Sermon Thirty One How Christian faith upholds the moral law

john                                         audio clip

Wesley suggests that people are very vague over what Law it is we are to follow.

Now anybody who watches crime drama on television or is aware the story of Al Capone’s capture, knows that successful criminals keep the law of the land apart from their one area of expertise.

It may surprise the world that I have never been arrested, I have never been in the room with the table, three chairs and a tape recorder. The police or Garda Siochana have never arrived at my door to take me or indeed my husband.

Most people break the law, some don’t know they have broken it, others are more flagrant. Paying taxes, giving full disclosure on all financial transactions – do we do that? Keeping to the speed limit, all the time, not just when passing through a town or when someone flashes us to slow down for the speed camera. When we think the law is unjust so we go on our turf bank and cut the sods. When we have an illness that Cannabis helps to alleviate the pain so we grow our own. Drink is so expensive so we distill potín in our shed. We can’t afford fuel so we use the red fuel for the tractor. We cross the road – not at a crossing, jaywalking.

We break the rules or flout them in some cases. “How dare the government tell me I can’t smack my child!” Sadly I have heard this often.

But if we are vague on government laws, rules and regulations, imagine how we are with God’s rules when we no longer, or have ever picked up a bible and read it.

Some of us Christians see the commandment of love and we know God’s grace so we think that it extends to all the world. And it does but it has to be picked up. We have to cry out to Jesus to be our Saviour.

I am thinking this week about the testimony I will give on Friday. Packing all the mercy of God that was needed into two minutes is a feat I am not capable of, it took me weeks to go through every box in my attic head and ask for forgiveness. I had done so much wrong, and had had so much wrong done to me.

Last night, when I expected to sleep soundly after delivering the message (yes with mistakes and omissions and yes I did get tongue tied but in the room, there was such love for me that graciously they saw pauses) but I expected to sleep. Instead another sleepless night. Tormented by the past, remembering the face of human judgement when I told someone my story, do I want to bring that on me again? Why is there a call on my life? I have been the worst of the worst.

About five o’clock this morning a rainbow appeared in my thoughts, a rainbow of power and might, that cut through all the boxes I was lining up. That is the past and there it will stay.

That rainbow, that covenant that God has made with me through Jesus Christ, his blood shed for me at Calvary has washed me clean. There was a fair amount of scrubbing to get every last stain out but I am now clean in him. He looks at me and loves me, just as I am. And I know that is why I have a call on my life because of the conversations I am able to have with those people who think they are the worst of the worse or have had the worst done to them.

The moral law that Wesley talks about, it is the way Jesus described it, not about ticking boxes – I do not murder but in the heart being able to say, “I have had no ill thought against anyone,” and maybe it was only for a minute before an ill thought came again and then we have to throw ourselves on God’s mercy again. Live such beautiful lives that the Jesus is seen through us.

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