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Aled Seago encourages us all to slow down more in lockdown.
“God is a delicious good.” (Thomas Watson)
Introduction Confession 1: I am not a workaholic.
Having clinical depression has helpfully made me all too aware of my limits. Yet I have worked with and under workaholics, and I have seen just how damaging that is. Too I have trained with workaholics.
Despite this, I need to learn to slow down in lockdown. And if I do, then I imagine most of us need to! I would point you towards George Crowder’s timely and helpful piece on rest for further reading.
Why do I need to slow down in lockdown?
Because lockdown has us firing on all sorts of cylinders: physically, emotionally, and spiritually. We can’t switch off as much as we might have done, for the work/home blurred line is even more blurred. Now that most of church stuff is on a screen too, that exhausts us. For example, we find in our church at the moment that it’s hard to do ministry to our younger people, who have spent all week on a screen for school.
Lee Gatiss preaches from Homily 4, “A Short Declaration of True and Living Christian Faith” (Part 1).
Our first approach to God (good Christian people) is through faith, through which (as it was declared in the last sermon) we are justified before God. And lest anyone should be deceived, for lack of a right understanding of this, it is diligently to be noted that faith is taken in the Scripture in two ways.
Two kinds of faith
There is one kind of faith, which in Scripture is called a dead faith. This brings forth no good works, but is idle, barren, and unfruitful. And this faith, by the holy Apostle Saint James, is compared to the faith of devils, who believe God to be true and just, and tremble for fear, yet they do nothing well, but all evil (James 2:17-18). This is the kind of faith which wicked and disobedient Christian people have who “confess God” (as Saint Paul says) with their mouth, “but deny him in their deeds, being detestable, and without the right faith, and unfit for any good work” (Titus 1:16). And this faith is a persuasion and belief in someone’s heart, by which they know that there is a God, and assent to all the truth of God’s most holy word contained in the holy Scripture. But it consists only in believing that the word of God is true.
Lee Gatiss presents a modernised text of Part 3 of “A Homily of the Salvation of Mankind Only by Christ our Saviour from Sin and Death Everlasting”.
It has been manifestly declared to you, that no one can fulfil the Law of God, and therefore by the Law all are condemned. It therefore follows necessarily that some other thing should be required for our salvation than the Law: and that is, a true and a living faith in Christ, bringing forth good works, and a life according to God’s commandments. And you have also heard the ancient authors’ opinion of this saying, “Faith in Christ alone justifies a person”, so plainly declared. So you see that the very true meaning of this proposition or saying, “We are justified only by faith in Christ” (according to the meaning of the old ancient authors) is this: We put our faith in Christ, that we are justified by him alone, that we are justified by God’s free mercy, and the merits of our Saviour Christ alone. By no virtue or good works of our own that are in us, or that we are able to have or to do, can we deserve the same. Christ himself is the only meritorious cause of our justification.