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Returning To The Sacred Shhh…

• Greg Boyd

When we work for justice in the world, we are partnering with what God is already doing. It’s important that we seek God first, rest in God’s love, and only then can respond faithfully to the call to partner with God by fighting for justice in our communities.

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This week was the closing sermon for our fall series entitled: Compassion by Command. In response to the enthusiasm but also some anxiety about acting on what we’ve been learning this fall, Greg took this opportunity to refocus our attention on the core of our faith: getting our identity from Christ alone.

To make this point clear, Greg made a comparison between the inner life of two people who share similar values and perhaps engage in similar activities.

On the one hand: an agnostic (someone who is between an atheist and a believer—not sure about God and faith) can be a very sold out and passionate activist for a justice issue, but since they don’t have God as the source of this passion and activity, they are running on their own steam and are often exhausted by the exertion of energy.

On the other hand: a believer who gets their identity from God, seeks God first, rests in the assurance that God loves them, and doesn’t have to carry the burden of the fate of the world or any part of it on their own shoulders. The person of faith simply expresses themselves in obedience to what God calls them to do and rests knowing that God will take care of the rest, even if its not in a way that the believer can see and understand during this lifetime.

As a Christian community, we recognize that our job is not to fix the world around us. Rather, we are to faithfully respond in the ways God calls us to. And when we do respond, we do so not in our own strength, but with the assurance that God is already working and we are simply being allowed to partner with God in a specific way. When we learn to do this, we will be expressing the kingdom by
keeping things simple and being generous with those God brings into our lives. Our serenity (peace) comes from our caring deeply about what God cares about and at the same time trusting God with the world God created.

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Topics: Identity in Christ, Justice, Peace, Poverty

Sermon Series: Compassion by Command

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Focus Scripture:

  • Luke 3:1-14

    And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

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