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From the Pulpit

“Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.¬†Therefore, as God‚Äôs chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.¬†Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.¬† And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.¬†Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him‚“ Colossians 3: 12-17.

As the political system winds up for the fall, we need always to remember that although we may not all share the same party lines, we do share Jesus Christ and, in the end, that is what really matters. The beginning of fall is also the time that all of our schedules start to fill up. School starts and all the things we put off for the summer begin again. Life in the summer is laid back, while fall is busy. Many people get stressed out as everyone tries to get what they want all at the same time.

Paul is writing to the church at Colossus, in part to address some of the false teachings that were interfering with the message of early Christian Church. They were getting stressed out. Paul reminded them that although we are all individuals in the Church, Jesus Christ is the unifying power that we all draw from. He tells them to make use of the spiritual gifts that we have through the Holy Spirit. He reminds them that instead of tearing each other down, we should build each other up. We all need to be reminded that no matter what we do or think of one another, Jesus looks at all of us through the lens of forgiveness.

A friend of mine once told me that life is like being a juggler. We all have many balls that we need to keep moving around. These balls represent our relationships—our relationship with God, with our friends, our job and our families. My friend was convinced that three of these balls were made of rubber and one was glass. When the glass ball breaks, it shatters. That ball represents our relationship with our family. It is hard to pick up the pieces, and it is almost impossible to but it back together the way it was. The other 3 are rubber. If we drop them they can recover. We can bounce back from dropping our friends, they will understand. We can bounce back from dropping our jobs, because another will come along. And we can bounce back from dropping our relationship with God, because he will forgive us. For this we give thanks, and, with the coming of fall, look forward to new opportunities to share the love of Christ with all we meet in our busy, busy life.

Pastor Herb VanderBilt

East Nelson United Methodist Church

9024 18 Mile Rd. Cedar Springs


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