Homily Notes and MP3: How to Thrive in a Hard World

Third Sunday after Pentecost
Romans 5:1-10
Matthew 6:22-33

Two great teachers: let us listen to them and learn their lessons!

  • NOT naive. They know the world groans in agony and that people suffer.
  • NOT selling us anything. They want us to thrive.
  • They lead from the front.

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What did they teach us today?

1. That life is going to be hard. But there is a real sense in which we NEED it to be hard.

  • Perseverance in hard times builds character and gives perspective.
  • “That which doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” Every person that has ever lived.
  • “Tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope” Romans 5:3-4

2. That things are going to work out just fine. How can we have hope that things are going to work out?

  • Because we have been through the cycle of “hard” many times
    • We know the run will rise tomorrow; that winter will turn to spring; etc.
  • We are stronger individually and communally through our struggles
  • You cannot break a saint and you cannot break the Church… why? Resilience.
    • Training of individuals and training of teams
    • Athletes as individual saints. The cycle of hardship, recovery, and preparation.
    • Strong marriages as the team. The cycle of hardship, recovery, and preparation.

3. That we need to trust the system.

  • Anxiety works against the process. Birds of the air. Flowers of the field.
    • Not naive. True.
    • Assumes hard work.
    • Assumes community. (work and community are part of the system!)
  • Christ has already won the victory. He has run the race.
    • We can run it “in him”; He can run it “in us”
    • It is no longer I who run but he who runs in me! (Galatians 2:20)

Trust the system. It was created by the God who made the world and wants us to succeed.

Conclusion:  this is why we are here today;

  • to thank the Lord for making the way to resilience and eternal prosperity straight for us
  • to recover from the rigors of our recent trials
  • to enjoy a taste of the glory that is coming in the day when the race is finished and the prize is ours.

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