The idea that these are our “marching orders” as people of God seems lovely doesn't it. If only we could actually live this way. Pastor Todd asked the congregation on Sunday how many of us actually followed all of these instructions. The reality is, we don’t do so well at keeping up with giving to others and/or caring for others in such a generous way. Some may even say it would be foolhardy to believe that one could live in this way.
And yet - this is what we are called to be living out, as people of God. And those are some high standards. It is no wonder to me that so many church goers are called hypocrites and that it is difficult to find young people in our churches. When we take the time to really dig in, to what we say we believe our calling is as people of God, we find that we cannot possibly live up to the criteria. We instead find ourselves in constant failure.
Or we set ourselves up to believe that there was one who could live in this “impossible” way, with these high standards. And He came to show us how. And we join together every week to remind ourselves that in God all things are possible. We do not naively believe that we are perfect, in fact we know that we are far from it. It is because of that knowing that we gather with one another each week to ask for forgiveness for our failings and ready ourselves to try again. Because we know that we are children of God, we know that we are not perfect, but we also know we have a perfect God. And we believe, by the Grace of God, that we can have the vision and the energy and the hope to keep working at showing to whom we belong.
Pastor Todd ended his teaching sermon by saying/praying, for us “Lord, I have failed you this week in more ways than I can count, but I thank you that I am still your beloved child, and that you have never given up on me, no matter how badly I have failed, you have never given up on me. Help me to never give up on my enemies. Help me to never give up on those beggars, help me to never give up on those who challenge me day in and day out…Lord, I am your beloved child. Thank you, forgive me, send me out better.”
We can each work on being and becoming better a little at a time. And we each can be better. How are you doing with your tasks this week in following Christ?
Peace, Pastor Erin