Grace, Mercy, and Peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Some of you may know of the death this week of one of the greatest living Reformed theologians in the last 100 years. John Stott died peacefully listening to Handel’s Messiah at the age of 90. He left a legacy of faithfulness and commitment to the gospel. I am thankful for John Stott’s life and his ministry, but also thankful for the emphasis he had throughout his years on how the gospel of Jesus Christ changes who we are. He once wrote: “It is impossible to be truly converted to God without being thereby converted to our neighbour.” One of his more famous observations says: “Every Christian should be both conservative and radical; conservative in preserving the faith and radical in applying it.” This is why the gospel is more than conversion; the gospel is transformation. The gospel is not just a ticket to heaven; it is a ticket to living heavenly on earth. The Christian gospel demands a new life; it demands new fruit; a new disposition. Naturally, then, Stott’s remarks imply that the gospel is not comfortable to modern paradigms. Why? It is a completely new paradigm; a paradigm that calls us to be a new people worshiping the true God; not the god of our imagination; not the god of the Philistines, but the God who made heaven and earth. Let us worship this God on this holy day.
Prayer: O God, Strengthen us, help us, save us, renew us for the sake of your only Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen.