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The Journey

The Holy Duel

Scripture: Wisdom of Solomon 1:16-2:1, 12-22

I read the pages of post through the social media sites and find a divided world, a world divided between the left and right, conservative and liberal, Christian and Muslim, tomato and tamoto. It is not a laughing matter I know. We are filled with emotions and opinions that we will stand by to our dying breath. Our reasons are probably very good, but what are we actually saying to those that are on the opposite side? Are we saying you are loved by God and He has a plan and purpose for your life, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans that will allow you to live with Him forever if you were to turn around and follow Him? I have caught myself on a number of occasions, having to stop what I was doing and rethink my responses to people.

This passage causes me to consider things from a different perspective, the prospective of the “sinner.” It allows us to step into the shoes of for just a moment and look at things from their perspective. We as followers of Jesus say a lot. We have answers for everything right in the Bible, but what about those areas that really hurt, when things do not make sense. We say that God is in control, that He is our protector and provider, but what do we do if everything is seemingly out of control. We are tested every day, observed like mice running in a maze. Those around us are watching to see if our words and actions are in harmony. They are checking our actions to what they think scriptures say. Often times these things do not balance out, and when they do not we do not have a good answer. Why do good, hard working people lose their jobs? Why do people act treat some people better than others?

Now we can step into our own shoes again, knowing that everyone is watching our response to whatever is thrown at us, how well do we react. If everything around us is threatened are we able and willing to respond accoding to our belief? This has been a struggle for me over tha past few weeks. If you are my friend on facebook you have probably seen my posts are both liberal and conservative. Some even make me sick to read. I cry out who will save me from myself, because cearly I don’t know who I am. But that’s pretty much the point.

We are all humans. We come from the same base. We are all equally messed up and that is what scripture is really about. There is a standard that noone is able to meet. There is a goal for communitees and even nations that have never been fullfilled. Sure some come pretty close but we have failed as humans and nations. And the point is we need to practice what we preach. Not just the Muslims, the republicans, liberals, Baptists, Quaker, Americans or Arabs but each one of us. We all need to look at what we say we believe, look at what we do, and look at how we treat others according to the entire book we follow.

I know that sounds like a unitarian reponse, but let’s focus on how we live our lives first, before we get to upset about how someone else is responding to us. It is their job to test our faith and to question our beliefs. In the end it is not about who has the best belief system but who cares and loves the most as a culture, community, and individually. I challenge Christians, pagans, athiests, Jews, and Muslims a like to a duel of charity. Let us all out do the other group in showing hospitality and care to those around us. Then let’s come back to the table and discuss the who says what and why.

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About jwquaker

I’m sure everyone wants to know who I am…well if you are viewing this page you do. I’m Jared Warner and I am a pastor or minister recorded in the Evangelical Friends Church Mid America Yearly Meeting. To give a short introduction to the EFC-MA, it is a group of evangelical minded Friends in the Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, and Colorado. We are also a part of the larger group called Evangelical Friends International, which as the name implies is an international group of Evangelical Friends. For many outside of the Friends or Quaker traditions you may ask what a recorded minister is: the short answer is that I have demistrated gifts of ministry that our Yearly Meeting has recorded in their minutes. To translate this into other terms I am an ordained pastor, but as Friends we believe that God ordaines and mankind can only record what God has already done. More about myself: I have a degree in crop science from Fort Hays State University, and a masters degree in Christian ministry from Friends University. Both of these universities are in Kansas. I lived most of my life in Kansas on a farm in the north central area, some may say the north west. I currently live and minister in the Kansas City, MO area and am a pastor in a programed Friends Meeting called Willow Creek Friends Church.

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Jared A. Warner

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