Thursday, June 2, 2016

Blogging toward Sunday

Jesus Christ, Icon

In preparation for worship this Sunday, June 5, 2016, read the following from Paul's letter to the churches in Galatia: 
Am I now seeking human approval, or God’s approval? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still pleasing people, I would not be a servant of Christ. For I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel that was proclaimed by me is not of human origin; for I did not receive it from a human source, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. You have heard, no doubt, of my earlier life in Judaism. I was violently persecuting the church of God and was trying to destroy it. I advanced in Judaism beyond many among my people of the same age, for I was far more zealous for the traditions of my ancestors. But when God, who had set me apart before I was born and called me through his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son to me, so that I might proclaim him among the Gentiles, I did not confer with any human being, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were already apostles before me, but I went away at once into Arabia, and afterwards I returned to Damascus.Then after three years I did go up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and stayed with him fifteen days; but I did not see any other apostle except James the Lord’s brother. In what I am writing to you, before God, I do not lie! Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia, and I was still unknown by sight to the churches of Judea that are in Christ; they only heard it said, “The one who formerly was persecuting us is now proclaiming the faith he once tried to destroy.” And they glorified God because of me (Galatians 1:10-24, NRSV). 
After spending time prayerfully meditating on the text, consider the following:

  1. Do you seek God's approval more often than you seek the approval of others? 
  2. From Paul's perspective, what is the origin of the gospel he proclaims?
  3. Why is Paul sharing his faith journey in the letter? (If you were not in worship last Sunday, look for clues in previous verses.)
  4. How long has it been since you shared your faith story with someone else?

Until we gather for worship, please join me in praying that God will bless our time together this Sunday so that we might, in turn, be a blessing to others.  

Grace & Peace,