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Relationships are hard. There’s no getting around them either. We were created in God’s image, which means that we were created to live in community, just as God lives in community within the Trinity. It makes me sad thinking about Adam naming all the animals in the garden and looking for a buddy and “there was not found a helper fit for him” (Genesis 2:20). This is not specifically talking about Adam desiring a spouse, but needing community in order to worship God better. God saw that it was not good for Adam to be isolated, so God made Eve out of Adam’s rib (Gen. 2:21-22). Moses makes an editorial comment about their first meeting, saying, “And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed” (Gen. 2:25). This is not just talking about being physically bare, but they were emotionally, spiritually, intellectually, morally, and whole-heartedly exposed and not ashamed. I don’t know about you, but I would much rather stand on stage in just my underwear and be physically exposed than reveal to people just how sinful my thoughts and heart are deep down. But Adam and Eve did not have to worry about that. They came into their relationship with no previous sins, shame, or guilt and were completely vulnerable.

After the fall, all of this changed. It feels like all the imperatives of the Bible about relationships are the extra difficult ones to follow. God has graciously given me some self-control over the temptation to steal, but forgiving seventy seven times is a lot of times (Matthew 18:21). It seems like being a Christian would be a whole lot easier if Jesus had said we will be known by our prosperity or good looks or happy lives instead of saying, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35). There is good news though – we are not alone in the task of loving one another. The gospel transforms our relationships. Christ, the prince of peace, came to restore us into a right relationship with God and through that reconciliation we can have right relationships with one another. They will still take work, and sometimes in Christian circles it seems like they take extra work, but God is glorified through our love of one another.

This week, as Hurricane Florence draws closer, remember that tragedy can serve as our opportunity to love those around us. Be kind to one another, reach out and check in on your neighbors, look for ways to share the gospel, and stay safe. Due to the extreme weather, there will only be a 10:30 service this week (if you arrive at 9, you will probably be recruited to help me set up the stage). If it is safe for you to come join us in worship at 10:30 then we will have our doors open for the worship of God through song, the preaching of Scripture, and sacraments.

THE WORD

Scripture: Colossians 3:18-4:1
Sermon: “How the Gospel Transforms Relationships”

SONGS

Brethren We Have Met To Worship (Traditional)
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Oh How Good It Is (Gettys)
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Fellowship So Deep (Caedmon’s Call)
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Song of Preparation: Children of God (J.D. Goodwyne)
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Song for the Supper: Lord I Need You  (Matt Maher)
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Song of Response: All I Have is Yours (Sojourn Music)
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Written by : uptowndemo

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