"United We Stand"
Greetings to you each and all! A small group of us gathered on Saturday to prepare a video presentation of some songs and a reflection on the scriptures. It is quite nice to be in the company of others, even if we practice safety to avoid catching or spreading the virus that now has the whole world in its grip. With this in view our short service is oriented to provide spiritual support and encouragement. We hope you will be blessed even though we are not able to be present with you in person. Always remembering that God dwells within each of us and is fully manifest in our spiritual unity.
The texts on which the songs and my talk are based:
John 14: 15-21 / Acts 17: 22-28 / 1 Peter 3: 13-18
The gospel of John presents Jesus calling for dedicated commitment to the way of God. We are assured that God’s spirit will be with us. This is the spirit of truth by which all falsehoods are overcome and left behind. We are also told that the way of the world has no concern for truth. Then Jesus goes on to assure us that the spirit of God is with us and in us. The key to progress along the way of God is doing what the spirit calls us to do. Our obedience to the leading of the spirit is the key to the revelation of God in our experience.
Acts shows us the apostle Paul speaking to citizens of Athens. He notices that they have all kinds of religious practices and symbols. He focuses on their reference to an unknown God. Then he goes on to make clear that what is unknown to them is clearly expressed in the gospel. We learn that God is the creator of all that is in heaven and on earth. We also learn that this God is wholly independent of human insight and initiative. God is the source and the substance of all human being. We are encouraged to seek out this God who is not hidden from us. It becomes clear that through faith we enter and celebrate the presence of God.
The epistle of Peter is an encouragement to do go what is right and good. Even if doing so brings unpleasant consequences. We are encouraged to live without fear or intimidation concerning those who govern the world. The epistle also encourages us to study God’s way so that we are able to explain our faith to any who ask about it. This should be done with kindness and respect for others. Though we may not be well received by others, we should be persistent in doing good. In this we keep company with Christ who suffered resistance and death even though he expressed the care of God for all persons met along his way. We learn that the death of our material being opens to resurrection to spiritual being.