This sermon is part of the sermon series "Remember Who We Are (Part 1)". See series.
A few years ago I read a story in the Chicago Tribune with the headline, "City Tries to Pump Up Its Crews Down Under." There was a new guy in charge of the Chicago Sewer Department, and he wanted to boost morale, so he organized a pep rally at the Plumbers Union Hall. Eight hundred people showed up. There was a big banner on the wall behind him that said in huge letters, "Bringing Sewers Above Ground." The new boss shouted, "Winning is not a sometimes thing. It's an all-the-time thing!" And people cheered. I suppose it's a challenge sometimes for sewer workers to feel pumped about their work.
You folks come to church each Sunday from all sorts of difficult places. Some offices, of course, are filthier than sewers. Some schools are darker than the underground tunnels. Some family situations reek to high heaven. A lot of you spend your week trying to keep the gunk off your hearts, trying to keep your souls from smelling like a cesspool. Many of you come from places where Christians get no respect, from families or companies or classes where your faith isn't well-received, where you are the outsider, where you make people uncomfortable.
I think of Sunday mornings as a time when God's people get to come up from the sewers and put on their white robes for awhile; they get to do priestly things together in the presence of the Lord—offering sacrifices of praise, saying prayers as fragrant as incense, dining at a sacred table.
The writer of Chronicles wanted to pump up God's beleaguered people who had returned to their devastated land from 70 years of exile. So he focused their attention on their nation's glory days with God, 500 years earlier when David was king. He spent a lot of ink telling them about how David brought God's ...
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Lee Eclov recently retired after 40 years of local pastoral ministry and now focuses on ministry among pastors. He is the author of Feels Like Home: How Rediscovering the Church as Family Changes Everything and Pastoral Graces: Reflections on the Care of Souls (Moody Publishers), as well as being a frequent contributor to Preaching Today and CT Pastors. To learn more about his Pastors' Gatherings visit www.leeeclov.com.