God’s desire for the world is not that a few succeed, while the many suffer. God’s desire is for us all to thrive as one body, as one people, as one creation who live and love in a peaceable union. This was not the world before COVID-19, and it is not the world today. So yes, we have work to do, essential work to do, and it does not take our gathering in this building to do that work.
Paul helped structure the early church to live into God’s desire for the Church. Only, hierarchy and power perverted that design. Building up bigger buildings for ourselves, the church in America looks very little like what Paul envisioned. To reclaim that vision is challenging, but it’s necessary work to become who God has created us to be.
The gifting of the Spirit at Pentecost gives us the rawest and truest glimpse of God’s desire for the church: to be the living witness and testimony to the goodness of God in the world. Everything else the church does should be to better serve this purpose.
We begin Lent in the wilderness, because it is in our wilderness that Christ most closely declares, I walk with you … Christ too has wandered in the wilderness, and his victory is our victory, for neither death nor evil shall overcome.
You can’t love on the people around you if you don’t know them and know what they’re going through. We are gifted with the Spirit who leads us out into the world to speak such that others may hear of God’s great love.
We tend to act, talk, and think in ways that acquiesce to societal pressures and norms. Yet, God calls us to get past the false pretenses and live in to our grace-given gifts. It takes intentional work to be authentic, but that is Paul’s teaching on living faithfully.
There are many who write as if heavenly infallible regarding predestination, but the topic is far to mysterious to claim perfect knowledge. In this sermon, Wesley offers only “a few shorts hints,” which perhaps may cast some light on the Romans text regarding predestination.
Don’t be a Christian enthusiast (like a bull-horn corner preacher), or a rational reductionist (like an enlightenment scholar), but allow the Spirit of God and your own Spirit testify that you are a child of God.
Paul says that those who are in Christ Jesus have no condemnation. What does he mean? Who are they that are in Christ Jesus? How is it they have no condemnation? John Wesley explains in his sermon, “The First Fruits of the Spirit.”
Let’s Face the Music and Dance: The doctrine of the trinity would tell us that God is dancing cheek to cheek to cheek, much like Irving Berlin, Ginger Rogers, and Fred Astaire.