You see Jesus does not call the disciples to change their minds about the Gentiles, he doesn’t just want them to have a new way of seeing God, he wants them to see that God’s grace and mercy is for all.
We are NOT the center of God's creation, we are not at the top to rule and do whatever we want to the earth, our purpose is to serve the earth. I will say it again this way: it is not about what is in our own self-interest...it is about what is in the best interest of the earth. This is driven home by the word "keep" which means "to preserve" or "to protect." We are responsible for the garden now and into the future.
Dr. Sheron Patterson, pastor of Hamilton Park UMC, begins our series “Grace and Grit” - Two characteristics of three women in the Bible who show us how to live and lead faithfully in the midst of difficult situations. Experience the stories of Deborah, the Syrophoenician woman, and Hannah in our worship series Grace and Grit.
Jesus has overcome death, he has overcome the death-dealing things of this world...and so death no longer fills the space of our lives, it no longer clutters our vision or our thinking and being in this world, Jesus has tidied it up, he's made a path through it for us so that we can go from life through death to life again just like he did.
Have you ever asked the question of why did Jesus die on the cross? Maybe this is something that you have let go of in your deconstruction or maybe you haven’t ever given it much thought. Pastor Blair sits down with Dr. Gary Fox to talk through the differing atonement theologies and how they play out in our lives in this episode of “Practicing The Presence.”
Jesus says: focus on loving God and loving others and your joy will be complete. The Greek root of the word joy is the same as grace--joy is a gift from God, joy is a gift of knowing you are connected to the divine and this connection is not something you earn or win…it is always present with you, if you will just see it, in moments of stress, see your connection with God and with others and your joy will be complete. Joy comes in, fear goes out when we see ourselves as connected.