Technically this week’s edition of ‘Ruminations from the back pew’ should be titled ‘Ruminations from the middle section of the church because I arrived late and someone had taken my usual spot’. This, of course, is the dark side of the new-congregants-seat-shuffle I spoke of so lovingly before: it’s survival of the earliest out here.
As the Body of Christ, we always try to be accepting of the new folks we are so often blessed with, but you’ve got to admit that there are just some kinds of people you will never understand or sympathise with. For my last church it was black people. For my mother it’s vegetarians. For me it’s people who willingly sit in the front of church. And on their first visit? You better believe I’m listening for the telling jangle of their testes of steel.
Anyway, the service was pretty typical:
- My new spot gave me an unimpeded view of the only two biceps in the 9:30 congregation, one of which had a tattoo on it. I’m not sure which was more distracting: the muscle or the unfortunate choice of font.
- I spent most of the opening prayer praying that my stomach wouldn’t rumble too loudly—a prayer that went unanswered. Thanks, God!
- My dotty-looking neighbour nodded off halfway through the sermon. I would have left her to it if she hadn’t started to snore, so I did the Christian thing and coughed loudly and pretended not to see her startle awake. I’m pretty sure I’m a good person.
The sermon was enlightening, don’t let Dotty Lady’s slumber fool you. Another oldie but goodie about how we are saved by grace and not our works. It’s such a simple thing, faith, in the end. Maybe that’s why we always forget about it.
- God can only create order when he’s the one in control. We have to relinquish control of our lives and actions to him.
- Our works cannot replace God or God’s grace, and we cannot ‘repay’ him for salvation with works. If works could get us into Heaven, it would hardly be Heaven.
- When we struggle with having faith, we need to remember that living itself is a constant act of faith. Jesus said only a mustard seed amount was required. That’s not a whole lot compared to the faith it takes the get up each morning.
- Grace is a mystery, but what we should do with it isn’t.
- God sees the glory of Jesus Christ when he looks at us. We too see that glory when we look at ourselves and each other through the goggles of faith.
- In being saved, we (Christians) are the hope to the lost.
- If we do everything for God’s glory, our priorities will automatically sort themselves out. (Something we’ve been discussing in our home cell group.)
- God has faith in us—the least we can do is to return the favour.
What did you learn this Sunday?