Community in Action August 18, 2020

“If someone else thinks they have reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more”

    I was born into a white middle class family with both parents gainfully employed. They were highly educated. We had our own car, our own house, and at Christmas time I got more than I ever asked for. My future was bright, my pedigree stellar, and I was an only child. I am male, tall, and have no obvious deformities. When I speak most people listen and retirement, at this point, will be an option.

    “But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ." 

                                Philippians 3:4b-7

    Yesterday I watched the YouTube video of our worship service. I am amazed at how seamless Jerry has been able to incorporate the prerecorded songs done by the Praise Team into the service. Being outside with Dean and Nanette singing I didn’t know what I was missing.

    I did notice that for yesterday on the YouTube video and I believe over our Facebook live feed many of you didn’t get to hear verses 5 and 6 of chapter three from Paul’s letter to the Philippians.

    Above is what Nanette and I read. If you notice verses 5 and 6 (the ones in italics) are not what you will find in your bible. You see, I wanted to make this section more contemporary so I replaced Paul’s story with my story in this section of scripture.

    I listed some of the advantages, the privileges, I had when I was born. I suffered little from physical wants and I certainly had the advantage of well educated parents who encouraged me as I grew up. There was nothing to hold me back from choosing a variety of vocations as I entered adulthood.

    As I have received rewards or accolades from employers, friends, and family along my journey I can say my life has been good, even at times great, and a few times stupendous. Yet there is nothing which would replace or rise above the opportunity I have in being in Christ.

    Sometimes I may question whether being a Christian is really the greatest opportunity in the world, but overall when trouble brews on the horizon or my journey takes me into dark places I know that I am not alone. I have a companion who never grows old, never remains silent (for a long time anyway), is always ready to listen and provides me with other companions with whom to journey.

    The good news is that we aren’t stuck with who we are forever. We not only have Jesus guide us, but he also will enable us to grow into the creation God had in mind for us from the beginning.

    It is good to acknowledge what advantages we have had and remember others may not have had such advantages. It is also good to strive to become more like God would want us to be. So let us give others grace when they don’t meet out expectations, the same grace we need to give ourselves when we disappoint.

    Let us also celebrate the gift of Jesus we have been given and know that this gift is even more important than all the privileges we have ever received. Whatever we have achieved is nothing compared to the gift we have been given as Christians.

    Celebrating the gift of Jesus with you,

    Pastor Randy

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