|THE PARISH REGISTER
St. Andrews-Cheney Memorial Church
In His Steps
For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. He committed no sin; no guile was found on his lips. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did no threaten; but he trusted to him who judges justly. He himself bore out sin in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.
(I Peter 2:21-25 RSV)
|St. Peter refers to
Christians as people who "have been called,"
called by God Himself. God has called us "that we
might die to sin and live to righteousness."
What exactly does this mean? The answer is seen in the life of Christ, who "suffered for you, leaving you an example, that your should follow in his steps." As Christians we are called by God to model our lives after the life of Christ our Savior.
To the question, "What does it mean to follow in the steps of Christ?" St. Peter gave us four specific illustrations.
The apostle tells us that "Christ also suffered for you..." Christ placed our welfare ahead of His own comfort. St. Paul tells us, "We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves; let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to edify him. For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, 'The reproaches of those who reproached thee fell on me.' " (Romans 15:1-3) If we are to follow in the footsteps of Christ we must be willing to lay aside our rights and privileges in order to help and comfort those in need.
St. Peter also found an example for us to follow in the way Jesus spoke; the things that He said and especially what He did not say. "He committed no sin; no guile was found on his lips." Christ's speech was without guile, without craft or cunning. His object was truth, not deception.
Speech is the mirror of the soul, according to the old cliché. Christ apparently agreed, for He said, "For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man out of the good treasure brings forth good, and the evil man out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. I tell you, on the day of judgment men will render account of every careless word they utter..." (St. Matthew 12:34-36) We need to take inventory of our speech. Do we talk the way our Savior talked?
Following in the footsteps of Christ also means to face opposition as He faced it. "When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, He did not threaten..." When people insulted Christ, He did not insult them back. When our Lord was threatened, He did not return the threats. How unlike Him are we all too often. It isn't easy to follow Christ in this, but we must. It is our calling.
In a final illustration St. Peter tells us to follow Christ's example of trust. As Christ faced the vicissitudes of life, "He trusted to him who judges justly." Christ came to earth at the Father's bidding, to accomplish the Father's will. In doing so He trusted the Father's judgment and wisdom. In the Garden our Lord prayed, "Father, if thou art willing, remove this cup from me; nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done." (St. Luke 22:42)
To follow the footsteps of Christ means to walk by faith, trusting our heavenly Father as Christ trusted. Instead of taking matters into our own hands, we need to rely on the Father of love, wisdom and power. He never failed His only begotten Son, nor will He fail His children adopted by grace.
We are a called people -- called to follow in the footsteps of Christ.
Frank M. Levi
Barney and Joan Reagan and their son Bryan were received into membership on Sunday, February 16, 1997. The Reagans transferred their membership from St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church. We welcome the Reagans to our fellowship and pray the Lord's best for them.
Missionaries to France, Bill and Diane Jerdan, were with us for a Lenten Dinner and Service on Wednesday, March 5, 1997. Those in attendance were inspired and challenged as the Jerdans spoke about their ministry in France. Do continue to pray for this important mission effort.
We thank all of you who have attended the Lenten Dinners and Services. The meals were truly delicious. The theme for the services was the Reformed Episcopal Church Mission Statement.
The ladies of the Women's Guild has a bake sale during coffee hour on March 9, 1997. Thank you to all who supported this sale. The ladies were raising money for missions and other church projects.
The Rt. Rev. Royal U. Grote, Bishop of the Diocese of Mid-America will be here for his episcopal visit on Sunday, April 20, 1997. There will be a pot luck luncheon following the service.
Annual Parish Meeting
April 27, 1997, following Morning Prayer. The meeting will be preceded by a catered luncheon in the Parish Hall. All members should plan to attend.
Missionary of The Month
Rev. and Mrs. Mark Rudolph
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