Life is not fair, and I don't think it will ever be fair. Life takes us to places where we are going to be tested and we encounter challenges as never before. Youth is fearless because there is still such a beautiful sense of being able to change the world and leave untouched whatever they face. Such a sense of liberty is a beautiful gift. Most of us have faced the hard reality that there are life battles we are going to lose and others that, even if we win, may come with a price higher than we could ever imagine.
Last Sunday’s sermon was not the easiest message to hear, nor to deliver. However, it is a constant theme in the Bible, not only in Joshua 7 & 8 but also presented by the apostle Paul in Romans 6 & 7. In fact, there is a wonderful bible verse that brings hope in the midst of trials. "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1).
The gospel of Jesus Christ declares that Grace wins, because of Christ Jesus and His atoning sacrifice in the Cross. The Cross is Grace sign-posted to point the way. In Christ, miracles happen and the broken are restored to be whole. The prophet Isaiah explained it in the following words, "and provide for those who grieve in Zion-- to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendour" (Isaiah 61:3).
Grace wins because the story does not end with defeat; it ends with resurrection.
I am aware that last Sunday’s message had an impact, and left some struggling with questions of life. I know, I really know how you feel. I have had to struggle too, but I have learned that Grace wins over sin.
Many of you don't know that I had many friends who are gay, even family; in fact, when I was a student in Alicante, I shared an apartment for almost four years with one of my best friends who was gay. Also, a close friend of mine had an abortion. She then found she could not have babies afterward and it was such a terrible time in her life. In both cases, and many others, I was there crying and laughing with my friends. Thus, I understand the struggles and tensions we face as followers of Jesus. I am here for you. "Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ" (Galatians 6:2).
If you left last Sunday’s service feeling unsettled, I want to reach out to you. Let us have a coffee and talk together. We may not find all the answers, however, I would love to hear about your story and walk with you to look at the Cross, and help you to realise that Grace wins, even in the midst of this broken world. I am here if you would like to talk with me, ask questions or, even, share how you felt on Sunday. Let us share the journey, and learn together about God's amazing love.
Grace wins. "Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need" (Hebrews 4:16).
Sincerely yours in Christ
Bishop Josep Rossello, CCE Minister