John 3.16 (CEB)
God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him won't perish but will have eternal life.
Salvation is a term that is life giving and extravagant. In it is the promise that our lives whatever it might be at the moment, is filled with hope. As followers of Jesus, Christians are invited to see in his life and words, death, and resurrection that we are not so much being saved from something; but instead, we are being saved to something.
The Gospel of John understands salvation to be about abundance. And in the gospel we encounter several instances like when:
Jesus turns water into a bunch of wine (John 2.6);
Jesus feeds the 5000 men (not counting women and children) and the leftovers took 12 basketfulls to
contain (John 6.12-13);
Jesus talks with the thirsty woman at the well and offered living water so that she might thirst no more (John 4.14);
And of course, like the extravagance that salvation is for all (John 3.16-17).
Abundance for the Gospel writer means fullness and the sharing of it with one another. Salvation is eternal life that begins here and now and goes on forever. It includes you and me and everyone that God created. It is unwarranted to be sure, but it is ours to grab hold of and shapes everything about us. It is our beginning and our end. This salvation is what we breathe and live every day saving us to find life in excess.
Sunday we are looking to the Old Testament reading from Isaiah and in it we will hear the call again and our response, “Here am I! Send me!”
Grace and peace,
Proverbs 16.24 (NRSV)
Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.
As many know I love Pentecost Sunday. It is the Sunday that we talk about the Holy Spirit. It is the Sunday that we witness its movement and what began with a few disciples following Jesus turned into a church that follows Jesus. Pentecost's color is red signifying the boldness of our witness and our set apartness that invites us to live our faith out loud.
This Sunday in worship, we will witness to how the Holy Spirit continues to move. Through the lives of the PasPorte Youth, they will testify through the language of my favorite desserts how we are united together in our experiences. How the goodness of God, the sacredness of our lives, and the sometimes stickiness of an adventure of faith collide together.
I hope you will make sure to join us as we come together to worship God as we are led by faithful followers of Christ who are moved by the Spirit to utter words of truth. May we be amazed and astonished by what the Holy Spirit continues to do. May we be strengthened by the ever unfolding, expansive nature of the love of God shown to us in Jesus and empowered in us by the Holy Spirit.
So remember to wear your RED and together we will worship God on this special Pentecost Sunday.
Grace and peace,
Daniel 2.21 (CEB)
God is the one who changes times and eras, who dethrones one king, only to establish another, who grants wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those with insight.
The turning of the page, the falling of a leaf, the night taking over the day and day taking the night, are all transitions; movement from one state of being to the next. Essentially, this means that change and transition are also around us. Though we might long for stability, what is more apparent, is that in life things fluctuate.
Yet, I wonder, how much change/variation/fluctuation can we tolerate and what determines what we adapt to and what we do not. I mean there is only so much of something that I can take. The same TV show gets boring after a while. The food that I loved as a child, now tastes not so much like food at all (sorry Zingers and Fun Dip).
What doesn’t change is our invitation to be Christ for one another. We are to do things like be generous with our time, act in love towards everyone, and be generous with our resources. And it is these values that don’t trade well in our market driven world. Love and life can either be cheap or it is the most transformative things in our lives.
So Sunday, I think this is where we are being led to consider “Love is Life” as we reflect again on I John. A life, we are reminded, is wrapped up in the love of God expressed in the life of Jesus Christ. And I bet that this life and love will have bearing on our lives individually and our life together.
Grace and peace,
Husband, father, minister, child of God, follower of Jesus Christ writing in the context of La Porte Community Church