We begin a four-week series called Shift Your Thinking. Paul wrote, in his letter to the Romans, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God – what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Rom. 12:2). If our lives are going to be transformed by the amazing truth about Jesus Christ, we need to focus our thoughts on the Truth that’s deeper than the surface we see around us. We need to shift our thinking so that God can shift our hearts and change our lives.
During our summer worship series, “Wisdom from the Tradition,” we looked back at our mothers and fathers in the faith to see how they dealt with the opportunities and challenges of their own times. In this message, we hear excerpts from the faith story of the towering Christian theologian, St. Augustine. Though he wrote lots of deep and sophisticated theological treatises and books like “The City of God,” none of his writings have had the enduring emotional impact of his Confessions. Written around the year 397 A.D., they tell the story of his inner life and spiritual conversion. Lean in this morning to hear one of the most thoughtful, moving, and influential faith stories ever written!
In Nazi Germany, the totalitarian Third Reich wanted to control the Christian Church along with everything else, going so far as to encourage the removal of the Old Testament from the Bible and “non-German” elements from worship. In May 1934, opposition church leaders met as the Confessing Church in the city of Barmen. Putting themselves and their livelihood at risk, they adopted a declaration asserting that Jesus Christ alone has authority over the Church, and, indeed, over all of human life.
In beautiful, poetic language, Paul talks about the necessity of love, the qualities of love, and the eternal duration of love. We’ve heard the beauty in Paul’s words and also their challenge to the Christian community and the believers who populate it. Now we look at love in light of eternity.