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Thursday, September 12, 2019 3:19 PM

Thursday, September 12, 2019 3:19 PM
Thursday, September 12, 2019 3:19 PM

It’s about 3 months before the season of Advent. It is a time we usually fill with a variety of types of sermons, throwing in an All Saints Day Celebration and of course a Thanksgiving one. But I was thinking, what if we as a church took this time to really meditate on Romans 12. What if we really let it sink in and transform us into the disciples that Jesus intended us to be. This passage talks about a living sacrifice, moves to service in the body of Christ, and moves on to what love in action looks like. It’s a great chapter. “Don’t think of yourself more highly than you ought to think.” “Practice Hospitality.” “Live in harmony with each other.” “Overcome evil with good.” And maybe the best one, “Let love be sincere.”

Wow! How good are you at “faking” that you really care about someone? Michelle Warren says, “Loving sincerely is not for believers of small faith.” I believe that in our denomination we have become good at faking sincere love.

I will use a passage from Henri Nouwen’s book In the Name of Jesus to illustrate my point. Nouwen suggests that Church leaders have become “persons with well-informed opinions about the burning issues of our time.” He suggests like Jesus does {John 15} that leaders need to be “people whose identity is deeply rooted in God’s first love.” He says a whole lot of good stuff and then concludes: “Dealing with burning issues without being rooted in a deep personal relationship with God easily leads to divisiveness because, before we know it, our sense of self is caught up in our opinions about a given subject. But when we are securely rooted in personal intimacy with the source of life, it will be possible to remain flexible without being relativistic, convinced without being rigid, willing to confront without being offensive, gentle and forgiving without being soft, and true witnesses without being manipulative.”

Nouwen tells us that Jesus asks, “Do you love me? Feed, tend my lambs.” If we sincerely love Jesus and sincerely love others, we can do nothing but offer healing, reconciliation, new life and hope wherever we go. And folks can either receive it or reject it, but that is another newsletter article.

Geaux Tigers, Barry

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