1 Timothy 3:14-16 (NRSV)
The mystery of our religion
I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these instructions to you so that, if I am delayed, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth. Without any doubt, the mystery of our religion is great:
He was revealed in flesh,
vindicated in spirit,
seen by angels,
proclaimed among Gentiles,
believed in throughout the world,
taken up in glory.
HAPPY SHROVE TUESDAY! Today is the last day before the Lenten Season begins. In many countries around the world today is called, “Fat Tuesday, Pancake Day, or Mardi Gras.” Shrove comes from the word “shrive” which means “to confess.”
In short, on this last day before we begin the season of Lent—or repentance—we take the time to examine ourselves, confess our sins, become assured of our forgiveness, and celebrate with our family and friends before the fasting and prayer of Lenten Season is upon us!
In today’s scripture reading Paul writes to Timothy saying, “the mystery of our religion is great.” Then Paul goes on to detail that mystery by saying Jesus was revealed in flesh (God took on human flesh.), vindicated in spirit (Jesus performed many signs and wonders and he rose from the dead.), was seen by angels (They heralded his birth and resurrection.), proclaimed by Gentiles (Who would have believed that Gentiles were the people of God too?), believed throughout the world (Well, we are proof of that!), and taken up in glory (Jesus ascended into the skies as the disciples watched forty days after his resurrection.).
Wow! The mystery of our faith is great! For me, the greatest mystery of all is, “How could God love us so much?”
I love being a Christian and I love sharing my faith. I truly believe that the God has made the GOOD NEWS message is easy to understand and easy to share. But, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t mysterious. Mystery simply means, “Something that cannot be fully known.”
And isn’t it true that there are some mysteries to our faith! We cannot fully know how much God love us, for God loves us more than we can comprehend. We cannot fully know how much it cost Jesus to die on the cross, for we will never know the weight of such a burden. We cannot fully know just how Jesus was raised from the dead, for only God is capable of knowing the mechanics of such an awesome feat!
I could go on and on for there are many “mysteries” to our faith! But, I will stop here and remind us that although there are many things we cannot fully know about our faith, there are still plenty of things that we do know that we have privilege of sharing with others!
We do know that God loves the world—the people, the plants, the animals, the earth, the sky and the seas. We do know that God sent Jesus into the world to live, die, and live again in order to make atonement for our sin and to reconcile us with God and with each other. We do know that when we walk with Jesus—by faith—we are assured that we will not perish, but have eternal life!
This is wonderful GOOD NEWS my friends! And, it is simple. God loves. God gave. God saves. Another way of paraphrasing the GOOD NEWS is this, “Chris has died, Christ has risen, Christ shall come again!”
Let us go out into the entire world and share these very simple, yet profound statements of our faith.
Is there someone in your life who has been confused by the “mysteries of our faith?” Are you willing to share the simplicity of the GOOD NEWS message with him or her today?
Holy and Unsearchable God—you are mysterious. Your ways are not our ways and your thoughts are not our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8). How glad I am that you chose to come to me in the simplicity of a barn and in the flesh of a carpenter’s son. I am so glad that you have helped me to understand that you love me! Help me to share this GOOD NEWS with others on this day! Amen.
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Pastor Yolanda extends a very special welcome to our friends reading outside of the United States of America! We are honored that you are sharing with us today.
from Pastor Yolanda's blog http://aintathatgoodnews.blogspot.com