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A Call to Abide in the Word – Words of Grace – January 7, 2021

Dear Congregation,

As we watched the events of yesterday unfold- the election certification process, the disruption to that process, the violence that took place inside the United States Capitol building, and then the reconvening of congress to complete its work- we heard many times the phrase “constitutional crisis” used to describe the moment.

At one point, I heard a commentator say that what we have is a constitutional solution for this moment. He reminded us that we have in the constitution of the United States of America a way to certify elections and to deal with objections to election procedures.

That was a moment of clarity. A text, written down and used as the basis for law is the way this nation moves forward peacefully and with order while we have differences and divisions among us.

We are Christians. We follow Jesus Christ, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. His kingdom is not of this world, it is everlasting. He rules forever. He calls for ultimate loyalty from his disciples and he gives us his word, a text written down, to guide our every thought, word, and action.

Jesus said, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free,” (John 8:31).

Here are the questions on my mind this morning. As Christians, will we take up the word of Christ, the written Scripture which the Holy Spirit inspired, and abide in it? Will we let the word abide in us? Will we spend more time in the next 24 hours prayerfully saturating our minds in the truth of God than in engaging in imaginary arguments with mental opponents or actual verbal sparring with virtual ones?

Brothers and sisters, we are Christians, and I am a pastor. I have never set myself up as a political or cultural authority. But, as your pastor, I will again call you to be a Christian. Again, I plead with you to remember that when you took that first step into Christ, you died to yourself and took up his cross and said that you would follow him from that day forward. I remind you that he said that the only way to follow him is to abide in his word. So, I call you to take up the Bible now, and for the next 24 hours prayerfully read it. Let it read you. Do that quietly and in private (Matthew 6:5-6). Then, when you re-engage in the conversation of the day, do so with the truth that sets you free and shapes your every thought, word, and deed.

As I have said before in moments of upheaval, let Christ have the first word this morning, and the last word tonight. Let his voice be the dominant one in our ears today. Then, we will be in a better position to speak and act in Christ’s name and for his glory.

Let’s pray that the constitutional and political process will play out in such a way that we can “lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in way,” (1 Timothy 2:2).

-Scott

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