“Faith, hope and love abide, these three…”
Calling on these three sacred commodities, Paul put a heartfelt exclamation point on one of the most loved, beautiful and referenced words of scripture. This triad of virtue makes a clear and succinct statement about what matters, what has great value. They are our most trusted spiritual possessions, and when understood and treasured, they change our lives and those around us. With all the truth and wisdom of the Bible to gather, a clear focus on and commitment to these things has great power. And great potential.
Sunday, I will begin a sermon series called “These Three Things”. You can bet that faith, hope, and love will show up in there. But there is more to it than that. So I want to tell you what to expect, and what your pastor expects of you.
Remember when you were in school and the teacher told you to take things and put them in sets of some arbitrary number? That’s what we will be doing together. Three sets of three things spread out over nine weeks will live between the liturgical bookends of Epiphany and Lent. These sermons will not just be a presentation of Christian ideas and concepts, but life sized challenges to lift up and bear down on the things that this pastor and leader is compelled to ask of his people.
In the remaining weeks of January I will point to the three things I believe God is calling on First Baptist Church to focus on and excel in. And I am going to ask every one of you for a specific response. The following three weeks will focus on three spiritual activities that each of us must be intentionally involved in. And its not a pick one or two. This three-legged stool will fall if any one leg is unsteady. Lastly, we will return to the three Corinthian clarions of faith, hope, and love. This trio of trios will build upon one another, and given the chance, can serve to build us up.
And please hear me; I am going to ask you to do something specific in response to each of them. These directives will constitute the playbook for our church in the days ahead. Thirty months ago you called me to be your pastor. I promised to have no agenda but to love and lead you, and to the best of my finite ability that’s what I have endeavored to do. In these days I have been convinced that this is the season to do both with increased focus and intensity. “These Three Things” has been born of that conviction. Pray for me as I call the plays, and for all of us as we all take the field of faith together. Hut, one, two, three.