We live in a confusing world where judgment is too often misconstrued as the way of God. This is one of the world’s greatest lies. Notice that the criminal who rejects Jesus isn’t rejecting God’s judgment but God’s love. In a sense, the criminal who rejects Jesus condemns himself.
music. art. spirit. life. The arts and prayer are part of everyday life, whether visual, musical or theological. Though they are not as much the source from which life comes as the means that relates all of life to the Eternal Source. This is a process of ever deepening relationship. All of life is an opportunity to co-create with God, the one Source of all that is and all that will be. For me, living as a follower of Jesus in the Anglican tradition is grounding for all of life.
Folks at St. John’s, particularly those in attendance at the 10:30 anniversary hymn sing…please take a moment to reflect upon this this week. It is my invitation to you on this anniversary Sunday as your interim incumbent. I ask that you enter more fully into a time of discernment for God’s call in your personal life and for the life of this congregation remembering that it all started centuries before, when God’s sent his Son into the world.
To sin is to deny the God-given dignity within one’s self and within others, denying the true worth of life redeemed by Christ. There are consequences to the “you-can-have-it-all” “do-whatever-I-want” lives that some say is what it means to live in freedom. This, however, is not true freedom, because it causes others to stumble.
The Feast of All Saints gives an opportunity for each of us to personally review how we are living our lives and to make corrections to our “Rule of Life” as necessary. This is what we are called to do. It is what we promise to do in response to the grace God gives to each of us through our baptism. Our faith is what carries us through this life, and it is what will carry us into God’s presence when we die.
Sometimes we might feel like we’re not good enough to approach God in conversation; sometimes we might feel like what we have to say to God doesn’t matter, doesn’t God know it all anyway? Often times we feel the pressures of the day and simply don’t feel like we have time for daily prayer. Those are valid concerns. And, sometime someone will say, “Well, we’ll just leave that up to the prayer warriors…and, well, that’s just not my gift.” But, it is everyone’s gift. That’s the gift of our relationship with God…it’s for everyone, not just a few certain choice people. That’s what the Pharisees thought, too. But, as we hear, it is not true.
God is a faithful God and restoration is God’s business. Notice that it is God that does the work of reaching out to the people, working in our hearts and in our lives in order to establish a lasting covenant between God and God’s people. This new law will not be like the previous ones. It will be a new covenant that will bring about a new way of life.