(In The Life Of The Church)
“the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.”
– Acts 5:32
My absolute favorite thing about my life right now is one of Wendell’s little board books titled Elmo Says. The premise will be familiar to you. It’s a game of Simon Says, but Simon’s name has been substituted with Elmo's. Elmo asks readers to participate in a series of about twelve stunts that you usually come in pairs that rhyme.
What’s astonishing to me is how eager my children are to listen to Elmo when compared to listening to me. If I have to get my kids to take a bath or clean their rooms it’s like herding cats. Elmo on the other hand can get them all to do the shimmy shake, fly like a plane, and waddle like a duck without as much as lifting a finger.
We are in Easter week 1. Having just finished the Lenten season I find myself reflecting on my pledge to give something up. The goal, among other things, I assume was cultivate in me a greater sense of obedience. The fidelity found in my love for God was allegedly deepened by my commitment to love Him without the comfort of (fill in the blank). I wonder though if I am any more obedient than I was before Lent.
Obedience has had my attention for some time. It’s what I spent my time thinking about during Lent and the mechanism with which I took measure of my spirituality during the same. It strikes me that obedience is as about as popular of an idea as sin or sacrifice. Obedience is a commitment to live a kind of life. In the Christian tradition the contract is written on our hearts and sealed by the Spirit. God is not into legalism, but He is into cultivation and whatever the medium is that God is using to form you, I’ve found that honoring that instinct is important for growth.
I was surprised after this Lenten season to read the alternative text from Acts for Easter 2 in the lectionary and see 5:32, “the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.”
I will confess something to you. I have a theological struggle. It doesn’t take a seminary degree or even much theological aptitude to sniff out the heresy in the health and wealth gospel. And yet I’ve not been able to let go of the idea that Divine Relationship, though marked by grace, demands something from us. And perhaps it’s not that God withholds something from us in response (if we are disobedient), but rather that we set ourselves up to receive something passively from God if we do what He says. Obedience is not the prerequisite to receive grace from God, but it is the mode of the Spirit in Acts 5.
So let me ask you something. In what way may God be demanding more allegiance from you? What habit, routine, or behavior might the Spirit be prompting you to hand to God in exchange for something more beautiful?
Pastoral Associate Applications
If you are part of our UBC community and are interested in serving a pastoral associate, you can apply by clicking here. Applications are due by 5:00pm on Friday, May 15th. Pastoral associates serve the mission of UBC by serving along full time staff to complete pastoral work as determined by the needs of our community and the desires of the applicant. Associates will be selected by the staff. Associates will make a commitment from June 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017. If you have questions for clarification please email Josh @ firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lost and Found
Our lost and found is beginning to pile up! Come by and check for any missing items or call the office. Due to lack of storage space, we will be donating all lost and found items every three months to Goodwill. Our next donation will be April 30th.
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EasyTithe alerted us to a company-wide bug on March 28. In a few cases, reoccurring givers (who give on the 28th of each month) were charged twice. EasyTithe immediately noticed the problem and refunded the second withdrawal for all those affected by this issue. Only two UBCers were affected. We simply wanted to alert people to the recent problem with EasyTithe.
Work is Worship
Greeters: Walters and Evie
Coffee Makers: Madi
Mug Cleaners: Carson
- Sunday Sermon: John 20:19-30
- If you are graduating in May, August, or December 2016, we would love to have you stay for lunch after church on April 24th. There will be a sign-up sheet in the foyer starting on April 3rd. Please contact email@example.com for more information.
- Chris Tweedt will be leading a series of three talks about the intersection of faith and philosophy. Talks will run in the evening from 7:30-8:30 and will take place at UBC. for more information email Chris @ firstname.lastname@example.org
- Feb 24: Perceiving God or Arguing for God?
- Mar 23: What Does God Think About Suffering?
- April 20: Who, If Anyone, Should We Trust about Religion?
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