God’s Got You!
Are you worn down this week? After the headlines and the slow pressure cooker of being socially distanced and the world’s renegotiating of the social contract, are you feeling exhausted or exhilarated?
We are followers of Jesus Christ. All this summer as we have been reading Paul’s letter to the Romans, we have been faced with the grace of God given despite ourselves, his Spirit’s work within us to make us a new people to bring his grace to the world, and our work to learn to live in that reality.
Last week we were reminded to live not according to the selfish desires of our fleshly, evolutionary selves, but according to the direction of the Spirit now dwelling within us. This week we learn how that Spirit even prays through us, in sighs too deep for words.
As we prepare for Sunday’s worship, I ask you: Are you living according to the Spirit? Are you able to get out of the flesh-mind while you are stuck at home? Or have you devolved into binging on self-pity and Netflix?
Some days I am a spiritual rock star. I pray deeply and easily. I study the Bible and see how it applies immediately, and when I do not I think wisely and compassionately about it. But lately, I have a lot more head-full-of-rocks days than rock-star days. It helped to get away last week. My prayer life and study were both refreshed by having time away to rest and recreate with my family.
What will refresh you? What can you do to actually restore your soul? Can you take time for a good long conversation or a day of silence?
If you cannot, fear not. God has you. Paul encourages us that God is working through us through the Holy Spirit at work in us, but then he comes to this in Sunday’s reading:
“Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. -Romans 8:35-39
You belong to Christ, and through Christ you belong to God his Father. You are held securely and safely in his love. Nothing can separate you from him. You have nothing to fear.
So be bold! Love generously for you are provided for. Give wildly because you have all you need. And follow wherever he leads, because you know God loves you and will see you through until we are all home.
Jesus, in this Sunday’s readings, reminds us that the Kingdom of God is like a mustard seed. This is one of those sneaky, mind-blowing parables. I will tell you about it on Sunday. But to get us in the swing of the season, we are bringing our favorite mustard to our online coffee chat.
Do you prefer brown, yellow, gray, or Dijon? Show us on Sunday. See you at church!