Thoughts and musings on faith and our mighty God!

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News to Share

Reading: 1st John 1:1 to 2:2

Verse 2:2 – “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins; and not only for our sins but also for the sins of the whole world”.

1st John opens with some excitement in the writing. In his words we can still sense the excitement related to the recent resurrection. John bases his authority to proclaim the gifts of eternal life and salvation from sins on his firsthand experience hearing, seeing, and touching Jesus. The opening section concludes with, “We write this to make our joy complete”. John receives joy from sharing the good news of Jesus Christ.

Coming off Easter Sunday we too should be full of good news to share with those in our world. Yesterday we joyously celebrated the risen Lord. Will we go out into the world sharing the joy? Will you?

John goes on in the remainder of 1st John 1 to encourage us to walk in the light. He writes, “God is light; in Him there is no darkness”. We must walk in the light to remain connected to God. John writes of the benefits of this choice. First, we have fellowship with one another. Second, we experience the forgiveness of sins through the blood of Jesus. For our part, we must confess and seek to repent of our sins. John also acknowledges the reality of sin in our lives. He reminds us that we do walk in darkness, in our sin, at times. John also warns us not to claim that we do not sin because then we “make Him out to be a list”. Don’t want to do that!

In 1st John 2, John goes on the address when we sin. He reminds us of two important details in our battle with sin. First, Jesus speaks to God on our behalf. He stands between God and our sins. Second, Jesus is the atoning sacrifice. He has already paid the price for our sins and, in fact, has paid the price for the sins of the whole world.

All of this is indeed good news worthy of sharing. There are none more in need of hearing this news than our broken and hurting brothers and sisters who are living lost lives. If we do not share the stories of the power of Jesus Christ in our lives, how can they come to know the healing and redeeming power of Jesus Christ in their lives? Yesterday we were reminded that we are Easter people, that we are resurrection people. The good news is always good. It is always worthy of sharing. May we each live our love of Jesus out loud each and every day, helping others to walk in the light of God’s love. Lord, give us the strength and courage so that it may be so. Amen.

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A Family of Faith

One day Peter preached about Jesus, repenting of sin, and being baptized into faith in Christ.  Baptism was the sacrament that celebrated the commitment of one’s life to following Christ.  On this one day many people heard Peter’s words, felt his passion, and felt that little tug upon their own hearts.  3000 responded and we baptized on that one day.  3000!!

Each of these ‘new’ Christians returned to their homes and daily lives.  But they were different because now they were filled with the Holy Spirit.  And through this faith and indwelling of the Holy Spirit, they were each connected to the larger body of Christ.  This commonality allowed them to come together as a community of faith where they could sustain this newfound belief and could begin to grow in this faith.  As they gathered they could help and encourage one another.  They could practice that love of neighbor that Christ called them to.

Like they, we are also made to be in community.  Each of our Christian communities is important to us because it is centered on this love of Christ.  To encourage and love and support and pray for each other, we come to know that couple or family or single person that sits down from us in the pew or row.  And they come to know us.  We notice if they are missing or if something seems different about them.  And they notice these things about us.  It becomes our family.  They become part of our family and we become part of their family.  This Sunday, when we gather, may we see ALL as our dearly loved brothers and sisters in Christ, all as part of the family.