13 September 2009

Lake Worth - Strife or peace?

It was a real joy to meet with my friends in Florida, we sat by the pool as the evening light faded, shared salad and chili together, and chatted and sang and talked and prayed and talked. The Fountain of Time, ChicagoSteph and Earl had invited Theresa (a lifelong friend of Steph's) and Tony and his wife were with us too (Tony is a friend of Earl's).

We discussed some aspects of simple church, and we considered the thought that to the Lord, a day is as a thousand years. Another topic was righteousness, ours is worthless, Christ's is perfect, but that's OK as long as we remember that he is our righteousness!

We were also impressed with the idea that peace is everything. There is so much strife - in life, at work, in the home, even in church - if we don't bring his peace we cannot be in peace.

Considering all of this, that we need his righteousness and his peace, we thought that our direction must be first up (to him) and then out (to one another and to the world). We can only succeed in going out if we have first been in his presence.

Right at the end of the evening a question was asked about the Sabbath. If we discover that the Sabbath is Saturday, not Sunday, shouldn't we switch to Saturday? It is no light matter to be disobedient, so once a believer knows that Saturday is the day of rest, isn't it sinful to continue with Sunday?

Several of us argued that it's no longer about the Law, as followers of Jesus we are called to deal with principals, not the letter of the Law. Jesus told the Pharisees that even they are practical about such things, for example by rescuing a donkey from the ditch even on the Sabbath. And he also told us that the Father looks for hearts that are holy, not deeds or behaviour. He has given us hearts of flesh, not stone! If our heart is right so that we love the Lord and also those around us, we need not be anxious about the details of any point of the Law. Paul wrote that some hold special days but others treat all days alike - and that's acceptable.

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