“As far as it depends on you.” Romans 12:9-21

“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all”

Romans 12:18

 

There is a feeling in society that the church is losing its relevance that this thing called the “Body of Christ” no longer is in touch with the post-modern world. The question is where is the starting point of the conversation?  If the starting point is defined by personal agendas, then yes, the church is irrelevant.  God sent Jesus the Christ into the world to redirect our attention from ourselves and establish a relationship first and foremost with God. The Christian faith, the church, is all about relationship; first with the way, the truth, and the life which is Jesus Christ, then with one another.  St. Paul lays out the very definition of the Christian faith, which is all about how we relate to and love those around us just as Christ loves us.  When Jesus walked on the earth, he ate, drank, and related to people, most of whom did not share his commitment to God.  Yet he loved them, and cared passionately for them.  Jesus did more listening and celebrating than he did judging and preaching.  In other words, Jesus, in all his relationships, shared the amazing grace of God to all people; he listened a lot, laughed a lot, and loved the people more than they were ever loved before.  The people who met Jesus were transformed because Jesus cared about them enough to witness the love of God through his commitment to the truth grounded in God’s grace. So what happened to the people that were touched by Jesus?   Did their lives change?  Yes!  Did they come to know Jesus as their Lord? Yes.  Was the Word of God relevant to how they lived prior to meeting Jesus? No.  The Christian journey begins with turning back to God, confessing who we are and seeking to live a life of grace through Jesus, and witnessing a faith that offers hope, peace, and the grace that only God can offer.  When relevance is based on God’s grace, then every relationship we have depends on our abiding relationship with God and our commitment to share the grace of God, even with those who may not look like us, think like us, or act like us.  Bottom line is, it is all about God, and God’s grace shared through Jesus Christ.  Open your arms and your heart to those around you; you will be blessed as you will be a blessing. Thank you Jesus for the privilege to serve.

Pastor Tom

 

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