The Problem is….

Foolz4Christ

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I know I haven’t posted for a bit.  There aralot of things this ex-full-time-in-the-parish pastor has on his mind lately, but chief among them are the thoughts that continue to rattle around in my head.  This has been coming for some time, so bear with me.
Ever since I was little, somewhere about age 7, did I realize that all of my Catholic friends had priests, nuns, saints, and their parents all in the way of what the Bible had to say about Jesus.  Being introduced at a young age to Lutheranism, which at the time was more of a “we’re not Catholic” as a doctrinal base, I could not help but see that in some way, my friends were being forced to buy into a system where others told them what to believe and what to think about faith.
It never seemed to occur to them…

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Just Like Jesus

It was just like yesterday, when the world was filled with despots struggling with each other for power, when economic classes typified the struggles between the “haves” and the “have nots,” and the walls of racial and religious prejudice were flagrantly making themselves known.  Now unless you accidentally are thinking this was yesterday or last week, these all describe the time long ago that were active when Jesus entered the scene.

It was exactly the same as it is today, or at least it certainly feels that way.  There are gross economic disparities, there is great divisions between races and skin colors, and there are still difficulties between the sexes in our day today.  It seems that almost nothing is any different, and it forces us to have it called to our attention that the world Jesus was literally born into is the same as the world we see all around us.  It is not an unusual effect of the times “back then” but more a continuing picture of what the human race looks like.

I think it safe to assume the same Jesus who came and spoke to the disciples of the day back then speaks as well to us today.  The parable stories that Jesus made famous, still are applicable today.  That also means the words and messages that those words brought with them are still in play today.  Jesus continues to bring the will of God to bear upon His people despite the fact that the people are most likely going to reject it.

Jesus heals the untouchable.  He speaks to the Samaritan woman, who was the “wrong” person to be dealing with at the well from a variety of factors.  He sided with the poor at almost every opportunity, despite accusations that they were all unclean.  Jesus made unpopular decisions at almost every turn, because His task was the annunciation of the Kingdom’s coming into existence with His presence.  We know the history lesson here-Jesus was rejected much as He probably would be today, if the circumstances would find themselves recreated.

If the situations have not really changed, then I would begin to want to argue that the message of Jesus is spot on for today.  What He said then, applies to us today.  His words establishing a new reign of God’s love into and throughout the entire known world are exactly appropriate for the moment.  This moment as well as every moment the from the past.

The words of Jesus, as well as the actions He demonstrated those words by each and every day He walked this earth, model God’s Will and God’s intent for His creation.  Our task might best be served once again by clearing our “theological decks” and getting back to the words and deeds of Jesus.  They are to be the model for living our lives.  To allow a broad faith descriptor like “Christian” might not even be pointed enough.  For those who would be followers of Jesus and “do-ers of the Word” as James tells us in his letter, we must get back to the basics.

To that end, we need to walk as Jesus walked.  Slow to anger, quick to show pity and mercy, suspending our human need to be judgmental, and actively showing love to one another- all these might best describe what we need to be concerned about accomplishing.

Being just like Jesus.

 

God Is Amazing!

Tomorrow we head out for our 3rd mission trip to Cuba. We’ll be working with about 15 churches throughout the country, some that we’ve worked with before but most of them newly formed house churches. We love this time together with the people as they bless us and continue to show us in what it means to be a fully devoted follower of Jesus Christ. In the midst of so many challenges to their everyday living they never waver, their faith grows stronger and they continue to make disciples, who make disciples, who make disciples!

God Is Amazing!