregon, through Burns. As we drew nearer to the city of Bend, we could see the Three Sisters mountains poking up above the horizon. All three of the Sisters are above 10,000 feet. We could also see the tall peaks of Mt. Washington, Mt. Bachelor, and Three-Fingered Jack—all in the Cascade Mountain Range. On that day, those snow-capped peaks shone brilliantly against the blue-sky background and fed our hunger for the visual beauty of God’s glorious creation.
When we reached Eugene and headed south to Roseburg on Interstate 5, we could see that we had entered a new season. On the west side of the Cascades, spring was coming fast. The hillsides were covered in lush green grass. About half of the deciduous trees and bushes had already leafed out. Over the next several days, we noticed many trees in blossom. And, in small flower beds, and in big fields next to grazing sheep, we saw bright yellow daffodils showing off their splendor. Of course, being near the coast, there was also some fog. When we visited Bandon, Coos Bay, and Reedsport, a cold and rainy front had moved in, so instead of walking on the beach, we found some strategic spots where we could enjoy watching the crashing waves from the comfort of our parked car.
Our trip to western Oregon also included some important visits with Steve’s mother and Steve’s two brothers and their wives. All of that went well.
Coming back home, we followed a storm that had hit the Cascades and left several feet of new snow. Fortunately, the plows and sand trucks had been out. It was slow going, but no new snow was falling. The blur of a constantly-mud-splattered windshield and the dazzling brightness of the snowy landscape made vision a little challenging sometimes. We were constantly taking our sunglasses on and off because the skies were alternately mixed with sunshine and clouds. When we got back into Utah, we felt the relief of dry and clear roads and the assurance that we were almost home.
So, yes, we had a nice week away. It gave me a lot of opportunity to reflect on our “Awesome God” theme that we have been focusing on this month and, specifically, on the Transfiguration story from Luke 9. With images of dazzling, snowy mountains and foggy, cloudy uncertainties, I invite you to experience with me our awesome God of assurance.