“You Are Enough, You Are So Enough, It’s Incredible How Enough You Are” March 10, 2019
“You Are Enough. You Are So Enough. It’s Incredible How Enough You Are”
Welcome to what we are all hoping is the last hoorah of winter—and our reward for this is that we get to lose an hour from this beautiful day. But that’s not a big deal. It is, as you’ve probably noticed, the first Sunday in the season of Lent. You see, I have always considered the idea of Lent to be important. It’s a good thing to set aside a period of time to pause and reflect: to look at the things that give our lives meaning and give thanks to our God any and every chance we can along the way. It’s kind of like a spiritual reboot. Now, if you have to exercise some sort of denial program, if you want to give up something for Lent, to make it all work, then wonderful. But my promise to you is that we won’t spend these 40 days of Lent dwelling on how miserable Jesus must have been when he spent 40 days in the wilderness. That’s where the idea of Lent came from, after all. So we won’t moan and wail about the lack of food and water; we won’t ooh and aah at his super human strength against the hot sun and the bugs and the scorpions. This isn’t a Bruce Willis movie. Instead, we will spend these 40 days living in the promise that God gives us all: the promise of redemption, the promise of salvation to those who believe. Yes, I believe we’re all ready for some good news. This Lenten season I believe we’re ready for a renewal, a renewal of our faith.
We talked a bit during the Ash Wednesday service about the 51st Psalm, especially the line where David asks the Lord, “Restore unto me the joy of my salvation.” Restore unto me the joy of my salvation; I want that joy back.
You might be wondering about the sermon title for today, so I’ll admit it right off, I stole it. It came from a piece written by David Lose and I didn’t even read the commentary. I didn’t need to because the title said it all. “You Are Enough. You Are So Enough. It’s Incredible How Enough You Are.” Kinda wordy, I guess, but it rolls off the tongue nice. You see, while reading the gospel text from Luke, I was trying to figure out “What’s the true secret of temptation? What’s it all about?” Well, naturally I started thinking about the tricks of the trade in the advertising business and that opened up an interesting train of thought. But then I stumbled on Mr. Lose’s title, “You Are Enough.” Oh, really? You’re never going to sell a new car that way. You want that customer to believer that they are “that close” and all they’re going to need are heated seats and the extended warranty to be so incredibly enough that they’re not going to believe it!”
And it dawned on me that was what was going on in the temptation of Christ. “Ooh, you look kinda hungry. Go ahead, turn those rocks into bread. There’s no sense being miserable.” But Jesus quoted back to him from Deuteronomy, “It takes more than bread to really live.” I am enough.
Next, when Jesus is offered all authority and splendor of all the kingdoms of the world if only he will bow down and worship Satan, he quotes Deuteronomy again by saying, “It is written: Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.” I am so enough.
Lastly, from the highest temple in Jerusalem Satan tells Jesus to leap to the ground to prove that the Lord will save him. It’s a cheap shot and it’s laughable. “Do not put the Lord your God to the test,” he replied, which is what Satan had, in fact, been doing all along. It’s incredible how enough I am.
This story, “Jesus Tempted in the Wilderness” should have a different title, but for the life of me I can’t think what it might be. You see, I can’t believe he was ever really tempted by any of that nonsense. This important event occurred more for our benefit than anything else. It teaches the value of trust, in teaches the value of obedience, and mostly it teaches that confidence in God’s promise is a big part of our faith.
We were all born with gifts and in the eyes of God all that really matters is how we use the gifts he has given us. I look in the mirror and wish I had a jaw line like Paul Newman, but I don’t and never will. It is enough. But I have the gift, I have the capacity, to reach out and help thousands of disadvantaged people in this world. It’s a gift I don’t use as much as I could. Wouldn’t you know that it would take buying a jar of Paul Newman Spaghetti Sauce to bring that to my attention. It’s good stuff and most of the profits from his food sales go to charities.
So let’s work on it – a renewal, a reboot, a path to restore unto our weary souls the joy of our salvation. Because collectively as the church, as the body of Christ, we are more than enough.
Amen & shalom