Do you stay for the closing credits of a movie? Sometimes that’s where the surprisingly good stuff happens. Yet we can approach the ending of New Testament letters with the thought that says: “the main showing is over, time to leave it and move to something else.” On Sunday we finished our discipleship series in 1st Corinthians by staying for the closing credits of chapter 16. It seems like the Apostle Paul is going through the motions of the closing credits of the letter, but what we see is how he ties up all that’s been said and done by answering the key question of: “what do we do now?” The answer – we do it all with love. That’s at the heart of everything that’s closed off with in chapter 16, right there in verse 14, but it’s also the heart of this book of the Bible and ought to be at the heart of a church. But here’s the problem, your problem, my problem – we. don’t. love. We have trouble doing this. We don’t love well. And when people say the heart of Christianity is to love God and love your neighbour then they have just given you an incomplete message. For that’s the trouble isn’t it? I don’t, I can’t love God and my neighbour well. I fail. I am a sinner. I am accursed. So here is the good news, gospel: Jesus became the accursed for us, so that we can do it all with love. The good news of Jesus changes everything.
This coming Sunday Steve Blyth is preaching from Luke 12 about the heart of giving: ‘Money: hazardous or helpful?’ And our church will enjoy it’s first seasonal celebration together this coming Friday night.