SERMON TITLE: “Trust in the Lord”
SERMON TEXT: Proverbs 3:1-10; Psalm 22:4-5; Jeremiah 17:5-10
PREACHER: Rev. Kim James
OCCASION: March 24, 2019, at First UMC
Maybe you’ve heard this old joke:
“How do you know you live in a small town?”
“You can dial a wrong phone number and still talk for half an hour.”
If you don’t understand that joke, it’s because you’ve never lived in a small town or you’re too young. But even we older people realize that times have changed a whole bunch. No longer can you dial just the last four digits, or even the last seven digits. Now, to get a phone call through to the right person, we have to dial all 10 numbers and maybe even put a 1 in front of that. Of course, none of that matters if you’ve already programmed the number into your contacts list. Then all you have to do is find the person’s name and push the button.
But what has changed even more than how you place a call is how we answer phone calls. Instead of grabbing for the phone and answering it every time it sounds, we cautiously screen our calls by ring tones and caller ID. If we don’t recognize the number or the name that comes up, then often we won’t answer it at all. We figure, if they won’t leave a voicemail or send a text message, then it probably wasn’t important. Our default assumption is that the caller was a salesperson, someone seeking a donation, or a scam artist. If we do answer such a call by accident, then we have to maintain a super-skeptical perspective about whatever the person says. For most of us, the days of trusting that the caller is a relative or friend are long gone.
That caution learned from years of experience is what protects us from costly mistakes. But sometimes in life, we do still need to let down our guard a bit and trust other people. Whether we like it or not, we often have to rely on professionals like doctors, tax preparers, and plumbers. We all need family, friends, and neighbors who provide a caring support system that will stand by us. A congregation certainly can and should be a trustworthy community. But—as today’s scripture readings tell us—no matter how good our human support system is, the best thing we can ever do is trust in the Lord.