Thursday, September 15, 2016

A Thought for 15 September 2016

In her book, One Faithful Promise: the Wesleyan Covenant for Renewal, Magrey R. deVega wrote; “The sum effect of composing your spirit is that you realize you are of equal standing with everyone else in the human community, and we are all connected to each other”.

She was responding to John Wesley’s thoughts in speaking to an over-inflation of our own individual worth: “As Christ will never be accepted, so can the sinner never be received by Christ until the sinner lets go of all other props …”, those “props” being the components of our inflated sense of worth in comparing ourselves to others.

What this means is simply this; we have no standing apart from the value we assign to others.  That is, if we think too highly of ourselves in comparison to others (i.e., “at least I’m not gay”, “at least I don’t cheat on my spouse”, etc.), we subject ourselves to a form of spiritual deception even we soon come to believe to the detriment of our souls and to the community of the Church.  St. Paul wrote, “Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment.” (Romans 12:3, NIV).

It is one thing to finally come to know of the saving grace of our Lord; it is another thing altogether to convince ourselves that our Lord so loves an individual that He has no regard for another.  We know (but probably choose not to believe) that “their” sins are no worse than our own.  If we can truly get next to that, it is no telling what the Church community can come to look like, no telling who may choose to become a part of that community, and certainly no telling what The Lord can do for them AND for us!

We are the witnesses to the Truth revealed in the Holy Scriptures, and the plain Truth is The Lord does not love “us” more than He loves “them”.  Wesley would have said to those with an inflated sense of worth, “Get over yourself; you ain’t all that!”

Celebrate the reality of your worth in the eyes of our God and Father!  Celebrate the reality that our sins were once so deep, so scarring, so debilitating that He chose to put Himself on the line for us … for all of us.  This is the essence of our embrace of “universal atonement”: Christ died for all, not a few!  So know this: in His eyes, you really are “all that” … and so is your “neighbor” … and the “alien” … and the “stranger” … and your “enemy” … and …

The Lord is great, is He not?


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