Friday, August 06 2021
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God (Ephesians 5:1-2).
Jesus said, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty” (John 6:35).This statement is crucial to our faith because Jesus Christ came down from heaven to show us the will of the father. In Jesus time many complained that they knew Jesus’ mother and father. How could this man say that he is the bread of heaven? After he feeds the five thousand and walks on water, some people just can’t rationalize that something that is greater than us is going on. Jesus replies that “whoever believes has eternal life for I am the bread of life.” We are asked to see Jesus Christ as the top priority in our life.
At the 10:00 service on Sunday and at the 11:30 service, I will ask if you believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, if you will continue in the apostles’ teachings and the breaking of bread, if will you repent and turn to the Lord when you sin, if will you proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ, if you will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself and if will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being? If you earnestly answer, I will with God’s help, The water that these children will be baptized in is the very same water through which God led the people out of their bondage in Egypt, the very same water Jesus turned into wine, the exact water that John poured over Jesus’ head at his Baptism when he was anointed as the Messiah and the heavens tore open.
We are drawn in by the grace of God, forgiven of our sins by the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and have been given the promise of eternal life. In the letter to the church at Ephesus, we are challenged to live our lives in the Kingdom of God. "Therefore be imitators of God as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice for God." We are beloved children of God who witness the mystery of God’s love right here at St. John’s. Those of us who have glimpsed of the eternal and live in faith have a responsibility to let our light shine to our own children and to the next generations. I remember one visit home while in college. After church, I went with my father delivering sandwiches to the homeless in Bay Shore. At a time that I was drifting away from the Lord, it absolutely blew me away that my dad knew these people by name. My faith was restored and I began doing service work at school. We must persevere in our faith and witness to the love of God in Jesus Christ by giving of ourselves for the sake of others. There was a day when faith in Jesus Christ and living in the life of the church was the norm. Herbert O’Driscoll remembers it well and maybe you do too, but we can’t just hold on to memories, we must be vigilant about how we live and how we witness to the love of Christ.
In Christ’s love,