Fall is in full swing in Philadelphia, displaying brilliance, beauty, and color all around us! The trees are aflame! What a demonstration of glory! With exquisite beauty all around us, I join my voice with all creation and praise God for all he has made!
This week, Caleb and I made presentations on the subjects of God, life, creation care, and care for the oppressed to a group of teenagers. We talked about how, when we accept Christ into our hearts, He changes how we live. Christ in us affects what we do, what we say, what we buy, what we wear, read, listen to, and so on. Instead of this being a restrictive ‘check list’ of things to remove from our lives, this is God’s desire to usher us into the best way of living, a meaningful life, conscious of those around us. Galatians 5:16 counsels us to “walk by the Spirit.” As we do, the fruits of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness and self-control – become more and more a part of our lives. The good crowds out the other ways we lived and by God’s work in us, they drop away.
Why are we so resistant to this idea of all-out transformation? Our lives are often compartmentalized, and it seems that we want God to stay in one part of life, but not to affect other areas of life. However, as God transforms our lives, it means that we become more and more conscious of the way we choose to live, and how we relate to God, people and planet. It means we realize that our decisions affect those around us, and those on the other side of the world whom we will never meet.
God wants your head, your heart and your hands – meaning our faith and experience (the stuff of our head and heart) affect the way we live (our hands).
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” – Mary Oliver
What do you plan to do with this great gift – this life you have been given?
- Pastor Tara VinCross
When fear, worry and doubt encroach, it’s good to stop and remember that life itself is a gift. While talk of recession, depression and plummeting stock prices carry on around us, to sit in peace – knowing the God who daily gives us the gift of life, is the one who will sustain us no matter what comes our way.
As Abraham Joshua Heschel says:
“We become consumers. The surest way to suppress our ability to understand the meaning of God and the importance of worship is to take things for granted. Indifference to the sublime wonder of living is the root of sin.”
Have you and I forgotten? Have we gotten so consumed with activity, so centered on stuff, and so full of worry that we have forgotten the Source of Life? Maybe realizing its not all as ‘sure’ as we thought, can actually open up our hearts to true living: gratitude…grace…wonder. Jesus speaks tenderly to you and I as he did to Martha, “You are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed…”*
In the middle of whatever it is you face today. In the middle of your own stresses, worry, strife, challenges or ‘daily grind,’ Jesus speaks, reminding you of the “one thing” that is needed. We may have many wants [we can entrust those to Him too], but our God centers us on what is needed: To sit at the feet of Jesus.
- Pastor Tara VinCross
- Luke 10:41-42
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