But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you.
If I was only allowed one word to try and encapsulate the entire Gospel and convey the message of Christianity it would be LIFE. LIFE is God’s gift to the world and to every created thing. LIFE is God’s offering for the world by the reconciling activity of the Son. LIFE is God’s presence in the world, through the imagination of the Spirit.
As disciples LIFE is orientated around loving God with heart, soul, strength and mind, and loving our neighbour as we love ourselves. LIFE is lived in light of the teaching and example of the Word of Life. LIFE is rooted in the gifts of the Spirit which both regulate our behaviour and lead us to exercise our discipleship and faith in particular ways.
As communities of faith LIFE is nurtured through care, teaching and discernment between generations and cultures. LIFE is transformed as we partner in God’s mission with neighbours known and unknown. LIFE is celebrated in the breaking of bread and pouring of wine. Paul writes to the church in Rome, ‘If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give LIFE to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you.’ May we recognise that LIFE within us this day. The LIFE which speaks a narrative of hope and abundance in a fractious and unjust world; The LIFE which stretches out hands of compassion and reconciliation; The LIFE which welcomes, includes, embraces each one. LIFE which comes from God.
The all embracing LIFE of discipleship. The energising LIFE of community. The LIFE of the Holy Three-in-One in which we are privileged to dwell.
Gracious God, giver of LIFE in all its fullness, I give back my LIFE to you in praise and gratitude. I rejoice in your gift of LIFE to me and to the world. I commit myself once again to living this LIFE in hope and with joy so that LIFE may go forth from me and touch the lives of others and creation. Amen.
The Rev’d Lindsey Sanderson, minister, East Kilbride and Hamilton Joint Pastorate