Sixth Sunday after Pentecost
|The word of the Lord can be hard to give--and hard to receive
The word of the Lord is near
Love, How Deep
358: Dear Lord and Father of Mankind
388: O Come and Dwell in Me
|Do things that are good
God shows us His ways
People That on Earth Do Dwell
417: O For a Heart to Praise My God
698: God of the Ages
|Luke 10:25-37||Do as the Samaritan did||413: A
Charge to Keep I Have
561: Jesus, United by Thy Grace
|Colossians 1:1-14||Life in Christ is active!||385: Let
Us Plead for Faith Alone
444: O Young and Fearless Prophet
Words by Charles Wesley
Music from the Foundery Collection
Tune Name: SAVANNAH
"Religion." What is it? One definition from Webster (and there are several more!) goes something like this:
1. The outward act or form by which men indicate their recognition of the existence of a god or of gods having power over their destiny, to whom obedience, service, and honor are due; the feeling or expression of human love, fear, or awe of some superhuman and overruling power, whether by profession of belief, by observance of rites and ceremonies, or by the conduct of life; a system of faith and worship; a manifestation of piety; as, ethical religions; monotheistic religions; natural religion; revealed religion; the religion of the Jews; the religion of idol worshipers.
Does it sound a little bit confusing? Well, it is. Aren't you glad that God didn't write it? People can make things so much more complex than they need to be!
Paul and Timothy sent their greetings to a new congregation of the church that had been established in the city of Colosse. This young church had received teaching from many sources, and had heard of the mighty acts of God as the Spirit moved in the lives of Christians. Paul and Timothy encouraged the Colossians, praying for them to be filled with the knowledge of God's will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding "in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light."
Wow! What a mouthful of blessings! But what does it mean? Take some time to meditate on this scripture passage from Colossians. It is so full of encouragement and inspiration.
Charles Wesley understood how complex and profound the truths in the Word of God can seem. Wesley also understood the simple building blocks that people could (and should) use in order to grasp and apply those profound truths. This week's featured hymn carries the simple theme of Ephesians 2 ("by grace you are saved through faith . . ."), and for that reason it is often associated with that passage. But this hymn doesn't stop there. It continues working through several building blocks of Christian life. Faith in Christ shows in what you do. It is an active faith. It is a faith that perseveres. It is a faith that is simple to follow, and at the same time it is a faith with profound meaning. Think about faith, and how it is manifested in us, as you read the words of this hymn:
|1. Let us plead for faith alone,
faith which by our works is shown;
God it is who justifies,
only faith the grace applies.
|2. Active faith that lives within,
conquers hell and death and sin,
hallows whom it first made whole,
forms the Savior in the soul.
|3. Let us for this faith contend,
sure salvation is the end;
heaven already is begun,
everlasting life is won.
|4. Only let us persevere
till we see our Lord appear,
never from the Rock remove,
saved by faith which works by love.
Accept the simple building blocks of living the Christian life. Know the profound depths of it, too. And let that "profound simplicity" show in your life from day to day.
God bless you--
|Passages suggested are from The Revised Common Lectionary: Consultation on Common Texts (Abingdon Press, 1992) copyright © by the Consultation on Common Texts (CCT), P.O. Box 340003, Room 381, Nashville TN 37203-0003. Reprinted with permission of CCT.|