Our series begins here on the last Sunday in August. Many schools have been in session for a while; others wait for the Labor Day weekend next week. But on the brink of that immersion into learning and community exercise, we focus on being doers of the word. As you can see in the preaching notes, this isn’t about works righteousness, but about living out the salvation we have received by grace through faith. In part, we are asking in this series, “You’ve been saved or claimed by Christ, so what? How will your life be different, look different, act different because of that primary relationship? What influence does faith have on your actions?” In one sense, we are still the same – human, fallible, sinful. But in another sense, we are new creations, ready to embrace a new reality of living. Whether we’ve done this now for years or whether we are newly minted followers of Jesus, we continually ask ourselves how is it with our souls and with our living these days.
While anger might not be the center of this text, it is one of those distractions that often keeps us from being doers of the word. Throughout this series, we are reflecting on how well we are living in community. We need to look at our relationships within the body: How do we value one another? Who is being neglected or left out of the decision-making process within the church? We are also examining how we relate to the wider community around us.
Consequently, our worship is focused on relationships, prayers of healing of broken covenants, confession of letting our anger get in the way of service, and prayers of intercession for those who are suffering in our communities. How do we open ourselves to the world around us in ways that impact our communities for the better?
Again, there are opportunities as we worship to lift up the various ministries of the church. It is good to encourage being doers of the word as we worship together, but it is better to provide outlets for that doing by gathering with others in service.
Rev. Dr. Derek Weber, Director of Preaching Ministries, served churches in Indiana and Arkansas and the British Methodist Church. His PhD is from University of Edinburgh in preaching and media. He has taught preaching in seminary and conference settings for more than 20 years.