“Pressing On” seems to be our normal mode these days. We are overwhelmed with changes, overrun with failures, overruled by objections. It seems as though every step is an uphill climb. Yet, we press on. There are tasks to perform and goals to reach; there are people to lead and a kin-dom to build. Is this how we understand pressing on— checking off our lists of accomplishments? Certainly, a task-oriented approach can be fruitful in our ministry. What we do as individuals and as a church community is important. It could also be exhausting for each and for all, which is why pressing on is multidimensional. Yes, there are tasks to perform; yes, there is doing involved; but the doing grows out of being the body of Christ. We can pay attention to who we are, even as we engage in what we do. This October, you are invited to be “Pressing On.”
Paul teaches us this week that when we gain Christ, we have a righteousness that is not our own and does not come from observing the Law, but instead through the faithfulness of Christ. We cannot earn it, nor can we be good enough to achieve it. Rather, we’re made that way by Christ. Indeed, Paul says, we are grabbed by Christ for just that purpose, to be made righteous.
We tend to fall into two very unfortunate categories. There are those among us who believe that through our own effort and by our own moral compass we can make ourselves righteous and therefore acceptable in God’s sight. Then, there are those among us who believe that who we have become and what we’ve done is so awful, that not even Christ can make us whole…or He simply may not want to. Neither is accurate.
Where, then, does this righteousness that I cannot earn for myself come from?