Who is doing the tempting? God or Satan or us? Are we open to being refined by God? Can we pray the prayers of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego? 17 If our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire and out of your hand, O king, let him deliver us. 18 But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods and we will not worship the golden statue that you have set up.” (Dan 3:17-18). God does not tempt. Yet we are beset with trials. God allows trials. We are “hammered on the anvil of suffering” (Hill, 76). Hell’s flames have already been transformed into the refiner’s fire suggest Karl Barth. 1 Peter tells us to not be shocked by trials. Trials are given. Maturity follows. A more perfect world ensues.
The grandest mistake any Christian can make is to assume God is a mild helper. Instead we are totally depraved. We have no hope of saving ourselves. Our world has no hope of virtue. While we have immense worth to God, we have zero merit. “If we say we have no sin we are liars” (1 Jn 1:10). Worth is not conveyed by works or merit. Worth is conveyed by ownership. I have some collectibles. Their worth is only in the perception of the owner, not necessarily others (such as buyers who think it is worth less – perhaps more!). The beauty of this mindset and theology is found in peace of knowing we do not need perform. Generosity no longer gains us any favor. Generosity now comes out of the ability to “lie down in green pastures” because our Shepherd is Good.
Guest Speaker, Professor Tracie McKenzie's "We The Fallen People"
Come celebrate Pentecost, the day of the coming of the Holy Spirit. What does the Holy Spirit look like and sound like? What language does the Holy Spirit speak? Also- new Fully Participating Members will be saying their vows to the congregation! You won't want to miss this Sunday!