SERMONETTE: Live a life worthy of the call | Local
At the end of the movie Saving Private Ryan, there is a powerful scene. Ryan stands in front of the gravestone of Captain Miller, a man who gave his life trying to save Pvt. Ryan during World War II. When Captain Miller died, he told Ryan, “James, win this. Win it. “And those words must have haunted him his whole life, because as Ryan’s wife approaches, he collapses, begging his wife.” Am I a good man? “He asks.” Say- I am a good man! ”
At its core, Ryan’s preoccupation is something we can all relate to. He remembers Captain Miller’s words about earning the right to be saved in war, but part of him feels like there is nothing he can do to earn it. There’s no way he can ever repay Captain Miller for his sacrifice. The only thing he can do is be thankful for it.
Sometimes in the life of a Christian we feel much the same. We have been taught that Jesus died for us on the cross. He died to pay the price for our sins and so that we could receive eternal life. Just like Pvt. Ryan, the one we follow gave his life so that we could earn ours. And just like Ryan, many of us wonder if we will ever be able to live up to the sacrifice he made. How can we ever repay our debt to Christ?
The short answer is that we cannot repay his sacrifice. If we ask ourselves whether we are “good enough” to redeem his sacrifice on the cross, the answer will invariably be no. It is impossible for us to measure up. But the good news of the gospel is that we don’t need to repay our debt to God. He has already been paid. Our debts are erased by his blood.
However, in Ephesians 4 we are instructed on how we can “live a life worthy of the call you have received”. This is what Paul writes: “Be completely humble and meek; be patient, support each other in love. Make all your efforts to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
I like that these instructions include the phrase “make every effort” because it reminds us that oneness is not something that just happens. It is something that must be fought and worked on. This is true in our marriages, in our churches and in our families. We are to seek unity and peace with our brothers and sisters in Christ. And the central point of our unity is Christ himself: the One who redeems us. For “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father, who is above all and through all and in all.
May God humbly gather us together in his name!
– Reverend Mike Giesenhagen, pastor at the Hutchinson Evangelical Free Church.