Called to Live Anew.
Therefore, my beloved brothers and sisters, be firm, steadfast, always fully devoted to the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
Anew – Life Anew in Christ is exhibited especially when we live to know, love, and serve the Lord and when call people to also know, love, and serve the Lord and His Holy Church right here at this parish.
Today we enter the final half-week of this Pre-Lenten season. This season is specifically designed so we might prepare ourselves for the rigors of the Lenten season to begin in just three days. Between now and Easter we endeavor and strive at the vast changes we need in our lives.
St. Paul reminds the Church at Corinth, and us, that we have been made new, we have put on the eternal, the incorruptible. The definition of life anew. He reminds us that we are not to be those hypocrites Jesus warns against, but rather those who bear good fruit, producers of good.
In baptism we were consecrated to the Lord and that makes us different, new. We have entered the Kingdom and its life. We have victory. Therefore, we must be firm, steadfast, always fully devoted to the work of the Lord. As such, we must live as the Kingdom people we are now, not the people we were then.
Being fully devoted to the work of the Lord means calling ourselves to necessary repentance, to fasting, prayer, and charity. Being fully devoted to the Lord means constantly reaching for the next rung on the ladder to heaven and helping others up the ladder.
By growing in this new life, we show our beauty – our attractiveness – to those who do not know the Lord. Between our Kingdom life example and the gentleness of our words we call others into the Kingdom life.
Last night’s Grand Ole Opry introduced a group appearing for the first time, We The Kingdom. It was a great example of people, family and friends, living out their faith in Jesus Christ publicly, with joy, and celebration. So, we should be We The Kingdom for indeed that is what we are – as we live out our life anew in Jesus Christ publicly, with joy, and celebration. As they sang, calling others to meet Jesus by their artistic example, so must we by the means and opportunities that are in our paths.
Imagine a community of people where others are welcome without criticism and judgment, where words and music are sweet balm for the hurting, where the inhabitants are steadfast, devoted to the work of the Lord, where each person helps the other to climb the ladder to heaven. Yes, that place is here because we are the Kingdom and we grow evermore as we endeavor and strive at the changes we need in our lives – living anew each day, and welcoming others to the same.