In gratitude to God, empowered by the Spirit,
we strive to serve Christ in our daily tasks
and to live holy and joyful lives,
even as we watch for God’s new heaven and new earth,
praying, Come, Lord Jesus!
Now that we’ve said what we believe, whom we trust, and what God has done, it’s time to offer a response. The Christian faith is primarily a response–a lived faith, practiced and experienced, not just something we think. Just as we have said “we trust” rather than “we believe,” now we are putting that trust, that faith, into action. We’re taking what God has done and moving it off the page, out of the brain, and into the streets.
Our response is, of course, empowered by the Spirit–faith is a gift given by the Holy Spirit (see 1 Corinthians 12 and Romans 12 for other gifts of the Spirit). Because the Spirit moves, we can live our faith in the world.
The reason we call it a “response” is because God works first–God loves, God creates, God calls, God saves, God sustains, God moves–and we respond in gratitude. We give thanks for all God has done, and our thank-you note is our lives (to use the cliche).
This response includes:
Striving to serve Christ in our daily tasks–not just on Sunday morning for 45-60 minutes, not just in Sunday School or church choir or WEAVE or the food pantry, but in every task of every day. This is where we have to get into a couple of habits: noticing God’s presence in even the most mundane of tasks, and seeing our work and lives as missionary work. God is here–there is nowhere we can go where God is not. And we are the body of Christ, in every moment of every day. So whatever work we do, whatever words we say, whatever compassion we show…that’s all mission. We serve Christ in our every task.
Living holy and joyful lives. Not just good, not just nice, not just happy, but holy and joyful. These are much deeper, and much more demanding, than being nice and happy.
Watch for God’s new heaven and new earth. God is doing a new thing, and it is coming, and we are a part of it. When we catch a glimpse, it can sustain us for a long time. We are to be on the lookout, noticing God’s kingdom in the here and now, as well as trying to be a part of its coming.
Pray. Never neglect the opportunity to talk to God, and to call on God the Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer. Calling God into a situation changes the way you see things, and can change your (and others) actions, and can be a part of the kingdom of God coming on earth.
Do you see faith as a response, a way of living? How do you live your faith? What do you think about this business of serving Christ in daily tasks? How do you live a life that is holy and joyful rather than simply nice and happy?
Where have you seen God at work today?