This Sunday, as in the next two Sundays, we will delve into Paul's letter to the Romans. Originally scheduled to be a five sermon series, I am combining the sermon on Adam ! and II. In doing this, we will celebrate, as a Charge on Sept 30th, the work of the United Methodist Women. This Sunday, Sept 9, we will examine the role Abraham played in both the Jewish and Gentile communities. For the Jewish community, he was Father Abraham, the patriarch of their faith. To the Gentile community, Abraham was a known figure, but was not their Father. As a matter of fact, before Paul's letter, Gentiles could not refer to Abraham as their father. From these two communities came those who believed in Jesus Christ as the one spoken about by the prophets; the one who was the fulfillment of the Law. Paul changed these preconceived ideas about Abraham that both of these groups had. He says that Abraham is the father of all the faithful, both the Jew and the Gentile Christian. He goes even further and says it is Abraham's faith, not his following the Law, that makes him the Father of the Faithful. Paul points out that God found Abraham to be righteous before the Law was given. His righteousness was found in his willingness to obey God and follow God where would lead. Now Paul does not say we don't have to obey the Law, far from it. But faith is the road to salvation, not the Law.
What about you and me today? What does this have to do with us in our day to day living? I have found for me that I really do need to open myself to God's leading, my following. Even when I don't know where it will end; maybe especially when I don't know where it will end. To be faithful is scary at times. But I have found the journey to be invigorating. If you would have told me that at 70, I would be pastoring 4 churches, I would tell you, "No way!" But here I am and by the grace of God I will continue to do so until God says, "Here is where I want you, my child." My prayer for you this week is that you follow Abraham's example and be willing to lead where God leads you.
Schedule for Communion on the Charge is thus:
1st Sunday: Capon Chapel 1 pm
2nd Sunday: Central 9:30 am
3rd Sunday: Capon Bridge 11 am
4th Sunday: North River Mills 1 pm
We are moving forward , spreading the Gospel of love and grace. Will you not join us in this effort? The rewards are heavenly! See you Sunday, Alanna