"God of Justice": Tim Hughes
Aristotle once said: "Justice means getting what you deserve." In our third week of the "Get Connected" series, we explore how faith in Christ connects us with the needs of our city through acts of social justice. Since humankind is made in the image of God, every person "deserves" justice, dignity, and care. Through the story of the Good Samaritan we see the example of someone meeting human needs through acts of service. Most importantly, we learn that the reason we show mercy to others is because we have been shown mercy by God.
Part two of our four week series on living a "connected life". How does faith in Christ affect our relationships? As we find out today, Christian friendship and community open up to us new depths of relating to one another. As Aelred of Rievaulx writes: "Friendship must begin in Christ, continue with Christ, and be perfected by Christ."
Our world is more connected than ever. It used to be that our home life, our work life, our social life were all distinct events that happened at different times and places. But not any more. Now, thanks to technology, our home, work, and social lives all overlap: we are never out of touch! However, for many people, their spiritual life is still disconnected. We have our private beliefs, but they are separate from our family life, or our work life. We may go to church, but it doesn't really affect our social circles. We have compartmentalized and isolated these various parts of our life so that our faith doesn't function as a coherent whole.
Paul writes in Colossians 1:17, that Christ " Our spiritual lives work best when Christ is in ALL things, not just SOME things. Therefore, full life in Christ resembles a network of vital connections that includes our faith, our friendships, our work, our community service, our EVERYTHING - working together, not as separate pieces, but as a connected whole. Join us this fall as we explore what it would mean for us to have a fully connected life. Today we begin by exploring the most important first connection that we all need to make: a connection to Jesus Christ. As we shall see, there are many different ways of making this first connection.
The world has changed. As David Fitch (Prodigal Christianity) has stated, the church now finds itself in a culture that is "postChristian." This means the church now inhabits a world that is post-attractional (people don't gravitate toward the church anymore), post-positional (the church no longer occupies a position of respect and influence within society), and post-universal (the culture no longer speaks or understands the Christian story & vocabulary).
What do we do? Give up? Give in? Far from it. These are exciting times, for as we shall see, we can turn to Jesus and see in His ministry another way, a better way. Join us this Sunday for the first in a series of topics we are calling "ReThink Church."
Sermon Notes and Questions
Canon Robert Hurkmans has been the minister at St. James and St. Brendan since 2006.