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Becky Pippert: The Heresy of Niceness
Most love letters are meant to be kept private. However, the message in Paul's letter to the Colossians, while certainly a "love" letter, is meant to be shared with others. The good news of God's Son Jesus (Colossians 1), who now lives in us by faith (Colossians 2), and who enables us to live transformed lives (Colossians 3) is not meant to be kept private. In short, the gospel is not just for us. God's love is not just for us. But sharing that message (otherwise known as evangelism) is a scary prospect for many of us. Today, we address some of our most common fears around sharing our faith using Paul's final words to the Colossians as encouragement.
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.
Canon Robert Hurkmans was the priest at St. James and St. Brendan from 2006 to 2018.