Paul said, "I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, to the end that you may be established; that is, that I with you may be encouraged in you, each of us by the other's faith, both yours and mine. Be aware, brothers, that I often planned to come to you, and was hindered so far, that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among the rest of the Gentiles. I am debtor both to Greeks and to foreigners, both to the wise and to the foolish."
Sermon Romans 12:9-21 Katrina Sermon Preached in response to Hurricane Katrina Biblical Commentary Children's Sermons Hymn Lists Romans 12:9-21 Katrina Sermon The Rev. Justine Guernsey In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. There are moments in our lives that define us…moments of such clarity and [...]
It is hard to go to through life without holding a grudge of some kind? Even for the most kindhearted of us, down deep in the recesses of our souls, there’s a grievance somewhere, a score to settle against somebody. Some of us milk it for all we’re worth.
We love jumping to conclusions. Sometimes that's ALL the exercise some of us get. That's what normal people do, right? But don't forget, we're not normal people. We're abnormal people. We've given our lives to Christ. And through Christ, we're called to live by different standards.
Dorothy Sayers, the English mystery writer says, “In the world it is called tolerance, but in hell it is called despair. It is the sin that believes in nothing, cares for nothing, interferes with nothing, enjoys nothing, hates nothing, finds purpose in nothing. There is not a trumpet in our lives to call us to our feet.”
How do you wake up in the morning? Someone once asked my wife if she woke up grumpy in the morning. She replied, "No, I usually just let him sleep." Paul says, "The night is far gone, and the day is near."
That story gets to the heart of what Paul is trying to teach us. Our love is genuine when we learn that those we help are also loved by God. We truly capture the meaning of loving our neighbors when we accept the fact that the people we help are just as worthy and capable of loving others as we are.
Owe no one anything, except to love one another. Promote charity—Christian love—for that is the chief grace of our faith. Here we have what it's all about. If we succeed with this, we have done everything. If we fail with this, then we have done nothing. The charity, this Christian love, does not originate with us. It starts with God.
To love one another in the best sense of the word is not humanly possible; it can only come as a gift of God. First, we must be filled with God's love; and, as we are, God's love will overflow to all those we come in contact with – loved ones, friends, acquaintances, strangers, even our enemies.
While it's true that churches provide a moral compass and teach right from wrong, this is not their sole function or even their most important one. "The Church pursues its mission as it prays and worships, proclaims the Gospel, and promotes justice, peace, and love."