This Palm Sunday, we not merely join Jesus as we welcome him into Jerusalem, we join him with Daily Office readings in the good fight of faith with saints of old like Paul and Timothy.
The lectionary inspires us Lenten penitents with the story of Abraham, the spiritual ancestor of those who learn to relate to God by faith instead of imperfect human obedience or heredity.
In serving two church’s, when the bishop is at one church, you still need to preach at the other. This provides a neat chance to compare and contrast how two different people approach the same Gospel lesson. The good thing to note, we both agree on the necessity of a vibrant faith and a deep sense of humility in following Jesus.
My sermon (St Bartholomew’s):
My bishop’s sermon (St Francis):
In Colossians 2, we discover that our Lord doesn’t want us to be bound up in spirituality that doesn’t work. No matter how hard we try to be good, how much we try to whip up devotion, no matter how many extras we add to our to our life beyond God’s command to love – the only way to begin (and continue!) to experience the abundant, resurrection life of Christ is to take hold of the baptismal promise we have by means of a living, active trust in Jesus. May we all tap into God’s best for us as we learn to live by faith instead of mere human effort.
Moving from Galatia to Colossae is certainly a step up in faith, even if the troubles afflicting both churches are similar. We pick up with Colossians 1 where St Paul expounds the Supreme Gospel that centers on our Supreme Lord. May we each find Jesus more than enough in this life and the next.
Continuing through Galatians (extended chapter here) from our readings, we find St Paul laying the groundwork for salvation to the promise given to Abraham. As you reflect, I invite you to rejoice that all people are invited to become children of Abraham through faith in Christ!
Justification by faith is one of those great Bible doctrines that has inspired generations of Christians to vibrant, confident relationship with God. As you read today’s lessons (see extended context from Galatians here) and reflect on the truth of our being restored back to God simply because we trust Jesus, may you likewise find faith truly effortless.