October 11 Reflections

Reflections for October 11, 2020

     I have had a lot of time to reflect in the past 10 days. When I was flat on my back for four days and out of commission for ten days there was ample opportunity to watch Chicago PD reruns, football, but also to think, reflect about what was important in my life. It was during that reflection that I began to think about basics, especially basics in my life with Jesus. My prayers during this time were simple and basic: “Jesus, help me.” And “Jesus have mercy on me.” A group of statements began to formulate in my heart and mind about the basics of life with Jesus. Those statements are going to be the next series of sermons at First Reformed.

                I am loved by Jesus.

                                I am a follower of Jesus.

                                                I belong to Jesus.

                                                                I will rest in Jesus.

                                                I have found life in Jesus.

                                I can face anything with Jesus.

                I am a friend of Jesus.

My hope is that each of these will speak directly into your heart and soul and mind as well.

     John in writing the Gospel that bears his name refers to himself only as “the disciple whom Jesus loves.” This does not mean that he thought he was the only one Jesus loved, but rather the most basic defining characteristic for his life is that he was loved by Jesus. I do know in my own life when it seems everyone and everything is against me the truth that grounds me and gives me stability is simple: I am Verlyn loved by Jesus. This truth is unchanging, unconditional, accepting, transforming, foundational. It is a phrase that I ran through my mind and consistently during my Covid 19 Days. The truth of Jesus’ love for me was and is enough. WE are going to think about that this coming Sunday as we look at the life of the Apostle John and how the love of Jesus transformed him from arrogance, violence, and intolerance to the Apostle of love. Some passages to possibly read: John 13:21-25; Ephesians 3:14-19; I John 4:7-19.

Grace upon Grace,

Pastor Verlyn