With the help of God’s brilliance in forming the brain with capacities to change, the presence of the Holy Spirit, and years of reconditioning and retraining, Paul himself was transformed by the renewing of his mind and did a 180-degree turn in his way of living.
As clergy, we preach, we teach, we pray, we visit the sick, and we know the word, but how does this apply to ourselves?
Jesus calls his friends to deep and abiding love, the kind that sees not obligation but the joy of serving, of being, of vulnerable-but-safe connection.
This weekend our sermon comes from Rev. Tara Beth Leach, Lead Pastor of First Church of the Nazarene of Pasadena, commonly called PazNaz.
We love each other by holding space for people to feel safe enough to be honest with us, with themselves and with God.
Now that light has dawned, one cannot simply stand and look at a symbol of defeat and the past. New life has broken in and we are not allowed to just look; we are invited and commissioned to go and tell.
But you need both. A Paul and a Peter. Someone who will confront and another who will comfort. It takes that balance of truth and grace to get someone to move beyond their epic fail and into effective service.
“We are what we think. We are transformed by the renewal of our minds. So study is a necessary discipline for spiritual growth.”
“Sanctification is not about something that I either have to do to make myself better, or for which I have to feel guilty about not being good enough. It is a ‘work of God’s grace.’ Entire sanctification is really nothing more than
God’s grace freeing us from everything that has kept us chained to sin and death. The Triune God has given his children everything they need to live the kind of life for which they were created, in this life. And this is not only for spiritual elites or super Christians.”
We humans can only be happy when we face the reality of evil. We can’t be happy without the truth. Despite being surrounded by the truth of ugly facts – genocide or beheadings or crowded refugee camps or grotesquely contagious diseases – we have the inner impulse to reach also for the truth of reality, of existence, the Truth that transcends current events, that tunes the music of the spheres and absorbs everything into the unity that is Triune love.