Community in Action February 1, 2021

For I am convinced that neither death,

nor life, nor angels, nor rulers,

nor things present, nor things to come,

nor powers, nor height, nor depth,

nor anything else in all creation,

will be able to separate us

from the love of God

in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:38-39

    I think most of you know this is in my top ten favorite verses in the Bible. It is one which calls me back to God’s embrace when I feel so far away from my maker. It is a verse which reminds me that there is nothing I did, I am doing, or will do which will separate me from God’s love. It is the key verse I recall when I feel surrounded my hopelessness and it gives me hope.

    This verse tells me that no matter how poorly I feel about myself, no matter how much I feel like I haven’t lived up my to my potential or I have failed God in my calling, God is there for me. I am redeemed through my faith in Jesus and that is why Martin Luther always said, “Remember your baptism.”

    Of course some of us were baptized as an infant, we had no say in the matter, but at some point we confirmed what the sign of baptism means, that we have chosen to believe in God’s redeeming grace through Jesus. 

    One way I remember my baptism is when I am walking down the aisle of a garden center and I see the discounted plant space. The plants are usually a bit more tattered and worn and sad looking, than the ones on the other shelves. I can’t help but buy one every now and then. I long to give it a place in our yard or on our window sill. I long to spend time watering it, nurturing it, encouraging it to take root, grow, and blossom.

    I think that is also why sometimes I will purchase products from the store which are slightly damaged. Like yesterday when I bought a can of frozen orange juice. It was battered a bit, a dented top where I could see some of the juice starting to leak out, but was restrained but its frozen nature.

    I know it is silly, but I felt sorry for that can, knowing that it would be passed up by others which were better in appearance, others which hadn’t lost any of their contents, others which inside were no different than this marred can of orange juice. I wanted to redeem it back to its original purpose. Just as God longs to redeem us.

    It doesn’t matter how much we feel like damaged goods or a failure in life or lacking in worth because we aren’t “productive.” God loves us and longs to embrace us with love. We are God’s creatures and we are called to be part of his family.

    So next time you need a “pick me up,” go to the garden store or walk the aisle of the grocery store and buy something which isn’t “perfect.” It will remind you of your baptism or your relationship to God and if you don’t have one know that God loves you anyway, but God would be ecstatic if you joined the family.

    Thankful for the mercy and grace of God with you,

    Pastor Randy

Bible Search
Contents © 2021 John Knox Presbyterian Church • Church Website Builder by mychurchwebsite.netPrivacy Policy