Pastor's Pen - Deeper. Together: In Awe and Excitement.

April 23, 2020

Deeper. Together:  In Awe and Excitement.

Right now is a good time to gain encouragement, strength and guidance from the many letters written to new Christians found in our Bible. What I'm saying is, like the Ephesians, the Philippians, the Corinthians and others we need a steady stream of Scripture's Word that the Holy Spirit can use in you, in us.

 We begin with these two verses:

 Philippians 2:12-13

"…Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure."

or (another translation)

“Work out your own salvation with awe and excitement; God, right there working in you, enabling you to take next steps for his good pleasure."

 

Scripture is telling you: you've got agency. Claim it. God is at work in you (as co-creator, partnering with you.)

 

“Fear and trembling," or “awe and excitement." Both are both good translations to describe a day spent doing what God puts in your heart.

 

Work out your salvation in awe and excitement… In the scriptures, fear often means “awe” – a sense of God’s grandeur in comparison to our limitations. That is a sense of amazement at God’s handiwork, described in the hymn “How Great Thou Art.”

 We live in an awesome world – a trillion galaxies, each with billions of suns, a universe of at least 13.7 billion years. Awe is appropriate. We can also have awe at our own human lives – our immune system, recuperative powers, neurons firing, thoughts emerging, the movement of hands and feet, and perhaps my favorite, most awesome thing ever… your human heart's ability to go beyond grief and loss to an embrace of life.

 

Perhaps Paul who wrote these words of today's scripture knew that I need encouragement and a reminder. So, today and perhaps tomorrow I will intentionally seek and pray for this partnership with God in my Christian Life.

But, you know what? Three days down the road, it might be just all me. That's right. I might push God away. Either through neglect or even with a mindset that sounds like this: "God, yesterday we collaborated. I don't know that I can handle that much excitement today." If I'm being honest, that's how it is for me at times.

 

So let's grow deeper into this. Together. Sharing our life story as it relates to God working in you and me. Here are some questions to help our discussion.

 Have you even leaned on a co-worker (as in, "I'm leaning on you today")? How does this affect the relationship? The outcome? Your willingness to reciprocate (down the road)?

  1. Think of a time when you felt like a collaborator with God in an endeavor or relationship. How did this come about? How does God like working with you? What words do you hear him say to you?
  2. Over time, the team of God and you becomes recognizable. This has to do with Call and Gifts.  We are called by God and he provides (each of us) gifts enabling us to live into that calling. So, what have others told you about when they see God working through you? Is there a pattern?
  3. The Team of God and you isn't always 'you' singular. Think about when you were part of a pair or a group of Christians allowing God to work in you (plural) for his good pleasure. Would you enjoy doing this more?
  4. Some things God does on his own. Sometimes it is All God! The Resurrection is such a moment. Without being coy, what 'All God' experiences have touched your life?

Fill me, O God, with awe and wonder. Fill me with amazement at your world and our lives. Let me trust your work in my life and do what I can to bring beauty and healing to this good earth and its people. Amen.

Pastor Ben

 

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methodist, lexington church of the cross, ohio

Lexington Church of the Cross
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Lexington, OH 44904

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