FAITH CONNECTION – FARMERSVILLE UMC
Ministry Updates for Friday, November 6th, 2020
Please join us as we again worship through Facebook Live. Use this link to watch the service. And please consider passing it along.
In-Person Worship – 11am – No Reservation Needed
Please wear a mask and we will maintain safe social distance.
Scripture – 2 Timothy 2:8-9
Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, a descendant of David—that is my gospel, for which I suffer hardship, even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But the word of God is not chained.
Reflection – Unchained Gospel
On Sunday, we talked about ‘justifying grace’, which is the grace which calls us toward a new direction in life. God forgives our sin, gives us a new start, and invites us to respond to the question we are to absorb with all hope and a sense of adventure – ‘Where do we go from here?’.
Paul, writing to Timothy, his most trusted accomplice in ministry, made sure to communicate the core of the Gospel – Jesus Christ died, and raised from the dead.
This is the mystery of faith that gives us hope.
Paul could not have been more right about the Gospel being unchained. Though he was chained and in prison, his words escaped the prison, inspired Timothy, and have roamed free, inspiring people through the ages.
Following Jesus, Paul willfully surrendered his freedom to share the good news of God’s love to everyone he could possibly get within earshot of.
Christ died and raised from the dead is promise to every person who feels they have lost everything and even feel abandoned by God. He is still on our side. He is still on the side of the addict, the white-collar criminal, the adulterer, the dealer, the abuser, the murderer. God does not approve of everything we do, but he is always on our side, drawing us into his circle of love, and hoping to inspire more loving behavior within us.
The simple call is we be authentic (confess our sin), turn in a new direction (repent), and believe that Christ gave his life to show God’s love for us.
God of Love and God of Grace, we have seen the chains that bind people in this life. We have lived under those chains. Maybe those chains are spiritual. Maybe they are mental or emotional. We aren’t even always sure of the source. But for some reason it is hard for us to be freed from them. For some reason we get caught in cycles of self-destructive or relationship destructive behavior. And for some reason, we think we can manage our way out of it, even after years of experience tells us otherwise.
God, help us learn to confess the truth of our hearts. Help us learn to repent, to turn around. Lord, once again, we need your love to rain down on us. We pray for those locked in sin, or burdened under the weight of oppressive forces. God on this day, we dedicate or rededicate our lives to you. We give you thanks for the chains you have broken in our lives and in the lives of those we love. And we give you thanks for the promise of a new beginning, that the cross of Jesus Christ breaks the chains that keep us from you, and from the fullness of life.