Sunday’s Scripture – Jeremiah 29:1, 4-7.
A month ago I met with the family of Floyd Jacobs to plan his celebration of life. In all celebrations of life the key moments are Scripture passages, persons that share a witness of the loved one gone onto glory, and music. When our conversation shifted to music Margie said, “There’s a song the choir sings, but I cannot remember what it is called. I would like them to sing that one.”
To which I said, “Absolutely!”
(And then I called Tim!)
With the help of the choir we discovered the name of the song Margie wanted sung for Floyd; it is called “Untitled Hymn.” And the refrain of each stanza is imbued with hope:
Come to Jesus and live
Sing to Jesus and live
Fall on Jesus and live
Cry to Jesus and live
Dance for Jesus and live
Fly to Jesus and live
When I reflect on the verbs that drive these closing stanzas – come, sing, fall, cry, dance, and fly – I see John Wesley’s description of the via Salutis or way of salvation:
- When we become aware of the presence of the Holy Spirit’s movement in our lives, we hear God say to us, Come.
- When we are justified in Christ, we can say – or even Sing! – to Jesus for his love, mercy, and grace.
- Though we are justified and made new in Christ, we are still susceptible to sin; we continue sinning. When we sin, we Fall. Wesley calls this activity “backsliding.” And when we fall – thank the Lord we fall on Jesus. In his arms or leaning against his cross we Cry. And as we weep, I believe Jesus places his hand gently under our chins to lift our eyes to his and to lift our spirits to redemption.
- As we grow in holiness, as Jesus sanctifies us, we Dance with Jesus and one another. Our feet are guided by his Spirit throughout the Kingdom. We dance not to be seen, but so that others will want to join God’s dance, too.
- And as we continue on in this life and move towards life on the other side of eternity, friends, we Fly to Jesus as we grow in Christian perfection. In our life with Jesus we are made perfect just as our God is perfect (Mt 5:48).
With all of these verbs from “Untitled Hymn” – and in each moment along the via Salutis – we are invited to live.
God wants us to live.
Take a moment to check in with yourself. Where would you locate yourself along the via Salutis? Or what verb from “Untitled Hymn” would you select to describe how you are presently living your life with God? How do your answers sit with your soul? In what ways do you sense God inviting you to new life?
Remember we will gather as a church family for a congregational meeting to discuss our needed capital improvements this Sunday, October 16 immediately following worship.
You are also invited to join with our church family on Saturday, October 15 for our Prayer Vigil in preparation for Sunday’s congregational meeting. The Sanctuary will be open from 9am – 9pm and prayer resources will be available.
I am thankful to live life with God and to live life with you at Tuskawilla.
Prayer: “I am no longer my own, but thine. Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt. Put me to doing, put me to suffering. Let me be employed by thee or laid aside for thee, exalted for thee or brought low for thee. Let me be full, let me be empty. Let me have all things, let me have nothing. I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal. And now, O Glorious and blessed God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Thou art mine, and I am thine. So be it. And the covenant which I have made on earth, let it be ratified in heaven. Amen.”*
*”A Covenant Prayer in the Wesleyan Tradition,” The United Methodist Hymnal 607.