Rescue & Obedience

FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT 

Obedience. It’s not exactly a fun word, is it? Whether a dog on a short leash, a teenager sliding in at curfew, or any of us driving slower than what we would like, if we act out of obedience, that means someone else is “the boss” of us. Someone else is in charge.
 
 What does it mean that God asks us for obedience? It means that we’re called to trust God more than ourselves. Again, in looking at our Advent theme of Rescue, we are called to participate in Rescue…and we participate through obedience.
 
Kids walking pathObedience is counter-intuitive to our human nature. It puts self-preservation on the line.  Obedience to God may call us to set ego aside and do something that may have seemed unthinkable the day before, despite what others will think or say. Why? To paraphrase every parent ever: “Because God says so.” God has given a nudge… a nudge for us to act out of love instead of self-interest. Have you ever felt that nudge and ignored it? Most likely, your answer is yes…because most of the time God’s nudge points us to do something inconvenient, scary, annoying or just plain hard. It may even make us want to kick and scream and say, “NO!!” Which of course, as a reaction sounds a lot more like rebellion than obedience, doesn’t it? But because of our love for God, and because of Jesus’ example we are called and encouraged to embrace God’s nudge with a “YES.”
 
 Obedience is sometimes done with grace and peace, and sometimes done in a cold sweat and a lump in the throat…“Why am I doing this???”  Being obedient to God can very definitely mean fighting our own fear, our own thinking, but there’s a reason…

Isaiah 55:8-9  New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
 
You may have heard that God doesn’t call the equipped. He equips the called…But we still have to say, “Yes.”
 
If you’ve been reading this blog the past few weeks and internalizing it, you’ve been working on being obedient to God. Becoming watchful, preparing your heart, finding joy at its source. Centering on these ideas are acts of obedience to God and King… Keep on. Obedience is OUR part of the Rescue, and the only part that is in question… The rest is a sure thing…
 
For more thoughts on obedience, listen to Jason’s sermon on the topic from December 19.
 
 
Please join us December 24th,  Christmas Eve at 5, 7, 9 or 11 p.m. for worship. We would love to see you here!
 
Christmas Day and New Year’s Day will be “One Church” Sundays. There will be one worship service at 10 a.m., instead of the usual worship schedule of three services.
 
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