Thursday's Thought for Sunday's Service 

January 26, 2017

Ouch.

God seeks to make a priority to save the least and the lost.  It's the ever-present biblical idea that God has finger on the scale to balance things a bit.  I.e. all who are in the Kingdom are on the same footing, regardless of status.

It’s a message that those who are mature in the faith know well and draw strength from. Yes, the landscape of the Christian life is often humbling ... but there is also something about it that’s always heartening.  Innumerable people over and over prove this by how they remain and persist in the faith.

Even in the face of pain, struggle, and limits, why does inspiration still come and the work continue?  Perhaps because faith’s practice repeatedly invites one to the point of having to depend totally upon graceful action.

This is not an easy lesson.  By its nature, learning to trust in faith may be an intermittent practice, but an invitation to a greater fulfillment always remains.  If trusting in God highlights a path which leads to places that are more vulnerable and less secure, well...

It relates to us all.

This is because our vulnerability is ultimately shown by death. To let go of a loved one, a friend, even someone we barely know is a painful lesson.  Where does one look now to find affirmation and reinforcement?

Thinking of the dying cup

frequently pulls me up short.

I therefore suggest, 

look to Christ who lifts us up

with love, grace, help, and support.

 

Pastor Rich Wagner

 Dear Friends,

This week’s Thursdays thought for Sunday’s Service is based upon Matthew 5:1-12:

“Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them. He said: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who Were before you.”

                                             (Matthew 5:1–12, NIV)

     

I sometimes wonder if I do things the hard way on purpose, that a lesson just wouldn’t sink in like it would unless there was some measure of pain involved.  Rereading this great sermon of Jesus for the umpteenth time, I find myself thinking about the poor in spirit, those who morn, the meek and can feel a lesson coming… like being pulled up short to pause and reflect regarding all the effort I put into looking good only to be reminded of my church calling which persistently points to my theological understanding, that none of my self-aggrandizing endeavors do any good.