Hi and happy Friday!
For those of you who attend FCC in person or online, you know we are in our “At the Movies” series. Last week featured the movie, “Back to the Future” and so I wanted to just touch on some thoughts in regard to personal reflections on it.
I was reminded of how young Michael J. Fox was and I was also tender hearted watching him sport around on a skateboard and knowing he enjoyed huge popularity as a young actor, he certainly did not know the health challenges he would experience in his adult life.
In visiting with Russ and some friends regarding the sermon, we talked a bit about the scripture reference to Saul’s conversion and revisited the account in Acts 9:1-19.
It is startling to read every time as we see how dramatically Saul/Paul’s life was turned around. While Paul used no lines of Scripture to express his regrets that most surely must have haunted him from time to time; he continuously pointed to the amazing grace that was shown to him through Christ. We all have benefited as he spent his life, not wallowing in guilt, but in proclaiming the freedom that was given to him, the “chief of sinners.”
Mulling this over, it is hard to miss the impact of his conversion and the way his past fueled his passion for the goodness and mercy of Christ.
I was once in a class where people were asked to reflect on their testimony of who they were before Christ and who they are after. There were some who seemingly had no powerful conversion experience, but more a steady walk from earliest memories. The teacher then pointed out that this is no less miraculous.
The same grace that enabled John, the disciple, to put down his net and follow, remain faithful at the foot of cross, take Jesus’ mother in and care for her, survive and thrive spiritually on Patmos and write both the Gospel of John and the book of Revelation, is the same grace and mercy that met Saul on the road to Damascus.
At the end of Brian’s message, he offered the prayer of salvation to anyone who was moved with the good news that, while we can’t go back and change mistakes, we have a Savior who paid the price for those and for all the sin of the world. The ease with which he shared it flows from his own personal joy and gratitude in being free in Christ. He shared so naturally and openly.
I want to be more like that. There are parts of our story we don’t want to remember or ever share, and we don’t have to drag them out and exalt them…thank goodness. But the part of the story where Christ entered in and changed the trajectory of our path, this should be reflected upon and celebrated regularly. As we spend more time, privately, rejoicing and marveling at God’s grace and mercy, it cannot help but flow out of us and into our conversations and relationships and actions.
Even King David, who would have definitely resonated with the “chief of sinners’ tag, knew that the joy in his life was the Joy of Christ’s salvation.
In Psalm 51:12, which was a prayer of confession, David prays,”Restore to me the joy of YOUR salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.”
It was not David’s personal salvation story that was the centerpiece of his life, but the complete salvation that is offered through God’s willingness to forgive and forget and restore us, whether we mess up a little or a lot.
I hope you are enjoying the series at church (if anyone wants to catch these online, because they use clips of movies, you can only view on First Christian Church live (YouTube or Facebook) at service times:
Saturday 5:00 pm, Sunday 9:00 am and 11:00 am and a special viewing on Wednesdays at 7:00 pm. Here is a link to help https://www.firstdecatur.org/movies/
God bless and have a great week <3