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Connecting the Dots, August 23, 2018

As a kid, I loved connect the dots. I couldn't draw. But I could connect dots.

I liked word finders, too.

As a preacher, connecting the dots between the words of Scripture and our daily living is the deepest desire of my heart.

This series of articles are reflections and teachings between sermons to help us connect our hearts with the heart of our Good Shepherd, Jesus, so that we can hear his voice and follow where he leads.

Blessings, Fr. Greg+

Last Sunday, the focus of the sermon was "Abiding in Christ."

Following the insight of Archbishop William Temple, I urged us to embrace "permanent abiding through persevering trust."

I quoted the Archbishop's insight on Jesus teaching, “He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him."

“Those words ["abides in me, and I in him"] express in completeness the substance and goal of the Christian life. . . . It is not the momentary eating but the permanent abiding that is of primary importance” (William Temple, Readings in St. John's Gospel).

Our eucharistic feeding on the Holy Sacrament is intended to sustain faith for our everyday living in Jesus. And the the Holy Scripture are the written word about the living Word upon which we must feed our spirit's daily.

This was the point of Eugene Peterson's words in the sermon's closing charge: "Christians feed on Scripture. Holy Scripture nurtures the holy community as food nurtures the human body."

We are led into "permanent abiding through persevering trust" through Holy Eucharist and Holy Scripture. This is the basic pattern given in the Book of Common Prayer.

Looking toward our next celebration of the Holy Eucharist on September 2, we will hear from St. Paul in Ephesians 6:10-20 and be charged to "stand in the Spirit."

Let's connect these two ideas this way: permanent abiding in Christ is possible as we stand in the Spirit. For the Spirit in whom we stand, enlivens us with the very life of the risen Christ.

In Christ and by His Spirit, may grace and peace be multiplied to you!

Fr. Greg+



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