(Click above for the complete reading)
“This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds, he also adds, I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.”
Go in Peace, Serve the Lord
(Click the title above for the sermon)
Even as we mourn the terrifying violence and those killed and injured in the Paris attacks on Friday, we gathered around the world by the millions on Sunday morning. Called together by the Prince of Peace, who takes upon himself the worst violence and hatred we can muster as human beings. Takes it upon himself to the point of death. Takes that hatred away from us and in return, calls us to the altar, all of us, to say, “this is my body, given for you, my blood, shed for you, for the forgiveness of your sin.”
Yes, we are frightened by the hatred and the violence, by terrorism and war, by illness and aging and even our own sin. But our fear does not drive us away from the altar, rather, it calls us together, by the millions, around the world.
And though we are tempted to allow fear and hatred to define this world, around the altar, the silent prayers of one grandmother as she reaches out her trembling hand to receive communion are a thousand times more powerful than guns or bombs will ever be. The space we enter around the altar, quietly defines the entire world. Not war, not terrorism or hatred or violence, but Christ crucified and risen.
Therefore, my friends, since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain (that is, through his flesh), and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us approach with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful. (Hebrews 10:19-23)
Questions to Ponder or Discuss
1. Why is peace so hard to realize? What does real peace look like?
2. Where do you see God at work in the Syrian refugee crisis?
3. What relationships do you have with people of other religions?
4. How does your faith inform the way you think about the terrorist attacks in Paris?
Take time to listen to the entire message from this week, Go In Peace. Consider how you are called not only to share the Good News but also to be the Good News in this world.
And then go, in peace.