‘I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge; and my judgment is just, because I seek to do not my own will but the will of him who sent me.’
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church—Walnut Creek
You know, if Jesus Christ hadn’t existed, we would need to make him up! So much of what Christ came to teach us makes sense; it makes sense over time, place, and circumstances. For example, his advice to forgive is not meant to let the “offender” get away with anything. Forgiveness is for our own benefit, as a wise woman once told me, “If we do not forgive, then we are like the foolish one who takes poison and expects the other person to die.”
But, praise to God, Jesus did come to earth; Jesus does exist, living in our hearts today walking our journeys alongside us, even sometimes carrying us. For the fact that God came to earth so that we might be saved from our own blunders—God deserves our love and devotion, our hearts and our minds.
Jesus says, “I can do nothing on my own.” Well if Jesus can do nothing on his own, what makes us think we can do anything on OUR own? We are meant to be in communion with God and with one another. The American notion of independence has too long been misused by culture and society to feed our bias to live and work independent of the needs of those around us. Jesus came to show us that we need one another and we need God. Jesus teaches us that it is not about our own will, but about what God would have us do and be. Jesus came pointing, not to himself, but to God’s Kingdom. He came not to do his own will, but to do the will of the God who sent him to be with us.
I pray you seek God’s will in your life—put your life in God’s hands and trust that your life will be complete because of it. AMEN.
Dialog discuss: We hear a lot about shorter attention spans. How long are your sermons? We rarely preach for under 40 minutes. For a long time, I thought attention spans were shortening. I don’t think so anymore. People still engage in movies, books, and television shows and never break concentration. Instead I think attention spans are widening. We’ve learned to pay attention to multiple things at once. John Palmieri pastor of multi-cultural, multi-site, New Life Community Church in Chicago.
What do you think? Are attention spans widening? What is the perfect sermon length? What is the purpose of listening to a sermon?