Thought for the Week 24th January 2021
The reading I‘ve chosen is from Paul writing to the church in Galatia. (Galatians Ch:1, v11 – v24)
First Paul was called Saul and he was a keen Judaiser, but that was before he met Christ in a vision on the road to Damascus when Christ asked him why he, Saul, was persecuting him. He was blinded and led by the hand into Damascus There he received his sight back when visited by a Christian sent by God. He was then sent to the Gentiles to preach God’s word. The Christians at the time must have been very aware of Saul’s works before he met Christ, and his hatred for them, maybe he was tricking them, so it was difficult for the Church to accept him. But after three years preaching to the Gentiles, his works then proclaimed his change of direction and that he was a Christian.
But of course it is the same for all of us. We watch and we listen to people, but it is the way they talk and act that will proclaim what they are. It is the works in our lives that will proclaim our Christian Faith, finally that will show in our lives as a beauty of holiness that should be seen and grow. Someone wrote: There seems about the Church of England and other churches also to be seen for a want of antiquity, system, fullness, intelligence, order strength and unity. I hope this is not how people see our churches today.
We must look see and act in our own lives. We should show a beauty of holiness that comes from the faith we proclaim. Do we show the beauty of holiness?
When reading these thoughts from Joan, they put me in mind of the passage in James’ letter where he talks about Faith without works (James 2:14-18), some people say that this passage goes against what Paul says about salvation coming through the cross and not through works, but for me this misrepresents James. If we are to proclaim the Gospel, as Joan points out, we surely have to match it with our action as Paul did – or at least try. Thank you Joan, for reminding us that for our faith to be truly alive we have to do all we can in deed to show God’s beauty of holiness.
Heavenly Father, Help us to reflect in our lives the love you have for each one of us.
Lord, we are as near to you as we are to the person from whom we are most divided, we pray for those people we are furthest from.
We ask a blessing on all your people today. that we may all come together as one in your spirit, knowing you as our Father.
In the name or your Son, our saviour Jesus Christ.