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1 Thes 3:9-13 3 :It’s Not My Fault” JUMC 201221202

prayerhands

 

How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy that we feel before our God because of you? Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you face to face and restore whatever is lacking in your faith. Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus direct our way to you.  And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we abound in love for you. And may he so strengthen your hearts in holiness that you may be blameless before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints. [NRSV]

It is easier to blame than to take responsibility.

Just this week five faithful folks show up for a meeting that I forgot to call to tell the meeting was cancelled.  Should I find someone to blame or take responsibility, especially as it was my fault?

If something goes wrong at home, in the community or in the nations. Is it easier to assume and blame the one who has been responsible in the past? Blame the weakest link in the community? Or blame the leaders? Or is it easier to do something about it.

Paul writes to a church threaten from every side:

Lacking Faith, Weary Love, Weak Holiness.

With all that was going on today, I was assured that we still needed to finish within the hour. I boasted that I might only have time for a 37-word sermon. Here they are:

Jesus is coming indeed. Take responsibility, not blame. Restore faith, increase in Love, and strengthen your faith. How to do these things? Pray night and day.

Pray intentionally, earnestly, in all things. Jesus is coming soon. Amen.

If time allows:

Our five practices that make us a fruitful congregation are busy work without prayer.

We could spend out time and energy pointing fingers, assigning blame, and drawing attention to each other’s failures and brokenness. But where would that leave us?

Communion is a table of grace that gives us a new life.

Charge Conference is a business meeting that gives us a new start.

Advent is a season that prepares us for the coming Christ who moves in with us, not to blame, but to make us whole.

Yes we are sinful, guilty, tested and weak. But in Christ, through prayer and holiness we become as strong, in faith and love.

We become able to look at weary political and economic times and know this is not the whole story.

We being a seasons that the world has taken the worship of Christ, turned in a Sacred-Santa Celebration and then told us that we can’t even name the holiday that we have let go. It is Christ that we worship, (CHRIST-mas). Don’t blame who’s fault that is, take responsibility to tell the world yourself.

We are about to start a new fiscal and political year as a church and as a nation. If there are things you don’t like or know need improvement. Don’t focus your attention on blame, who’s fault something is, take responsibility to strengthen and abound in the power of love.

We are coming to a table of grace set by Christ and faithful hands where we come to talk, listen, confess and be blessed. Don’t look at the small serving of bread and drink, look at the enormous gift of saving grace that empowers when we are willing to eat and drink with our Lord and be the living body of Christ for the world.

Yes, it’s my fault and your fault, but that get’s us no where near Christ. Come to the table.

Jesus is coming indeed. Take responsibility, not blame. Restore faith, increase in Love, and strengthen your faith. How to do these things? Pray night and day.

Pray intentionally, earnestly, in all things. Jesus is coming soon. Amen.

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