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A Word from Pastor John
I've been thinking about the passage in 1 Thessalonians 5, which urges us to "pray without ceasing." Of course, this sounds impossible at first glance. How could we possibly engage in our day-to-day activities while simultaneously folding our hands and asking for God's blessings?
This passage implies a deeper understanding of prayer. A type of prayer that has less to do with us asking God for things, but instead calls us to listen, to engage, to allow God to walk with us through our day-to-day tasks.
If you haven't already, I would invite you to join us as we continue our Prayer series on Wednesday nights. Each Wednesday, looking at a different prayer from scripture and how we might apply it to our lives.
May the Holy Spirit continue to work amongst us and teach us to pray.
Pray For One Another
To request prayer, email firstname.lastname@example.org
or call/text (520) 709-0815
Our pastors and their families
The world as we all continue to navigate this Covid-19 pandemic.
The workers and inmates at CCA
Mosaic's new board members
Family and friend of Susie Kimbal
Barbara Gionfriddo's dear friend's Sister
Barbara Gionfriddo's friend's Mom
The many unspoken requests
Make sure you're a part of our Facebook group to get prayer requests as they come in: https://www.facebook.com/groups/21109057279
Reflections on John Wesley Sermon 44: “Original Sin”
“The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time.” —Genesis 6:5
Imagine sitting on an examination table, and in comes Dr. John Wesley with a clipboard in hand. “Give it to me straight,” you tell him. “What is the diagnosis?” He says, “I have some good news and bad news. The good news is that you have been made in the image of God; your human dignity and potential is still in-tact. The bad news is that a disease called ‘Original Sin’ has distorted this image. It’s hereditary, passed down from generation to generation since the day it was spawned by the disobedience of your distant grandparents, Adam and Eve.” According to Dr. Wesley, the right diagnosis constitutes the right cure.
Historically, not everyone has agreed with this diagnosis. Some in Wesley’s day insisted that a recovery of the innate virtues would happen once humanity “freed” itself from the “bondage” of superstitious religious doctrines like “original sin.” It perturbed him even more when professed Christians offered the same ridicule.1 In his estimation, if humans are not fallen creatures, then there is no need for a remedy. Besides, this was a far cry from the picture Scripture paints, in which every “inclination, affection, passion… [and] thought” is continually evil. Still others insisted that the diagnosis is so bleak that humanity just had to learn to live with the disease. The Imago Dei had become so obliterated, in their estimation, that sin became synonymous with what it meant to be human. It was Wesley’s diagnosis that bridged the gap between depravity and human potential by describing sin as a disease. This offered a cure instead of a suppressant.
“Are you sure, doc?” you ask him. “Your symptoms are obvious,” he says, “idolatry, pride, and self-will.” With a sigh you ask, “Is there a cure?” He smiles, “Yes, God can ‘heal all our atheism’ and restore our corrupted nature. You just have to apply the ‘sovereign remedy’ in repentance. ‘Know your disease! Know your cure! You were born in sin, therefor you must be born again, born of God.”
"Where shall we find a cure to the problems that ail humanity?"
Every generation seeks a solution to its societal ills, like a chemist seeking a cure in a lab. The symptoms are obvious: gossip, slander, hatred, strife, division, sexual immorality, envy, and the list goes on. Is it possible that we have relegated “original sin” to nothing more than an outdated, superstitious doctrine that is no longer needed in our age? Perhaps this attitude only encourages us to seek “solutions” that numb the pain but never solve the problem? Have we become so pessimistic that we no longer see our God-given human potential in the imago Dei? Do we still believe that God’s grace is capable of renewing us, “until [our] whole sickness [is] healed”? The diagnosis is the key to finding some solutions.
H. Gordon Smith III is senior pastor at Frankfort First Church of the Nazarene in Frankfort, Indiana, USA.
1. Albert C. Outler, “An Introductory Comment,” The Works of John Wesley - The Bicentennial Edition (Nashville: Abingdon, 1984), 2:170.
To read the full text of the sermon, click here.
Bible Reading Plan:
Week 34 (8/16-8/22)
If you haven't kept up or haven't even started, it's not too late!!
Pick up bookmark ONE in the church lobby and join at your own pace.
OR, just start here on day 232!
This year, we are reading through the Bible chronologically using The Bible Recap Plan in YouVersion.
Take a bookmark from the front lobby if you'd like to keep track that way and go through at your own pace. Bookmark EIGHT is available now!
Day 232: Habakkuk 1-2
Day 233: Jeremiah 41-45
Day 234: Jeremiah 46-48
Day 235: Jeremiah 49-50
Day 236: Jeremiah 51-52
Day 237: Lamentations 1-2
Day 238: Lamentations 3-5
Before you read God’s Word today, seek His help with these 5 prayers:
1. God, give me wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. 2. God, let any knowledge I gain serve to help me love You and others more, and not puff me up. 3. God, help me see something new about You I've never seen before. 4. God, correct any lies I believe about You or anything I misunderstand. 5. God, direct my steps according to Your Word.
Jesus is watching you
A burglar broke into a home and was looking around. He heard a soft voice say, "Jesus is watching you". Thinking it was just his imagination, he continued his search. Again the voice said "Jesus is watching you". He turned his flashlight around and saw a parrot in a cage. He asked the parrot if he was the one talking and the parrot said, "yes." He asked the parrot what his name was and the parrot said, "Moses." The burglar asked, "what kind of people would name a parrot Moses?" The parrot said, "the same kind of people who would name their German Shepherd Jesus".
Two old friends met one day after many years. One attended college, and now was very successful. The other had not attended college and never had much ambition.
The successful one said, "How has everything been going with you?"
"Well, one day I opened the Bible at random, and dropped my finger on a word and it was oil. So, I invested in oil, and boy, did the oil wells gush. Then another day I dropped my finger on another word and it was gold. So, I invested in gold and those mines really produced. Now, I'm as rich as Rockefeller."
The successful friend was so impressed that he rushed to his hotel, grabbed a Gideon Bible, flipped it open, and dropped his finger on a page.
He opened his eyes and his finger rested on the words, "Chapter Eleven."
Adam and the frog
Adam was spending the day naming all the creatures in the garden when he realized he was alone as a human being. Then came the very last creature and he named it "frog". He spoke to the frog in his loneliness and asked it if it had any ideas as to how he could not be so lonely. To Adam's surprise, the frog opened it's mouth and replied, "Rib-It!", then the rest was history...
Scripture of the Week
Where are you focusing your attentions in this season of your life?
Has God been speaking to you through the Pastor lately?