Friday Followings: Independence and Dependence

Hello Gloria Dei,
I trust you had a good 4th of July. As we look all the way back to 1776 and celebrate our nation’s Independence, we pause and give thanks for it. We are called to do all we can to hold onto it and to not take it for granted. Independence is a great and worthy endeavor.
In our families, for example, we raise our kids to grow up, get fulfilling employment, and maybe to have and take care of their own families one day. In other words, we raise them to become independent.
Yet, as Christians, we know that while independence is a worthy endeavor in many regards, we are, in reality, fully dependent on God. It is God, after all, who has created us and gives us life. It is God who has placed us on this planet, and who provides the proper conditions for food and water and sustainability. It is God who puts us in families and communities. And it is God, through Jesus, who gives us the gift of salvation, not by our own doing, but by the life, death, and resurrection of Christ. We are saved, as the apostle Paul reminds us, by grace through faith.
God is a giver and provider. As we celebrate our nation’s independence, let us never forget that all we have is a gift from God. This simple, yet profound reminder, is needed for all of us, lest we fall into the ever present trap of Adam and Eve and humanity, of thinking we are our own gods, capable of life all by ourselves. This weekend, give thanks for our nation’s independence, but give thanks even more for your dependence on God for all things good. Life is so much more meaningful and purpose filled as we stay connected and dependent upon God and then strive, as Jesus teaches, for the well-being others.
This weekend in worship we will finish up with our Spirit-Filled Living series in the book of Acts. Please read Acts chapters 27 and 28, as Paul ends up in a Roman prison, all the while proclaiming the Good News of God’s love found in Christ.
See you in worship!
Pastor Tim