Grace and Peace to you,
My sisters and brothers in Christ
The Good News is,
We are justified by grace through our Faith
What does that mean
For us as people of Faith?
How can we cling to God’s Word
What the Creator God is calling us into
To Love one another,
And to do,
Do the work that the Risen Christ has left us,
And what the Holy Spirit burns within us,
This sense of mission and…
I posed a question
Whether or not
We are aware
As to the impact of how God has changed
Through our personal testimonies
About our Faith?
This tug of war within our hearts
Mixed up in our souls
Of being faithful to God’s Word,
And failing miserably
This dichotomy of saint and sinner
That stews about our subconscious-
This constant anxiety
Have we lived up to God’s standards?
This striving towards spiritual perfection
From the Creator God-
Just as we humans
That we have done well,
Think about our childhood!
Didn’t we want to hear,
When we hung up that crayon drawing
“Oh how Wonderful! Good work!
Or displayed the “A+” on that test
This need for approval
Based solely on our works
Translates over into our faith lives
But its this pressure that we place on one another
This idea that God will only reward us
Only after God has seen us
Hard at work
Or how we have suffered for our faith!
But we somehow keep forgetting
That CHRIST suffered,
So that WE COULD LIVE!
We keep forgetting
That the limitations on God’s Grace
And the restrictions on God’s Mercy
Is what Humanity decided
If you don’t accept Jesus Christ
As your personal Lord and Savior
Right this minute,
That God will abandon us, discard us-
Never mind the power of the Resurrection
Never mind that Jesus
Reached out to those
Who weren’t even His followers
Healing them, Forgiving them
Raising them from the dead
Because THAT IS
What God, our Creator
Sent Jesus HERE
Because of UNFAILING LOVE!
Christians mistakenly feel that they
Have the audacity to stipulate
Who should be saved
Who should be served at the Table
And who should be left behind
But we are justified by Grace through Faith!
Proudly adhere to the Gospel,
Here in Romans
We claim proudly
This man called Luther,
Who he was
Who we should mold as our identity,
A man who truly had a Pentecostal FIRE
Who experienced the presence
And power of the Holy Spirit
Who routinely flipped all the tables
Disgusted about how the Church,
Bled the poor
“Save your families souls!
Give us your last dime!”
Who got angry
And called out
The ecclesiastical authorities
On the Carpet
Who took the Gospel message into the streets
Among the people
In and with his faith-
So then why?
Why do we as followers of Christ, hold back?
Why are we
Afraid to get our hands dirty?
Why are we so hesitant to live out
Why do we find it so easy
To follow the Law
The Apology of the Augsburg Confession
The 95 Thesis
BUT WE CANNOT LIVE
INTO THE PROMISE
Of the Gospel,
Luther strived to emulate
Luther heard God speaking
Into his heart
“Having been justified,
Peace we have
Through the Lord
Here is this FREEDOM
Because of the REDEMPTION
Through Christ’s sacrifice!
That we have the ability to live out our FAITH
That we did not have to hold back,
Or be ashamed,
Because we clearly hear,
Through God’s Word
Through our struggles
And because we struggle,
God cradles, God encourages, God molds us in Faith
Because we feel God’s presence
We can endure, persevere as a community of Faith!
We are not alone in this fight
For Freedom from the darkness,
From the abyss which tries to drag us down
Telling us we are worthless
From the negativity spewed out of this world
Causing us to turn our backs on one another
Trying in vain to shout down the fullness
Of the Good News of Jesus Christ
That Jesus Christ SAVES!
Because of the Resurrection POWER!
We are saved by grace through faith,
What do we do now?
Someone aptly observed
“The doctrine of justification
Does not mean exemption
From the Christian’s responsibility
To serve others,
It assures us,
It proclaims to the world
As followers of Christ
I don’t want Jesus Christ to be my PERSONAL
Lord and Savior,
I do not want to just keep this Good News all to myself
Because I know the Goodness of God,
Because God LOVES ME,
God LOVES US
Whether we are immersed in ministry and mission
Or whether we simply surround one another in prayer
Or whether we just share the Good News
Because of the presence of a Risen Christ
Who because of his death, and resurrection
I know, we know
We will never, ever be alone
And Because the Holy Spirit pushes me
Nudges us off that cliff
Into the waters of service, into community
There’s too much that needs to be done
In this place.
In this world.
We, as Christ’s followers
Are called to make an impact
To knit together piece by piece
The beloved community
What is Christ calling you,
Where is Christ calling us
Thanks Be to God.