Plymouth Congregational Church

God for All

Call to Worship (part 5)

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Pastor Bill, “Have you ever seen fish swimming upstream? I have daily. I often feel that I am one of those salmon who is fighting the current and trying to swim upstream. An upstream Christian in a downstream world. This is the hardest place to walk. I’ve done it. When I learned to fly fish I used to stand down water and walk upstream. My friend, who taught me how to fly fish, thought I was crazy and I wouldn’t catch a single fish. Not only did I catch one but I caught my limit, something I never intend to repeat. An upstream Christian in a downstream world.”

What does that mean?

It means that our world is trying to block out religion, God, instead of being open and accepting.

We are filtering too much of his light allowing too much darkness into our world.

Too much anger.

Too much judgment.

Too much lacking in kindness.

Pastor Bill, “Headline number three:

Wrongdoers Experience Grace and Live New Lives.”

Is it possible?

How can a murderer find grace and live a new life? Think of Aurora, Colorado and the tragedy at the Dark Knight Rises and answer this question. Impossible!

Maybe, but then again maybe not.

Check this out…

by Helen-Prejean

In 1982, Sister Helen Prejean became the spiritual advisor to Patrick Sonnier, the convicted killer of two teenagers who was sentenced to die in the electric chair of Louisiana’s Angola State Prison. In the months before Sonnier’s death, the Roman Catholic nun came to know a man who was as terrified as he had once been terrifying. At the same time, she came to know the families of the victims and the men whose job it was to execute him–men who often harbored doubts about the rightness of what they were doing.

Out of that dreadful intimacy comes a profoundly moving spiritual journey through our system of capital punishment. Confronting both the plight of the condemned and the rage of the bereaved, the needs of a crime-ridden society and the Christian imperative of love, Dead Man Walking is an unprecedented look at the human consequences of the death penalty, a book that is both enlightening and devastating.

Now of course you are wondering why I would display such a piece of literature but it is to show an example of someone who had an opportunity to change his life through the grace of God. Sister Prejean showed herself in this man’s life as God’s beacon. She was able to lead him to grace and to make Pastor Bill’s headline a reality.

We can, as Christians, bring grace to people’s worlds aside from our own. We can help change their lives. It does not have to be a huge act as Sister Prejean, but in our small daily dealings we too can bring grace to someone’s home and help them find their own Pesos, Fides, and Credo.

How amazing would that feel to be an author of this headline?

Pastor Bill, “Through the Gospel of Jesus Christ Ephesians 2:8, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” This is the nature of the gospel. It HAS the power to change lives so we must keep proclaiming it. Romans 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.””

I cannot recite a bible verse to save my life or have a debate that would last more than a nanosecond. That is not what Pastor Bill is asking of you. What he is providing you is a light along the pathway to God that says know God’s value, know God’s worth, and use that knowledge daily in your choices and actions. That is all. Listen to God’s words through his book – the Bible. Use your resources to bring His light deeper into your life and those that are around you. Share this light, do not harbor it or protect it for it is meant to be shared.

TRUST the light.

BELIEVE in the light.

FAITH will bring grace through the light.

YOU are the LIGHT!

Do you know anyone, anyone at all, that was able to find God’s light in 2012?

How about now, in 2013?

Bring grace home and allow the light of grace to help you swim downstream.


Author: bkbites

Stay at home Mom of 3 boys, 1 goofy dog, 2 wickedly crazy cats, and a traveling husband. Ah, what can be better? It's a full life without a doubt.

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