sermons - even in my old style that allowed for lots of spontaneity - is done. In whatever time I have left in this realm, I really need to reflect from my heart about how the gospel can change our lives if we are open to the Spirit. I sensed I should go there after returning from sabbatical but wimped-out last week. Oh well, no more. People - my congregation included - don't need more ideas. Or fancy words. Or exciting religious rhetoric.
Peterson's reworking of Romans 14 in The Message is brilliant - and oh so clear:
Welcome with open arms fellow believers who don’t see things the way you do. And don’t jump all over them every time they do or say something you don’t agree with—even when it seems that they are strong on opinions but weak in the faith department. Remember, they have their own history to deal with. Treat them gently....What’s important in all this is that if you keep a holy day, keep it for sake; if you eat meat, eat it to the glory of God and thank God for prime rib; if you’re a vegetarian, eat vegetables to the glory of God and thank God for broccoli. None of us are permitted to insist on our own way in these matters. It’s we are answerable to—all the way from life to death and everything in between—not each other. That’s why Jesus lived and died and then lived again: so that he could be our Master across the entire range of life and death, and free us from the petty tyrannies of each other.