Thursday, June 2, 2016

This Sunday @ Locust Hill UMC: The Odd Couple!

The most famous verse in all of scripture is John 3:16. It says, "For God so loved the world he gave his only begotten son..." What a large statement to make. It doesn't say for God so loved some or us or even human beings. It says "For God so loved the world..." We live like God sent his son for us rather than the world.

We spend a good bit of time as people building walls with the brick and mortar of this theology. We build walls between our neighbors (seen and unseen). We build them in our churches. We say everyone is welcome, but what really mean is those that look like us, talk like us, believe like us... John 3:16 for many of us reads "For God so loved my church, my people, the people I feel are deserving that he sent his only begotten son..." We might not outright say this but this is the message that the church proclaims to the world. The Jesus we encounter in scripture is a "no walls" kind of guy. Anytime that we begin to think that he favors someone like ourselves and not others... Jesus breaks down this perceived wall. In Luke 7 Jesus encounters a Centurion soldier that is in need of Jesus' healing power. The problem is that the Centurion is the constant reminder for the Jewish people that they live not under the authority of Almighty of God but of Rome. The Centurion is visible reminder of their continued bondage. So it only makes sense that this Centurion might fall outside the walls of Jesus' power. Yet what we are told is that Jesus drops everything and he goes to demonstrate God's beautiful power among the Centurion. What we might discover when we read this scripture is that God never calls us to build walls (we do that). Second that great things happen when we let God breakdown our perceived walls and let God do some great work! Looking forward to diving deeper this Sunday!