By Pastor Tim White
They were the first words said by a freshman quarterback at Alabama after he shocked the world. And the Philadelphia Eagles kept repeating them after their Super Bowl win. Don’t you just love when some young man or woman begins their interview with the words: First and foremost, I want to thank Jesus Christ for all he has done for me. I hope we, as Christ followers always keep fresh that same humble innocence in our lives. And I am sure that it has a debilitating impact on our best intentions when we lose it.
I can’t tell you what it means to a grandpa to see faith in Jesus Christ growing in young grandchildren. It means everything to me. I know the standard is high for our generation to model authentic faith and that is a challenge I wrestle with every week of my life. Since we have been on this series on The Prayers of Jesus, our church has been memorizing the Lord’s Prayer and saying it almost every Sunday for those who are just memorizing it. We are following the new version that Pope Francis had pioneered because, as many Protestant Theologians and Preachers have pointed out, the traditional form was a bit misleading when it said, “lead us not into temptation.” The Book of James makes it clear that God never tempts us. Instead many Protestants and Catholics are praying the French translation “let us not fall into temptation.” Just a minor change that most people probably understood anyway. But for me it is a delight because every time my grand-daughter sees me she says, “I wanted to pray your favorite prayer GP.” And then with the sweetest voice she prays the Lord’s Prayer and my heart just bursts with faith and joy.
This week I will be sharing the beginning of a new series as we look at the powerful gospel that is the hope for the world … our only hope. I have entitled it “Give Us Jesus.” Many people are rejecting Christianity as a religion, but they really don’t know who Jesus is. My sermon this week is about the events preceding Easter and I have entitled it First and Foremost. I am so inspired with the beautiful stories of Jesus that I want to yell at the top of my lungs from a mountain top…”Give us Jesus!” So, ladies and gentlemen, prepare yourselves to be inspired.
Your friend for the rest of my life,
Pastor Tim White