This saying is trustworthy and deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. Of these I am the foremost. But for that reason I was mercifully treated, so that in me, as the foremost, Christ Jesus might display all his patience as an example for those who would come to believe in him for everlasting life.
Welcome BACK TO CHURCH! If this is your first time visiting with us, we want you to know how happy we are. If you are longstanding faithful parishioners, we want you to know how happy we are.
You may be thinking to yourselves, why is he happy, why should the community be happy if I am here? Maybe he is just one of those pastors who is happy at just about anything?
Well, yeah, but thatâ€™s not the point.
The real point of our joy is the same point St. Paul was making about himself. Paul was overjoyed because he was taken from a life without meaning, without purpose, without hope, to a life regenerated – new life in Christ Jesus. He had eternal life in Jesus and the joy of now working TOGETHER in the community of faith. He received mercy, not allowance to continue his own way, but the mercy necessary to be changed into the very image of Jesus in communities throughout the Mediterranean.
For those who are joining us for the first time, for the first time in a while, or are here again, returning faithfully and diligently, todayâ€™s call is about rejoicing in knowing Jesus deeper and better, to experience His exorbitant mercy, and to be changed into His image in our world.
Relying on Jesus and being His image is not an easy choice. It is not popular – and definitely puts us into the core countercultural movement of our time, but so it was with Paul and all the early Christ followers. Paul counted it as mercy – to be saved from sin into a new life that actually mattered, and he worked together with others to spread knowledge of that salvation. Paul stood as an example of what is possible in Jesus, and so must we.
Today, and each week we are happy you are here. We are happy that the mercy of Jesus is so all encompassing, so total, that He will not leave any behind. We are happy because now together, in Jesus, we celebrate and rejoice.