Fall Focus 2018: Finding Our Neighbors (Week 4)

“Walking the Journey, Meeting at the Cross”

Scripture Readings: 2 Corinthians 3:1b, 12-18, 2 Corinthians 4:1, 5-9, 15-18, John 2:43-51

We need each other and God has a plan to meet us right there.

We need each other in our overwhelmed moments and in our tired tirades.  We need each other in our parenting challenges and especially in our suffering.  Right in these places, God’s mercy meets us!  How? God touches our lives when other people bring good things into our lives, like welcome, acceptance, healing and forgiveness.  In these moments the Welcome of God is at work.  This is part of the truth and liberation that the activity of finding our neighbors will bring.

Listen to Micheala Shelly as she tells it her way, through her life and struggles.  Notice when and how she finds neighbors who make a difference in her life and in theirs.  Then, notice what she does with this discovery.   I believe her experience is relevant to us as well.

Even when we’re dying, we need each other, we need God’s love and mercy, and we are still God’s gifted people.  What Michaela has discovered is that even in our own struggles we also carry the love and mercy of God with us.  It comes through our lives from others and it comes from us to others through the plan and purposes of God.  Even when we are weak and dying we have the ability to be God’s people, making a difference in the world.  Paul says it this way, ”

For we do not proclaim ourselves; we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as your Servants for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 

15 Yes, everything is for your sake, so that grace, as it extends to more and more people, may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.  (2 Cor. 4:5-9, 15)

That we can have this impact in each others lives is a sign that the living God is working in our lives.  These are signs of God’s Grace.  God’s Grace is about how God will lead us into the persons we will become, and help to shape and care for the lives we touch.  And we take this journey with God and through God’s grace with those who come into our lives and into whose lives we come.  When we act on this hope we become the Grace of God to others as well.  And we learn to let the Grace of God be enough for our lives as well.

How can you be a lighthouse for another? And also receive the gift of how God is working in your life? This is living with Christ and finding our neighbors along the journey of faith.  This is God’s Grace, alive among us.  This is a part of the risen life of Christ among us.  You too can carry this light of the glory of God in the face of Christ, in your life.

Pastor Mitch