New Rockford Transcript - Official Newspaper of Eddy County since 1883

By Rev. Mindy Meier
First Congregational Church 

Sermonette: Oct. 28, 2019

 

October 28, 2019



I need to exercise more. No doubt. I know this. Our town (and the internet!) has resources to help me carve out time for exercise. Exercise lengthens lives, and increases quality of life. It helps our brains and our mental health.

So why don’t I do it?

Maybe, for you, it’s not exercise. Maybe you’re good at exercise. But you have something. You have something you wish was better in your life. You have something you know would be good for you, but you still don’t do enough. Prayer and/or meditation? Morning devotions? Don’t floss enough? Drink too much? Yell too much?

This time of year there’s some pressure to think about our choices, habits, routines, disciplines, and how we’d like to do things differently.

Regarding this, I read Paul. The most prolific theologian of Christian Scripture. The author of most of the New Testament writes:

“I can will it, but I can’t do it. I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.” (Romans 7:18-20_ The Message translation.

Such relief, and even joy I feel to know that Paul, THE Paul, struggled with the same stuff I do. By no means should this make me throw up my hands, and never try to do better. That would make life stagnant, and without purpose. It’s good and necessary to strive to be better.

But it does remind me of the grace of Jesus Christ. I’m going to try over and over, and sometimes succeed, and often fail. And no matter which happens, I can be assured of “The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ… acted to set things right in this life.” (Romans 7:25). Paul goes on, “God went for the jugular when he sent his own Son. He didn’t deal with the problem as something remote and unimportant. In his Son, Jesus, he personally took on the human condition, entered the disordered mess of struggling humanity in order to set it right once and for all.” (Romans 8:3,4)

God “entered the disordered mess of struggling humanity,” indeed sounds like me trying to achieve all my New Year’s resolutions. The disordered mess. The good intentions, ending in imperfection.

Whatever the disappointments, the struggles, the fear, the sadness, God in Jesus Christ understands all that. You can be assured that you, just as you are, are enough, that your success doesn’t determine your worth, and that you have a God who created you, redeemed you and sustains you. All glory be to God.

 
 

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