16 Apr Sermon Snap Shot April 15, 2018
Throughout the Gospel we are taught that believing in Jesus leads to “life in his name.” But what does this “life” look like, what does it entail?
Well, the two extremes for how to answer this question go something like this, even though most of us fall somewhere in the middle in terms of our practice:
One extreme says that believing leads to Eternal Life, Everlasting Life, Abundant Life…and that this Life begins when we die and depart this world, when we finally enter into the presence of God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Of course this will take place in heaven (which is not of this world) where there will be no more pain, no more suffering, no more war, no more tears and, thankfully, no more death. The primary goal for those who believe is to convince others to believe as well so that we all can make it to other side together. The primary tools for evangelism are powerful preaching, tent revivals and altar calls.
The opposite extreme says that believing leads to Eternal Life, Everlasting Life, Abundant Life…but that this Life begins right here, right now. Because of the gift of God in Jesus, we can live without fear right now. We can trust that God will provide for our daily bread (which means we don’t have to hoard but freely share with others). And with God’s help we can begin living the eternal, abundant life that Jesus lived as we follow his example by…
feeding the hungry,
offering hospitality to the stranger,
visiting the prisoner,
giving shelter to the homeless,
clothing the naked,
educating the uneducated,
healing the sick,
honoring the elderly…
the list goes on and on.
The primary goal for those who believe is to be the Body of Christ in all that we do, focusing locally but always keeping an eye to global needs and concerns as we invite others to join us on this amazing journey of selfless fellowship. The primary tools for evangelism would be the same: Being the Body of Christ.
Now I’m not sure where you fall on this “Life” spectrum…it’s all about getting to heaven…or it’s all about experiencing Life right here, right now. Personally, I long for a place where there is no more pain, no more suffering, no more death (Have you seen our prayer list lately?), but I also feel strongly that Jesus is calling me to LIVE now by using my gifts, my talents, my energy to ensure that other’s might LIVE now as well.
From Sunday April 15 message based on John 20:30-31, “BeLIeVE…and LIVE”
Rev. Lane Glaze
Pastor, Waters Edge UMC
Pastor, Waters Edge UMC