Monday, April 5, 2021

But You're Still A Bigger Sinner Than I Am

Lectionary Reading: 1 John 1-2:2

One of the things (among many) that I will miss about preaching in a single church setting will be the ability to look at one book of the Bible over many Sundays.  If you've followed my lectionary devotions, you can tell that I enjoy exploring the various themes that the authors project across an entire work.

I believe that the individual books of the Bible are richer when we can ingest them as a whole.

That being said, I will enjoy looking at the first letter of John over the Easter season which will carry through seven Sundays ending with May 16.  My series is entitled, "Abiding in the Resurrection" and we'll explore how our lives are influenced by our resurrection faith.

Is there less judgment if 
this is part of a contest?
This letter is actually more of a sermon or essay rather than an epistle.  Scholars think that it was written after John's Gospel and likely from a different author.  The targeted audience was dealing with church schism and were likely experiencing a variety of teaching - some of which questioned the physical presence of Jesus in the flesh at any time in his life (not just post-resurrection).  Of course, the physical presence is important to our theology of God knowing our short-comings and difficulties as mortals.

Evidently, some of these false teachers were claiming to be without sin.  This is a judgmental attitude that also belies the ability to relate to others.  Rather than approaching one another with humility, as if we are on a level playing field, we may look down upon those whom we feel are spiritually inferior to us.  So the author whom I'll refer to as John reminds us that a person making this claim is a liar which, of course, is a sin!

The need to place ourselves above our peers is part of the human condition.  It doesn't seem to be a part of what God calls us to be but that hasn't kept people from engaging in this behavior throughout Christian history.  And while some might begrudgingly admit to past sins, we might like to rank ourselves as less odious in God's eyes!

This Sunday, I hope that you'll join us for worship as we continue to explore this theme.  We'll gather in the sanctuary at 8:30 and 11 am and we'll also gather outside at 9:45 am across the street next to the Wesley Foundation building on the lawn.  We appreciate everyone signing in prior to the service for reservations!  We'll also continue to offer the safest option which is online worship via YouTube or Facebook!

I look forward engaging with you in one way or another on Sunday!

In Christ,


Photo by opus moreschi via  Used under the Creative Commons license.

All scripture quoted is from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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