10.5 in DiscipleChurch

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I am responsible for the message this Sunday, World Communion Sunday. I had something in mind until I read the lectionary passages, Psalm 19 and Philippians 3:4-11. They really speak to me because I see myself in the Psalm and get clear direction from Paul. Like many of the Psalms, I find this one both moving and troubling. I often pray Ps. 19:14 before I share my thoughts and beliefs with you in DiscipleChurch.

I already had a different personal connection with Psalm 19. One morning when I was reading the Bible in my study at home, I made a short note on the bookmark for this Psalm. It says “Jesus changes everything”. I don’t fully remember the epiphany or understanding I had when I made the note, but Jesus said many things about the ways the Pharisees followed and interpreted the law. Saul, before his conversion, was basically one of the people Jesus was talking about. Now what does Paul say about the law?

Psalm 19 says the ordinances of the Lord are true and righteous, also sweeter than honey. Paul says that righteousness does not come from the law but comes through faith in Christ. David says that when he keeps the law of the Lord, “Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression.” Really? But I cannot discard this Psalm because it has great poetry and deep understanding.

Today I still don’t know how much I can cover on Sunday – either passage alone has a lot of meaning for me and maybe for all of us. I want to spend a little time trying to consider the law, righteousness, and faith in the Wesleyan tradition: based on the Scripture texts, tradition, reason and experience.

One basic belief and fundamental truth about communion is that we are all on this journey, all on The Way, together. Every Sunday we say in DiscipleChurch: “By your Spirit make us one with Christ, one with one another…”. I celebrate that we are on The Way together and thank-you all for your prayers and support.

Dave Purcell

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