Memorize & Ponder for Sunday April 19-26, 2015
Grieve Sin and Celebrate Grace
2 Corinthias 7: 16 (Full Reading – 2 Cor 7: 5-16) (NRSV)
because I have complete confidence in you.
Being the Church in Christ: Wisdom from Pastor Paul
(The Brentwood Sermon Series for 2015)
Throughout 2015, the Christian community at Brentwood Presbyterian Church will be considering how to be the church in Jesus Christ, guided by the wisdom of Pastor Paul. We invite you to listen for what the Spirit is saying in the text, then question how those insights might change the ways you see things and act in the world. Share your thoughts during the week on the meaning the Spirit creates for you in this text by posting a comment on our website – www.brentwoodpc.ca.
A Provocative Pondering
Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful. And let us provoke one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together … (Hebrews 10:23-25a)
When I was growing up in the church, one of the consistent messages I heard was “Don’t be confident! Don’t be arrogant! You are a sinner in need of saving. You are defined by your foibles and failures. Never forget that!”
And I have not forgotten.
But I have changed my mind on how I should understand and respond to that negative thread of thought in the Christian tradition.
Here’s where I am now, especially shaped by the kinds of conversations we have been having together here at Brentwood over the past several years.
I am being offered by God – through the redemption of the world achieved in Jesus Christ, made real for me by the work of the Holy Spirit – a humble confidence in God’s ability to use me to bring about his Commonwealth of justice, peace, and beauty.
I am free to accept that offer and live the true and full life God has fashioned for me in this world and the next.
To do that is to flourish in faith, hope, and love.
That thread of thought, a voice much louder in the Scriptures than the one about being a miserable sinner, is what lay at the heart of Paul’s rejoicing and confidence in his fellow Christians in those early years of the church.
Can you accept that dignity and worth? What prevents you from living in it fully? What can God do to help you remove those barriers to a flourishing life of faith, hope, and love?