Worship Sunday January 3 “Come,” Jesus replied, “and you will see.”So they went and saw where he was staying, and they spent that day with him. It was about four in the afternoon. - John 1:39 I have two threads of thought this morning. Rather than force them both into this column, I'll add another post later …
this can be both wonderful and extremely complicated!
Done right, nothing in this world has the power to love and to heal and to encourage like the church.
We live in an age where - for all the emphasis on "Social Networks" - people are increasingly isolated, fragments, and polarized. Our weekend in Tennessee served as a powerful reminder that we are beings created for community,
This is what Jesus was talking about when he said that the world will know that we are Christians when they take notice of how beautifully we love one another. That's supposed to be the neon sign that tells the truth about who it is that we follow.
The love for beauty in our gardens has the same unifying effect as the beauty of love in the congregation.
When I go to church, the community doesn't only give my faith a boost, it gives believing the substance and the nourishment that it needs.
Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together …
Jesus was as clear about this as he was about anything: "The world is going to be convinced of the truth about me - my life, my words, my invitation to know God - only to the extent that you all (y'all - the church) demonstrate authentic love - in effect modeling this love as a vibrant community, an invitation, a living testimony to grace" (John 13 - author paraphrase).
When they keep you in the hospital longer than expected it's for a reason. So, having documented the reason, by definition the burden of proof becomes more, shall we say, burdensome