A Call to Service

Grace and Peace to you,

My sisters and brothers in Christ

The Good News is,

We are justified by grace through our Faith

But,

What does that mean

For us as people of Faith?

How can we cling to God’s Word

And ignore

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…

Amen

 

(pause)

Last week,

I posed a question

Whether or not

We are aware

As to the impact of how God has changed

Our lives

Through our personal testimonies

About our Faith?

(pause)

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?

(pause)

This striving towards spiritual perfection

Searching,

Reaching

For acknowledgment

From the Creator God-

Just as we humans

Crave acceptance

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

“Good Job!”

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!

(pause)

But we somehow keep forgetting

That CHRIST suffered,

DIED

So that WE COULD LIVE!

(pause)

We keep forgetting

That the limitations on God’s Grace

And the restrictions on God’s Mercy

Is what Humanity decided

See,

If you don’t accept Jesus Christ

As your personal Lord and Savior

Right this minute,

That God will abandon us, discard us-

(pause)

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

To do

Because of UNFAILING LOVE!

And yet,

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

(pause)

But we are justified by Grace through Faith!

We,

As Lutherans

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,

Right?

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

The immigrant

The hopeless

DRY

“Save your families souls!

Give us your last dime!”

(pause)

Luther,

Who got angry

And called out

The ecclesiastical authorities

On the Carpet

Who took the Gospel message into the streets

Among the people

Who was

RADICAL

VISIBLE

CHALLENGING

In and with his faith-

So then why?

Why do we as followers of Christ, hold back?

Why are we

As Christians

Afraid to get our hands dirty?

Why are we so hesitant to live out

Christ’s commandment?

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,

The FREEDOM

Through

The

CROSS?

(pause)

Luther strived to emulate

Jesus Christ

Luther heard God speaking

Into his heart

“Having been justified,

Therefore

By faith

Peace!

Peace we have

With God

Through the Lord

Of us

Jesus Christ”

(pause)

Here is this FREEDOM

Because of the REDEMPTION

Through Christ,

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,

God’s Love,

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!

REDEEMS

RENEWS US

Because of the Resurrection POWER!

Yes, beloved

We are saved by grace through faith,

So,

What do we do now?

Someone aptly observed

“The doctrine of justification

Does not mean exemption

From the Christian’s responsibility

To serve others,

Rather..”

It assures us,

It proclaims to the world

That we

As followers of Christ

Will serve.

(pause)

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

My HEART

My SPIRIT

SOARS

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

So,

What is Christ calling you,

Where is Christ calling us

To serve?

Thanks Be to God.

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