Wooden cross in Good Shepherd Chapel



The Key

Lent 2018

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.

Matthew 7:7–8

Ever since I was a young boy, I have despised shopping. Waiting in lines, hoping not to get a door ding in the parking lot, and browsing various retailers is neither appealing nor relaxing to me. So I don’t go to malls. In fact I don’t shop at all. I just order from home. Perhaps you do this too. I can explain it in two words: “Amazon Prime.”

I can seek out almost any product and in two days, for free, there it sits at my front door. Just recently, I received some sermon and chapel visual aids: 12 inflatable aliens, 2 red hoodies, a rubber shark, and a 9-foot inflatable beach ball. I would love to see the poor guy’s face who bundles my orders together!

Amazon is great; you just place the order, wait in anticipation and there it sits at your door…most of the time. Due to the high number of Amazon deliveries stolen off front porches (about 5,500 a day), Amazon released a product called “Amazon Key.” Simply put, it is a smart lock that allows curriers to unlock and open your door, delivering your packages inside.

In this world, there are many temporal items you and I buy to find fulfillment. Things we believe we have to have, things that we need and need now, temptations that are daily laid at life’s door, and things that can be stolen away at a moment’s notice.

During the season of Lent, we take time to reflect. An open evaluation highlights both that which the Evil One has sold us and that which sin has stolen from us. God himself recognized this problem. However, He does not sit idle allowing it to continue, but comes to our aid with a perfect solution.

The Lord gives to us a precious key. A deliverer who forgives when we ask, gives direction when we seek, answers when we knock, and by his efforts opens the kingdom of heaven for us. Stop waiting in the lines of the world, shopping for solutions that fade, and dreading the inevitable dings of life. Celebrate with me the life-altering news of forgiveness and deliverance gifted for you. I can also explain this in two words: “Jesus saves.”

Rev. Jeremy DaPena '01
Shepherd of the Desert, Scottsdale, AZ

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