Rev Tania writes: Following on from last week’s theme, this week offers us a new encounter with God’s salvation. “Salvation” is a word that is thrown around a lot in churches, and also in the work of evangelism. The readings this week encourage us to revisit this word, to delve deeper into its meaning and to live it out as a daily reality, rather than a future promise of evacuation.
In Exodus, we read the famous story of Moses’ rescue from death and how he was brought into the family of Pharoah. The Psalm is a song in which God’s saving, protecting love is celebrated, and in the Gospel, after the disciples receive insight into who Jesus really is, Jesus proclaims that the Church will never be overcome by evil.
Finally, the Romans reading seems a bit out of place in amongst these other readings, but it does reflect on the community of faith, and on God’s work in and through it. Here, God’s people are called to offer themselves completely (as sacrifices) to God, and to trust in God’s transformation, God’s community and God’s gifting – all of which, it can be argued, are given by God to save, protect and empower God’s church, and through it, the world. In the end, though, we have to choose whether we will trust in God’s saving activity among us enough to offer ourselves as living sacrifices, to throw our lot in with the others who make up God’s Church, and to give ourselves and our abilities to serve God’s saving purpose in the world. It’s a challenge we cannot avoid this week.
As Church we really need to hear this call of God, and bring our gifts and our connections (as Romans teaches) and offer them to be agents of God’s salvation for the people in our communities and families now. This means that we cannot just preach about avoiding hell and finding heaven when people die. We need to help them to discover heaven in their lives now. Our calling is to enable people in all circumstances and walks of life to find God, to find heaven, to find salvation in their daily reality. If we as Church take our calling seriously, we will become known as the bringers of salvation, and lives and communities will be transformed. Then, when we begin to speak about eternity, people may be more inclined to listen.
May we encounter salvation again as we worship this week, and may we become not just recipients but also agents of salvation in the world. Prayerfully, Rev Tania.