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    Friday, July 1, 2022

    Romans 8: 12-17

    12 So then, brothers and sisters, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— 13for if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. 15For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’ 16it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ—if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.

     

    Ever wonder why some can’t hear? We told them the story because we care. We spent years speaking of it and speak of it still, but they chose a different path.

    Fred Craddock, the great teacher, told a story. He was sitting one hot summer eve in a little church, windows open, and the preacher was droning on about a favorite text: “Be not the first by whom the new is tried, because a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, and it’s better to be safe than sorry, because fools rush in where angels fear to tread.”

    Fred listened a while when a man stopped by the open window and said, “Pst. Pst.”

    “What,” Fred asked? “I’m listening to a sermon.”

    “Come with me,” the man said,

    “Where are you going?”

    “I know where there is a pearl of great price,” the man said. “More valuable than any other pearl in the world.”

    Fred debated awhile, contending no such thing existed. The man said a lot of foolish things. “Where I’m going,” he said, “bums are invited to the president’s table. They give great big parties for goof-offs who come home.”

    “That’s stupid,” Fred said and began paying attention again to the sermon. When the service ended, he told the preacher about the guy and apologized for disturbing the sermon.

    “Well,” the preacher asked, “was the guy getting anybody?”

    “None of our crowd went,” Fred responded, “but I noticed he had about 12 with him.”

    Romans 8. Two ways to exist. Flesh/Spirit. Slavery/Adoption. Life/Death. Why can’t some hear? People I love. My heart breaks at times. Is it a matter of personality typing? Or perhaps a different life experience? Are some just more intuitive, more capable of perceiving a different reality?

    A couple of the great doctors of the church, Augustine the bishop of Hippo and Francis de Sales, spoke somewhere of four passions: Love, joy, fear, and grief. Love, they said, always brings joy. Who would not choose this? My heart breaks for those unable to perceive a love so great nothing on earth or in heaven can separate them from it. I want them too to experience joy.

    Help us hear, O Lord. All of us.

     

    Hymn of the day: Hymn to the Holy Spirit. On Youtube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ulsp_3q1Gug or click media link on rossfordumc.org.

    For further study: The True Meaning of Faith by Martin Luther. On Youtube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4KX8mtTHyU or click forum link on rossfordumc.org.

     

    Rev. Lawrence Keeler

     

     

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