Week beginning Sunday 24th October
Some tough readings this week!
Love is not a soft option with permanent smiles all round. It can be very hard work – and challenging at times. So our readings have been chosen to help us to face real situations with genuine love.
Throughout the week please make this your prayer.
Lord Jesus Christ, you go on loving us as individuals and also as your body here on earth. I am thankful that your love never changes even when I wander off on wrong pathways. Please build your Church with love as its prime characteristic.
Enable us to love one another deeply, as you love us, and then find ways in which to express that love to others in a way that honours you in our Community. AMEN.
v 9. The world’s sin is that it refuses to believe in me.
We will all have our own ideas of what SIN is. Lying, cheating, violence, murder, theft – and so on. It’s not difficult to concoct some sort of list, and it will go on and on. So when people confront the question, (if they ever do!) ‘Are you a sinner?’ they work through such a list and measure themselves by that standard. NO – I don’t cheat people; and NO, I don’t tell many lies; and NO, I’ve never murdered anybody; and NO – and so on. A lot of people can be relied on to be honest, not cheat, not be violent, and so would reckon themselves to be pretty decent sort of folk. Not perfect, perhaps, but reliable citizens and faithful family members. Good on them – we might even refer to some of them as ‘The Salt of the Earth.’ We are glad to have them as friends and neighbours and value their contribution to society. So far, so good!
Then along comes Jesus with a much more radical definition of sin – it’s not connected in any way with the kind of things we read about in the Ten Commandments for example, or even in the Law of the Land. It IS connected with our view of, and relationship with, Jesus Himself.
Being a sinner is not about doing bad things after all!
Sin is all about the lack of a real and positive connection with Jesus. That is the root of the whole matter. It is this misunderstanding of the nature of sin that leads folk to feel and believe that they are pretty decent people and not really sinners after all. It is a connection with Jesus, call it faith, or simply ‘believing in Jesus’ that puts us in a right relationship with our heavenly Father. We will still struggle to do the right things in life, but our faith-connection with Jesus brings forgiveness, and we are declared righteous in His sight.