What kind of people are we at Ascension? What’s important to us as followers of Jesus in this place? The answers are revealed by what we do and keep on doing. They are the activities that do not need any justification because everyone knows that’s who we are and what we do.
The deepest and most fundamental activity in God’s family is love. Love in the sense of willing the good of another person. Where their needs, their comfort, their success, their good is pursued above personal preference and may even require self sacrifice. This kind of love is distinctive from the love found in the rest of the world where care for another is always weighed against the cost to oneself. Such love is only given if it makes sense, and if it is at a low enough price for a proper payout.
But Jesus had sharp criticism for such love stating that if you only love those who love you, and only give to those who will pay you back, then what reward can you expect? You haven’t done anything beyond what normal sinners do every day.
But giving more than one expects in return sounds like it will leave a deficit and resentment will surely follow. After all I keep giving and giving what about my emptiness? And this would be the end result if it weren’t for the deep sacrificial love that we have in Jesus. Apart from him we run on the fumes of payback where we hope that our performance pleases others enough to warrant their affection. But it is not that way with Jesus. He wholeheartedly loves you and continues to will your good. It wasn’t a one and done by his death on the cross. Life with him and in him is a life of receiving his complete welcome and ongoing presence. You are his beloved. He will never leave or forsake you.
It is from his resource of love, his wholehearted acceptance, and his blood bought holiness that you have the resource and safety to love and to will the good of others. Even if such efforts are a sacrifice leaving you with an earthly deficient. Even so, you have a constant supply of ever more love from Jesus. Your cup truly does overflow and goodness and mercy will follow you all the days of your life.
So the kind of people we are at Ascension flows from being loved by Jesus. And so what is important to us is growing ever deeper in that love and willing the good of the others in the congregation and community. So if you have any comfort in his love, any encouragement from the Spirit, if you are receiving then you have something to give. If so then show up on Sunday for worship and bring your children to Sunday school. Show up to Bible class. Show up and meet someone new. Show up and love with your whole heart and see how God can use your love to expand his Kingdom of grace to those in our community and beyond.
Tyler Sunday School 9:45am
3yr-Grade 2 – Room 23
Grades 3 & 4 – Room 18
Grades 5 & 6 – Room 19
Grades 7 & 8 – Jr.Hi Youth Room
High School – Sr. Hi Youth Room
Tyler Adult Sunday School
PAC – the Book of Hebrews
Room 15-16 Chronological Walk Through the Bible
Room 31 Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Room 29 Prayer (young marriged)
Library The Hidden Christmas (College age)
Maple Sunday School 9:00am
And from last week's entry:
Signup to be a greeter for the 11:00am Tyler Worship Service