300 posts, 59 countries…a Wedding, a Funeral, and the Pope’s First Sermon….
Posted by justifiedandsinner
Devotional Thought of the Day…
27 God’s plan is to make known his secret to his people, this rich and glorious secret which he has for all peoples. And the secret is that Christ is in you, which means that you will share in the glory of God. 28 So we preach Christ to everyone. With all possible wisdom we warn and teach them in order to bring each one into God’s presence as a mature individual in union with Christ. 29 To get this done I toil and struggle, using the mighty strength which Christ supplies and which is at work in me. Colossians 1:27-29 (TEV)
Those of us who bear in our hearts the truth of Christ have to put this truth into the hearts, and minds and lives of others. Not to do so would show a love of comfort and bad tactics too. Think it over once again: Did Christ ask you permission before coming into your soul? He left you free to follow him, but he was the one who sought you out, because he chose to. (1)
This Gospel continues with a special situation. The same Peter who confessed Jesus Christ, says, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. I will follow you, but let us not speak of the Cross. This has nothing to do with it.” He says, “I’ll follow you on other ways, that do not include the Cross.” When we walk without the Cross, when we build without the Cross, and when we profess Christ without the Cross, we are not disciples of the Lord. We are worldly, we are bishops, priests, cardinals, Popes, but not disciples of the Lord.
I would like that all of us, after these days of grace, might have the courage – the courage – to walk in the presence of the Lord, with the Cross of the Lord: to build the Church on the Blood of the Lord, which is shed on the Cross, and to profess the one glory, Christ Crucified. In this way, the Church will go forward. (from Pope Francis’s first homily 3/14/13)
It seems a pretty big milestone in some ways. As I posted yesterday’s message – my sermon from Wednesday night’s Lenten Service. 300 devotions and sermons I have posted here. People literally from all over the world have read these “pages” – from 59 countries – including most of the Middle East. It is incredible to consider, that the pastor of a small church, would see his words reach such distances. In a crazy week – it hasn’t quite sunk in, for that matter, neither has my recent mission trip to China, and the massive amount of work that I was able to witness there, and the amount of prayer and emotional support we need to provide to those over there.
This morning, I need to craft three sermons for this weekend. My normal Sunday message – which is based on Phil. 3 – that nothing is comparable to knowing Christ. On Saturday I will officiate at a wedding, and at a funeral. And even as I begin, I realize that the 300 posts, and the three sermons this week, and even the new Pope – Pope Francis’s first message – are all, in reality – the same encouraging word…and that word is provides us hope, comfort.
As the new Pope phrased it, we are to walk in the presence of the Lord, with His cross… professing the glory of Christ.
That will be the key to our churches reviving – nothing else.
That will be the key to the young couple’s marriage – that they live together in Christ – that He becomes the center of their lives. That they build their family, the engage their community, with the cross of Christ there before them.
And for Jim, it was what sustained him in life, and will sustain his family now that he awaits us before God’s throne.
If I had wrote this blog a few years ago – and even now I am tempted – to preach about the injustice inside, and outside of the church. For such injustice, such unrighteous – burns and causes me to burn. (even as of this morning!) I want to fall to the temptation of making this a statement. But that will change nothing, I can rant and rave – I can writing scathing rebukes- and I will create wars and revolutions.
Only one thing causes change – in me – or in those I want to change.
The presence of Christ. The Lord who St. Josemarie reminds us, seeks us out – who invades our lives. So let this blog, and indeed, all of us who know Christ – proclaim His love, proclaim His cross… proclaim His presence…
and may we realize that mercy…and walk with Him…
Thank you all for encouraging me by reading this words… and especially thank you to those who like and comment on them.
Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). The Forge (Kindle Locations 3341-3344). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.
- Pope Francis’ First Homily (catholicglasses.com)
- The First American Pope by George Weigel (facebookapostles.org)
- Without Christ crucified, Church a ‘pitiful’ organization, Pope says (catholicnewsagency.com)
- Remember – We Speak for Christ (justifiedandsinner.com)
About justifiedandsinnerI am a pastor of a Concordia Lutheran Church in Cerritos, California, where we rejoice in God's saving us from our sin, and the unrighteousness of the world. It is all about His work, the gift of salvation given to all who trust in Jesus Christ, and what He has done that is revealed in Scripture. God deserves all the glory, honor and praise, for He has rescued and redeemed His people.
Posted on March 15, 2013, in Devotions and tagged Blog, devotions, funeral, God, gospel, Jesus, Pope Francis, sermons, St. Josemaria Escriva, the message, the presence of God, Weddings. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.