Thought I would share my July newsletter article with more than just my congregation. Hope it inspires you.
I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. (New Revised Standard Version)
I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of. (The Message)
But I have come to give you everything in abundance, more than you expect—life in its fullness until you overflow! (The Passion Translation)
Are you living a passionate abundant life? Jesus came to do just that – in fact in reading Leonard Sweet’s book Gospel According to Stabucks: Living a Grande Life,(which we will be using in the Women’s Circle Bible study this fall and if you would like to join us – 2nd Tuesdays starting again in September but if that doesn’t work maybe we can start another one at a different time – and it doesn’t have to be just girls!) he is giving a definition of the Greek word for life in this passage: zoe. Which translates fully as a flamboyant, passionate life. So the passage would read: I came that they may have a flamboyant, passionate life and have it abundantly. Isn’t it the coolest when you do simple word study and find out there is so much more to the words of Jesus?
I try but I wasn’t the best in Hebrew or Greek, and to have scholars like Sweet and my friend Arko from seminary, I can learn more. And isn’t that what we are to do as followers of Jesus – learn more? Learn more about God’s love, how to serve others, speak up to power, to not be afraid and remember we have faith.
Hebrews 11:1-3 gives the definitive definition for faith: Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Indeed, by faith our ancestors received approval. By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible. Or we can get a clearer meaning with the Message: The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd.
Our foundation is faith and upon it we build a passionate abundant life. Our life as followers of Jesus, who repaired our relationship with our Creator, is meant to be flamboyant, passionate, wild, radical, spontaneous, joyful, creative, incredible. So why do seem to be so serious about our faith? Why do we think God wants us to be serious in our worship of a loving, life-giving Creator Parent who wants joy for us, laughter and to just do ordinary things in extraordinary ways.
Starting NOW TODAY on this 1st day of July, pledge to begin having a flamboyant, passionate, abundant, extraordinary life – to the glory of God!
Blessings! Pastor Liz –