Sunday, July 4, 2010

Pentecost 6 (Proper 9)

Happy Independence Day! In lieu of spitting out another of the assorted patriotic posts, here's one showing where our true affiliation should lie. Today's readings were Isaiah 66:10-14; Galatians 6:1-10, 14-18 (sermon text); and Luke 10:1-20. Sorry for formatting typo, below.

Our country is known as the bastion of freedom; this includes free exercise of religion. Appropriately, Galatians - declaring Christian freedom - is our text. We are free not to sin, but to serve Christ. Fruits flow from our freedom - we produce fruits of the Spirit, forbidden nowhere. Now for the text.

Four points may be gleaned from Galatians.
  1. Admonish sinning brethren in love (not self-interest, as is too often the case in my and other families) and gentleness. They are called "brethren" because Christ has adopted the other person as well as you, by His blood. Sins separate us from Christ. You don't want your brother to go to hell! - so you go to great lengths to gently rescue and restore, not falling into sin yourself.
  2. Christ's law tells us to bear each other's burdens - not sins, but things like loss of a job or having a child with special needs. Also test your own work so that you do not boast in superiority. Turn first to Christ, then to your neighbor.
  3. Concerning pastors, stewardship means giving back to God, caring for church workers. Sow in the Spirit, reaping eternal life.
  4. Concerning personal conduct...live and walk in the Spirit! Do not grow weary of doing good, for your strength comes from God, who gives you rest. Do good to all, not expecting a reward. Boast only in the cross.

Soli Deo gloria.

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