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Fit for the Kingdom (Sermon June 30, 2013)

Scripture: Luke 9:51-62

Often scripture hits us differently when we read them. One day we can read a passage and it seems to inspire us in a way that nothing else could. Another day the very same passage can cut us to the core, convicting us to change some aspect of our lives. It is interesting how scripture can do this. The Spirit behind the words written in the scripture can use the experiences and events throughout our lives to speak directly to our spirits. The Spirit teaches us how to be fit for the Kingdom.

This passage has hit me a couple of different ways this week. At times I have been stuck thinking about Samaria and their conflict with Israel. Samaria was the capital of the old Northern Kingdom of Israel. Samaria is similar in many ways to the capital of the Southern Kingdom of Judea. Both had a center of worship and both claimed to worship the same God. The difference is that they did things in different ways. If we were to look at it we would probably not see the difference, because they would seem to us as being inconsequential.

The first section of this passage speaks about Jesus making his way to Jerusalem. Jerusalem is the center of the Jewish faith. All those that held to this religion saw this place as being the most holy of all holy places. For those in the Northern Kingdom Samaria was the center of faith and Jerusalem was just another city. The conflict was which was the holiest?

We often get caught in these types of struggles. The Samaritans would not allow Jesus and his companions to take refuge in their city for the night because they were going to Jerusalem, and the disciple of Jesus wanted to call fire down from the heavens because the Samaritans would not give proper respect to their Holy city. We could draw several parallels to this story today. Differing views of the world, different preferences and ideologies with people demanding the proper respect from others while not granting equal respect.

At times I identify with the disciples. When I meet people with no knowledge of my personal expression of faith I can get annoyed. I mean how many times do we really have to explain that Quakers are not extinct? On the opposing end how often I am like the people of the Samaritan city, not welcoming of people that view the world differently than I do. Jesus responds differently. He turns to walk to the next town. He being a child of Judea did not enter into the argument of which was better. In other places he actually rises above the conflict to a different plain, saying that the time has come where you will not worship on either mountain but in spirit and truth. He actually rebukes his own disciples for their opinions of the Samaritans because their behavior is not fit for the kingdom. Their opinions were distracting them from the truth the spirit was trying to convey to their hearts. Their opinions even though they are right in their own minds was keeping them from seeing the whole truth. And Jesus rebuked them, because their opinions are based on pride.

Jesus has rebuked me for responding like the sons of thunder for responding to things from my own logic, often I have been caught trying to manipulate and press my own personal views on to the world around me. The kingdom of God is not one of manipulation and power. This is the realm of the world’s to continue the conflict, because in the conflict they gain power and influence, and with that they can control the world around them. Unfortunately we all can get caught up in these things we get distracted from the kingdom.

They began to walk to the next town. I am sure that James and John were walking with their heads hanging low after being rebuked, but walking just the same. Someone comes up to them and says that he will follow Jesus wherever he goes. Followed two others. Each wishing to follow Jesus, to become his disciples, but each person has a distraction in their lives.

Jesus responds to each of them individually. The first Jesus says, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” This man wants to follow Jesus but at the suggestion of an unknown future the man quickly changes his tune. Worry about the future can distract. We have responsibilities, bills to pay, and families to feed if we were to drop everything to follow Jesus without knowing what the future would hold how could we live? A distraction, Jesus spoke about worry. He says that the flowers do not spin and the sparrows do not sew yet God clothes and feeds them. Worry distracts us from participating in the kingdom of God.

The next person is absorbed by his family’s legacy, saying that he first must bury his father before he can leave and follow Jesus. We often forget that first century culture is largely an agrarian society. Farms and businesses are passed on from one generation to the next. This particular man like the first is distracted by the security of the future. If he were to leave and follow Jesus what would happen to the family, would his inheritance go to someone else or would the family legacy simply disappear. He could not follow completely because in doing so he would potentially risk losing everything. Financial security, greed, and discontentment distract us from fully participating in the kingdom of God.

The third man comes to Jesus asking to be included in the group of disciples, but says first let me say farewell to those at my home. This person is consumed by his reputation. What others think about us can often direct how we make decisions. Jesus was a popular character even in Samaria and this man was applying for a position. He wanted to go back and tell everyone he knew that he was in. Often we our lives are governed by what others think of us, this distraction can cause us to make decisions based on how things affect our personal well being and our standing with or above others. It is a form of pride and pride distracts us from the kingdom of God.

We have three distractions that are keeping the characters of this story from participating fully on the kingdom of God: pride, greed, and worry. These distractions are forms of bondage that hold us from a life with God. But this is not what we were created for.

Mankind was created to share in the pleasure of God in His creation, to walk with Him in the cool of the evening as stewards of the garden of God’s delight. Sin enters our world when we as humans felt that we had to do more to earn God’s favor, but God loves us just as we are. We bind ourselves with pride, worry, and greed thinking if we subdue the world around us enough then we will earn our place by God’s side. Totally forgetting the fact that God did not desire this for us. Those are chains we have put on ourselves; chains of ideologies, theologies, careers, legacies, reputations, and countless other things. These distract us from the one that loves us and holds us back from being the people we were created to be. We make ourselves unfit for the kingdom of God.

God does not want our chains. He instead wants our freedom. He wants us to be free to be who and what he created us to be, but to do so we must let go of the chains. The last man that spoke to Jesus evoked a response from Jesus that was harsher than the others. “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the Kingdom of God.” Jesus is saying that we cannot keep looking back, we cannot keep doing things the way we have been doing things, we must move forward. I find it interesting that Jesus used agricultural terms to explain this. The act of plowing is preparing the ground so that it can produce a harvest. We must work the ground, nurture a relationship with Him, and allow it to grow. Abraham was blessed because he let go of the chains that bound him in Ur, and he followed God wherever He led, Israel followed Moses through the desert and were blessed, the prophets freely spoke the word from God and they gave us direction of how we can live a life of freedom, yet this was not enough. We as human bound the freedom up in laws and rules. Yes the laws are important but not to bind, instead the laws of God were given to free us from the bondage we put ourselves in. Moses wrote down the laws not to form a legalistic religion, but instead to provide a lifestyle that if participated in would lead to freedom and the joy of life with God. Yet we translated them into something far darker.

The nation of Israel split in two over the law, each side having a different interpretation and expression of faith, and the conflict only produced bondage in the people. Freedom comes only through living out two basic rules. Loving God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is like the first love your neighbor as yourself. Two basic rules complicated through our own forms of bondage. We choose not to love our neighbor because they choose not to accept our terms. We fail to love God with all our mind, because we would rather choose to fill our minds with other things. We choose not to love God because we would rather use our strengths to build up our careers and our reputations. Only to find ourselves where exactly? We choose to run our lives our own ways and we fail. We fight wars, we argue, we send bid, we sell only to fail again. It is not because we are not good enough for God’s blessing it is because we choose not to accept the very blessing that God has provided for us.

That is why Jesus came. Yes he came to provide freedom, to ransom us out of bondage and to grant us freedom in Him. He provides this by living His life for us. He came as a baby so that he could live a childhood for us. He grew as an adult and took on a trade with his earthly father Joseph so that he could live our career for us and with us. He hit mid life and made a complete transition into something totally different and he began to teach and minister to others for our own good for us again. He took on every aspect of our lives and he bore them each and he lifted them up on the cross taking the lives of bondage and sin and killing them and burying them in the ground for us. And He rose from the grave to give us hope of renewed life in him. He has already taken on our sins; he has already taken care of the things we feel we must continue to work on. They are already covered by His blood, and buried in the tomb. They do not have control over us if we were only to let go and follow him, tend the fields of our lives without looking back, and nurturing that relationship with him without caring about the distractions that formerly gripped us.

God came down to live among us, God gave Himself to free us, and God provides hope for us. We are not fit for the kingdom if we demand from Samaria that they pray at Jerusalem, or if we demand Jerusalem to pray at Samaria. We are not fit for the kingdom if we worry, or if we are consumed by greed. We are not fit for the kingdom if we hold on to our worldly reputations and look back. We are fit for the kingdom if we take hold of that which Christ Jesus took hold of in us. If we boldly live our life for and with him, and if we repent and live our lives loving God, embracing the Holy Spirit, and Living the Love of Christ with others. We do not need anything more than that.

As we enter this time of open worship and holy expectancy. I encourage you to look at what is distracting you from fully participating in a life with God in Christ. Is it worry? Is it finances? Is it you reputation with others? Is it you ideology or theology? These can become idols keeping us from the Spirit of Truth in Jesus, lay them down before the cross, let Jesus lift them out of your hand and lay them in the tomb, and let us embrace a restored life the life he wants you to have today. Let us allow the Spirit of God to make us fit for His kingdom.

The Cry of the Possessed (Sermon June 23, 2013)

Scripture: Luke 8:26-39

I’m sure we have all heard the saying, “You are what you eat.” Yeah I know it is a silly saying but it is a very true statement. Kids get this speech from their teachers in school, their parents at home, and their grandparents when they are supposed to be eating their broccoli. It is probably not a statement we expect to hear in church, at least not on a Sunday without a meal following worship.

The concept is filled with deep wisdom, because we consume multiple things. If we were to eat only a single type of food every day our bodies would rapidly deteriorate, we would be more susceptible to illnesses many of which could become fatal. To combat this nutritionists develop trendy ways to promote a balanced diet things like the food pyramid, the food groups, and various diet plans. I am not a nutritionist. If you would ask me what you should eat I would probably ask you how much money you had in your wallet and then suggest the nearest fast food restaurant. Consumption has many faces. We as humans consume not only food but also a whole host of products and services.

Consuming in and of itself is not wrong. Our nations economy is based on consuming. Without a constant demand for food, oil, transportation, and pretty much everything you can buy at our local retailers each of us would be impoverished. Yet again we are what we eat.

This passage is probably one of the most frightening passages in all of scripture. Just imagine for a moment how you would feel if you stepped off of a boat only to be greeted by a naked grim covered man. It is a situation that I would hope none of us would have to experience. Scripture tells us that an evil spirit, a concept that many of us may not be too comfortable, possessed this man. Our culture does one of two things with this, both being extreme. We either disregard the concept as being mental illness, something that today can easily be treated with various behavioral and pharmaceutical therapies. This idea totally negates the possibility of spiritual beings. The second concept is one that promotes evil spirits being behind every aspect of our lives, demons responsible for every vice we partake of. What then was wrong with this man?

There are several issues in this passage that can point the way too the roots of the issue. The first thing to remember is that the people of this community as well as this man, were all of the Jewish culture. Members of a culture have certain expectations. This community as a whole has fallen away from those cultural norms. For one they were raising swine. For us bacon lovers we tend to forget that producing bacon in a Jewish is about as wrong as growing Marijuana today. It is hard for us gentiles to consider bacon a drug, but the consumption of this substance was unlawful. This community has strayed from their roots. They as a community became focused on consumption and the profit that could be gained from it.

The community took a step away from their center. It is not unlikely that members of that community would begin to take more steps away. This man is living in the tombs, living with the dead. Death is unclean; those that spend time around death are not able to participate in the community. The community is marginalizing itself and within that community individuals have taken steps further.

We may not consider these little steps a big deal, but we are what we eat. With each step they consume more, their focus is reconfigured away from God and more on themselves. They become a consumer-based community. With each step they become more consumed by their own desires.

Consumption had taken hold of this man. He consumed until he lost his mind and his soul to the very things he sought to fulfill his desires. The ancient church gave a name to these activities calling them the seven deadly sins. The sins of wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony are consumer-based sins. Each of these sins is present in consumer-based communities, each of these are present in all consumption-based cultures. It does not matter if it is a free market or not if there is consumption these sins can creep into the lives of those in the culture.

The scripture focuses in on a single man, but there is much more to the story. The entire community was consumed by sin. The man cried out in the presence of Jesus because the spirits of evil consumed him, and Jesus did not say a word. All he did was take a single step off of a boat and it sent this man into a violent rage. The man was not the only one with a reaction to Jesus; the entire community was in fear of Jesus. Were they all possessed?

Let us bring this closer to home. Each of us are members of a consumer-based culture. We live to fulfill the desires and urges we have. I could mention a word and probably upset ever person in this room, we get upset because that one word is the sin that we ourselves are consumed with. Wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, and gluttony everyone has a hold of some area of our lives. For the corporatist we can easily say they are ruled by greed, for the socialist envy each is consumed by sin. How do we feel? Is pride creeping in as we pat ourselves on the back for not being one of those?

“What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God?” the man cried out. We too cry that out when we sense judgment, but where is the judgment coming from? We are uncomfortable around holiness, because it shows us that we fall short of the standards God has set before us. We cry out and scream for the righteous to stop their judgment, they do not even have to say a word and we demand for them to stop. Why do we do that? Because we have justified our actions in our own minds, we have built philosophies and theologies around our own sin and claimed that it is right. We then judge those around us through those eyes. I am greedy and those that wish to take what is mine are wrong. I envy so those that have what I want are evil. I lust and if I cannot have what I desire I demand that no one can have it. These are the very things that have caused every war, all of poverty, and probably every argument. We each fall to these because we are human, and when we let consumption take hold and rule our lives we become a slave to it.

Yes a slave to greed, envy, lust and all. I see it every day. I watch people consumed by these very things, I listen to their justifications of their actions, and I see the devastation of their lives when they devote all they have to fulfill their desire and their addictions. And yes I have to say that the stories of the demon possessed man could fit right along side the stories I have at work every day.

Jesus did not initiate the conflict. We initiate it. We have become consumed by ourselves and when Jesus takes a step into our community we demand that he leaves us alone. But how does Jesus respond to this possessed man? He asked for the name. He did not look at the man and demand that he stop doing what he was doing, he met him where he was and asked for the name. He wanted to know the man, to know the deepest essence of who this man was, but we cannot be known when we are hiding behind our sin. When we are consumed and possessed with our sinfulness and rebellion we cannot be know or build a relationship with God because to do so we would have to let go.

The demons begged Jesus to let them go into the swineherd and to be left alone. Jesus gave them permission to leave the man. And all the community was in fear, because not only did they lose their incomes, they too were exposed. This man who was gripped by every sinful desire was left redeemed, the community found him clothed and in his right mind. Yet the community was still in fear, not only of Jesus but this man as well. He now was able to expose them, because there he was restored.

We are all gripped by sin, we may not realize just how much or where that sin is affecting us, but we are gripped all the same. If we get upset at an idea that is different than our own we are being controlled by something other than the Spirit of God. This is why Friends have their queries, why the prayer of examine was developed by the religious orders, this is why the spiritual disciplines were explored by those that seek God. It is through participating in these things that we with the Spirit of God can release the grip of sin in our lives. But it is a process. We are what we eat. We must feast on the things of righteousness and practice the ways of Christ.

Jesus gave this man a new life. He gave him a life where sin did not rule, a life where the voices of the evil ones were quieted by the overpowering voice of the Spirit of God. The man wanted to follow Jesus wherever he went, but Jesus did a remarkable thing for this man, he told him to stay where he was. This man had experienced something, was changed, and Jesus told him that the greatest service that he could do for God is to stay right where he was to live and teach among the people of his own community. Yes some are called to travel to foreign lands to spread the Gospel of Christ, but more are called to spread the Gospel of the Kingdom right where they are.

We each have a story of redemption to tell, a story of hope to proclaim to those around us. Each of us have had struggles in our own ways with the evil desires that want to consume us as we consume and fall victim of them. But in Christ we can overcome the evil one. We overcome by consuming the holiness of God, by living a life of prayer, worship and service. We overcome by turning from sin and living a life loving God, embracing the Holy Spirit, and living the love of Christ with others. We can become victors if we confess our struggles to God and turn from them, by developing a disciplined life of prayer, of study of scripture, and through helping others along their own paths. We beat our bodies to make them a slave to righteousness instead of sin, we press on to the goal set before us, we take hold of that which Christ has taken hold of in us, and we proclaim loudly in word and deed, “to live is Christ and to die is gain!”

As we enter into a time of open worship and holy expectancy imagine this passage imagine what you would feel like if you were there, imagine what you would feel like if you were the man sitting naked possessed by the demons that haunt him. Examine if you dare your own life and explore with Christ where sin has a grip on you. And let us call on Christ to release us from those sins and let them run down into the sea, let us let God take them from us so that we can live among our community proclaiming how God has helped us along our path of life.

Weeping at His Feet (Sermon June 16, 2013)

Scripture: Luke 7:36-8:3


Most of what I say on Sundays is to promote deeper thinking and contemplation. I know that at times that can cause us to be uncomfortable, mainly because the approach I take is probably different than what we are used to. That is actually a generational thing. The post-modern culture focuses more on the journey than the destination, they enjoy the process of finding the answer more then the answer themselves. That being said the post-modern culture does not reject truth they just like to find truth for themselves. This is a significant shift in our culture.


For those of us living at the time of the shift, we tend to be torn. We begin to think that everything we care about or have cared about has been overturned. We tend to think that what we hold dear is not cared about in this new world we live in, but one thing still remains. Love.


I speak quite often on cultural shifts because this is really what is going on in the first century Jewish culture. They are on the brink of a monumental change. They like everyone here are faced with holding fast to what they knew before or embracing something different or unknown.


Jesus, at this point in time, is a curiosity to the established people of the Jewish culture. He is a teacher that has taken an extreme view on things. It is not that they do not agree with what he is doing, they question how and when he does it. They are not sure how to explain it. The Pharisees were the ones with all the answers; they have volumes of research that has documented the answers. They know the right words to say in each and every situation. They have ways to pray for healing, ceremonies to facilitate the exorcism of demons, each technique documented and passed on to the next generation by learned scholars. But Jesus is different, he heals by saying a word, by spitting on the ground and rubbing the mud on the eyes of the blind, he can even raise the dead. They are curious because he is doing things that go beyond their traditions and understandings. To top this off his teachings come to the truth, many of the same truths that they themselves preach from a different perspective.


This is why this Pharisee invites Jesus to dine with him in his house. Jesus is a teacher within the community and the leaders want to determine if Jesus is an ally or opposition. Before the various groups can speak in support of Jesus they first have to determine if he is a supporter of their doctrine and theology.


Consider this for just a moment. Theology is the study of God. Theology is crowning glory of science especially in the ancient world. Yes I call it science. A science is an in-depth study of something, it is a continuous study, ever learning and growing. The curiosity of humanity drives us to discover and find answers. But there is a risk involved in this sort of study as well. Some disciplines of science get comfortable with what has already been proven, and they continue to repeat the same things again. These theories become laws, and the laws often times go unchallenged. Yet ever so often someone challenges the law, and things begin to get interesting. Einstein challenged Newton and as a result the study of Physics exploded with new studies trying to disprove or prove this new theory, and eventually even Einstein’s theories are disproved and replaced with a more advanced idea. It is these challenges that have given us the things we enjoy and require today.


This is where we find Jesus and the first century culture. They are lock into a debate about theology. There are a couple schools of thought in this area. One side of the debate is the old guard standing on tradition, then there is a new guard that has a different idea, but even these new ideas are being challenged.


Jesus is sitting at the table surely engaging in a deep discussion about the finer things of religion when suddenly there is a commotion at the door. A woman rushes in, falling at the feet of Jesus. She begins to weep, her tears fall onto Jesus’ feet and she begins to wipe them with her hair. This passage creates a very interesting scene, a scene of griping emotion and confusion.


Simon the Pharisee knows this woman (we do not know how he knows her but he knows her.), and he knows what kind of woman she is. In his worldview, in his lifestyle it is unfit for his class to associate with women like her. Any contact could soil his reputation. In his mind, under his understanding of theology, righteous people would and should not associate with this woman in any way. He begins to build a case against Jesus, because of this. “If he were a prophet he would know what kind of woman she is.”


Jesus does know who she is. He knows her more deeply than anyone else. He knows the emotional pain, the spiritual longing, and the hardship she has endured in this climate. He knows why she is in the position that she is in, the various decisions made to bring her to this point. She is there at his feet weeping, wiping, and anointing His feet. The greatest thing is that He lets her.


As the righteous people become more uncomfortable, Jesus begins to speak. “Simon, I have something to say to you.” He begins to tell a parable, comparing two debtors. One has a debt of 500 denarii, the other 50. Each cannot pay their debt. If you think about it how could they and survive? The denarius is a day’s wage, meaning the lower of the two debts would take over a month if not two to pay off, and the other over a year. This is a time before Dave Ramsey could teach them how to live debt free on the radio. These men were just doing what they could to survive and they have found themselves in a bad place, unable to see a way out. The man that owns the note from these men sees them and forgives the debt. I wish this guy controlled my student loans. Then Jesus asks, “Simon which of the men loves him more?”


Which loves him more? It’s a simple question; even the youngest child would know that the one forgiven of the greater debt would love the benefactor more. Yet this same simple question is one that challenges us to the core, because this question raises the question of many of our commonly held theological practices.


This woman is sitting at the feet of Jesus weeping, and she is a woman of great debt. Simon is sitting in his place of honor yet he knows that Jesus has seen a debt in him as well. Jesus says to Simon that he did not even show him the common curtsies of the day, he did not offer someone to wash Jesus’ feet, he did not kiss him, or anoint him with oil. Simon by doing so was saying that Jesus was not worth his effort, until he could prove his value. Yet this woman offered Jesus much more than Simon ever could. Why?


Jesus then looks at the woman, the woman who everyone knows, and says to her that her sins are forgiven. With a simple pronouncement Jesus, turned the theological world upside down. Her faith has saved her, not sacrifice, not disciplines; it was not the things that the theological debaters debated. It is not the answers, but the journey. It was her seeking, her risking everything that she had and laying it all on the floor before Jesus.


A couple of weeks ago the essence of my sermon was that if our theology does not love more than people without theology it is worthless. This is the very same thing that Jesus is saying in. Who loves the one the debt forgiver more? And how are we attracting people to this place?


Jesus attracted this woman through his love for the people. He would spend time talking and walking among the common people. He was chastised by the righteous ones because he spent time with sinners and tax collectors. He saw them where they were and even so he taught them, healed their diseases, and gave them hope. He attracted people to himself not out of his own righteousness, which he had plenty of, but because he offered them a better life. That better life came by encouraging them to repent.


This in itself is the same message that the Pharisees, the Sadducees, even the Essences were teaching. The difference is the starting point. For the righteous you first have to meet expectations within the community before you are acceptable, Jesus accepted his followers first and then built them into the community.


Look at the disciples, how did Jesus call them? He saw Peter and the other fishermen on the shore and said follow me. He saw Matthew the tax collector sitting at his table and said follow me. He saw a wee little man up in a tree and said to him, I’m going to your house today, and that man quickly came down from his tree and invited him into his house. Jesus accepted all these people as they were and offered them a new life. Follow me…he did not require that they had anything specific at that point, just a willingness to follow or to say another way to come and see.


Jesus offers a kingdom to anyone that just turns from his or her current path, to follow Him. This is revolutionary. Simon sat in judgment of the woman because she was a sinner, yet Jesus had compassion. Jesus offered the kingdom and Simon offered only shame. Jesus says to the woman, “go in peace.” She entered Simon’s house a sinner and she leaves at peace with God.


She is not the only one. Jesus left the house and continued to minister in the cities and villages, followed by the twelve, and women cured of evil spirits and illnesses. Even Mary Magdalene who was cured of seven spirits, and others from high and low status. They were all welcomed onto the path; all left something behind for a hope of something greater. They embarked on an adventure with God and they found peace.


We are living in the end of an age and emerging into a new age. The answers are the same but we are in an age of rediscovery. An age where we reason together, walk a path together, an age where we seek to live with Christ in word and deed. To do that we must know Jesus, know his ways and know the spirit of his thoughts. Jesus asked Simon who loves God more? And Simon answered correctly by saying the one forgiven of the greater debt. But both were forgiven, both were brought into a relationship with the Father that was unblemished, both have a love for God because he has given them grace. What do we do with that knowledge? Do we hoard the grace loving only those that conform to our ideas or do we instead walk with them encouraging them down that path to God?


To some my words may seem a bit vague, maybe not very theologically sound, but it is compassion and love that are the seeds of faith. Those are the only true, distilled, simplest, and to the point laws of God. Love God with everything we have and love our neighbor as ourselves. Honoring all people as children of God, encouraging them to walk that path with us. I like most people of my generation enjoy the journey. I love to drive and observe the landscape passing around me. Yes, at times I may question things, I question only because it is part of the journey, we cannot truly know without learning and learning comes from asking questions and finding the answers. Things excite me as well. Things like this passage, because often I find myself on the wrong side of the story. Often I am the one sitting in judgment, instead of the one weeping at the feet of Jesus. That causes me to ask more questions. What does it mean to be a follower of Christ? What does it mean to love God, embrace the Holy Spirit and to live the love of Christ with others? You see that is part of the journey we all must walk with Christ. The journey He takes me on is different then yours, how He moves me from one point to another is different but the story is the same. I started as the sinner weeping at the feet of Jesus and He says to me, “Your faith has saved you, go in peace.” He does not leave us there, He is also calling us to come follow Him and to come and see where He is living today.


As we enter this time of open worship, the time we can commune with each other and God as a community of Friends. Let us reflect on that journey that brought us to Jesus’ feet, let us remember those people instrumental in that walk, and look forward in Christ to where he is leading us.





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