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Monday, July 3, 2017

07022017 - 3rd Sunday After Trinity - “Hold firm to the faith in Jesus Who cares for us! (1 Peter 5:6)”

July 2, 2017
“Hold firm to the faith in Jesus Who cares for us! (1 Peter 5:6)”
Audio (Will be posted soon!)
Recently, I was playing Trivial Pursuit with Sarah and we came upon a question that for me jumped back to my childhood days in Virginia.  The question was about ‘stalagmites’ and ‘stalactites’ and their differentiation.  When growing up in Virginia there were a lot of caverns in the mountains that we toured.  And one of the memories was hearing the saying, “Stalagmites might touch the ceiling and stalactites hold tight to the ceiling” enabling one to correctly call it by its proper name in the cave.  This morning, Peter like the stalactites wants us to firmly ‘hold onto something’.
In his letter we heard in the epistle, Simon Peter is attempting to instruct the church, which is illegal at this time to remain true to what Jesus Christ had called them to become.  Hence why Peter, the Rock upon whose confession the church would be built wrote, “Hold firm to the faith in Jesus Who cares for us!”.
Peter is pointing to what Jesus Christ clearly and emphatically lived while here on earth and which Jesus Christ gave unto the people of God including His disciples like Peter.  It is a faith, humility and trust in Jesus Christ, because not only did Jesus Christ descend from heaven and be born of a virgin in Bethlehem, Jesus Christ died on the Cross of Calvary to offer all of mankind eternal life.
So powerful was the faith of Jesus Christ that He not only calls us to believe in Him, but trust in Him for all things.  For as Peter says, we are to “Hold firm to the faith in Jesus Who cares for us!”  Jesus Christ cares so much for us that we should not doubt, but hold firm in our faith, for Jesus Christ is not only the author of our faith, but Jesus Christ perfected it by His trust in His Father in Heaven.  And we who gather here can lay claim to Jesus Christ faith, through our baptism into Jesus Christ life, death and resurrection.
There are some who are wary of trusting in man and even God that much, because of their own personal experiences.  Yet, Peter wants us to believe and desires for us to “Hold firm to the faith in Jesus Who cares for us!”  For Jesus Christ cares for us so much it cannot be measured.  If we truly look to the Cross of Calvary, Jesus Christ willingness to go and die in order that we might live, should clearly not only show us but inspire us to believe that Jesus Christ cares for us that much.
In today’s world, with the rise of ISIS, the clear sense of doubt in our fellow man, whether justified or unjustified, we have only to step out in ‘faith’ and trust in spite of what our world may be telling us.  And this last week having Sky Ranch here to minister to our community and church is a prime example and opportunity that we have followed and ‘stepped out in faith’ in Jesus Christ and His offer of grace and mercy, for all of mankind.
The theme for this last week is based upon the celebration this year of the 500th Anniversary of Martin Luther’s pounding the 95 Theses on the door at Wittenberg.  The counselors had had lots of energy as they helped us “Rejoice”, understand how God’s Word is “Revealed”, how we are “Reclaimed” through our baptism, how Christ “Restored” us on the Cross, how through communion we are “Renewed” and how we are “Reformed” in Christ’s image.

So impactful and powerful has this week been that Emmanuel has again, been inspired to remember, connect with the theme from this week and we can hold onto not only Peter’s confession, but his inspiration for us to be embraced by God’s love and look to eternal life as the gift that will never end.  For truer words could not be said then what Peter was inspired by the Holy Spirit to write.  We as the saints of Emmanuel should “Hold firm to the faith in Jesus Who cares for us”!  AMEN!

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