Looking for something to do on a Friday night? This Friday at 6:30pm Glendale Church of the Brethren will be hosting its monthly movie night. Dinner starts at 6:30pm with a showing of we bought a zoo immediately afterwards. All are invited!
Please enjoy my personal newsletter for June 2019.GLENDALE Newsletter (click here)
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Rom. 12:18
This text has been heavy on my heart as I process my time at annual conference. We are: a diverse group of people: from different cultures, possessing different life experiences and sometimes different biblical conclusions…that come together once a year and have intimate discussions around a table. What could go wrong?…
One person said we would agree more if we looked to our bibles like the early church. And yet, God’s people didn’t always agree in the Bible. Rom 14 tells us one example of the Church differing on eating food sacrificed to idols and on what days we should worship. Paul’s response? ‘Don’t pass judgement on disputable matters…each of us will give an account to God.” It’s clear the apostle had an opinion but he cared more about their unity than the right answer. Can Rom. 14 be abused so the church accepts anything and we lose our mission of living and proclaiming Jesus? Yes! But to me, it’s a reminder not to judge, despite our differences.
Speaking of differences…. let us not argue about them…let us live them out!
If evangelism is your focus… then go and evangelize!
If living out the teachings of Jesus of Jesus is your emphasis…then feed the poor, visit the imprisoned and give that voice to those on the margins of society!
If you think we are losing our passion for the Bible…then teach it and preach it to anyone who will listen!
At annual conference I was surrounded by friends, mentors and spiritual big brothers. I also met new brothers and sisters in Christ. I would not have met anyone if I stayed back in disapproval. Today’s climate in the world and unfortunately in the church is to live in fear. To make assumptions based not on facts or personal stories, but fear.
I choose not to exclude and judge or live in fear…but as much as I can, live at peace with everyone.
Philippians 2:1-11 gives us a picture of what it means to be Christ-like: “…having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus” (Phil 2:2b-5). With these words the church in Philippi not only learned about how they ought to live their lives, but they also learned more about Jesus (see Phil 2:6-11).
One beautiful message we learn about Jesus from Phil 2:1-11 is that Christ humbled himself by taking on human flesh (vs 7), and Christ humbled himself to death on a cross (vs 8). Sadly, the truly miraculous message of these two humilities which Christ took on sometimes lose their weight in our society. Jesus, God’s Son and God incarnate took on a human body. It is miraculous and mind boggling! Jesus, God’s Son and God incarnate died in one of the most humiliating and disgraceful ways—dying on a cross.
And, of course, the other miracle in this is that Jesus rose from the dead, “Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil 2:9-11).
I cannot comprehend the generosity and compassion of our Heavenly Father, but it seems to me that in Philippians 2:1-11 Paul is giving us the chance to join Jesus—both in his glory and in his suffering. In this world of choices and infinite options, I pray that each of us finds comfort in the love of Jesus, fellowship with the Spirit, and like-mindedness in our growth and discernment together.