I’ve been leading a bible study through Ephesians every Sunday night since August. It’s been a rich time of interacting with the text in a community of people eager to mature in Christ and a blessing to me every time. This past Sunday we were in Ephesians 4:1-3 for the second week in a row (we aren’t in a hurry). This is the text:
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called,2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Paul wants the church to know that there is a way of walking (living) that is worthy of our calling. This calling comes from Jesus Christ, who sacrificed everything for our sake, and therefore has a right to make claims upon the…
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In his book, The Scandalous Gospel of Jesus Christ, Peter Gomes shared a story about an interview he did alongside Rick Warren. During the interview he chided Warren for not having a big enough God who would one day save everyone. The implication Gomes made was that if God could not or would not save every human being then this God was rather small.
Several years ago I read Gomes’ book with admiration, nodding my head and amen’ing my approval. I, too, thought the God I served was bigger than the God of my youth and of most Christians I knew because I was convinced that one day all would be saved. I spent a lot of time and energy (even costing me my job as pastor) trying to convince others that my God was bigger than your God.
But in making God so big…
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In an open letter to Texas bishop Janice Huie, advocates for full inclusion of gay persons in the life of the church asked a number of questions about church trials and the harm they perceive being done. You can read the full letter, and their questions, HERE.
Many of us clergy and lay people are hoping and praying that a strong, concise, clear voice would emerge from the chaos surrounding our church trials. Please, lead us! I am not sure if the bishop has responded to these questions. I have taken the liberty of responding below in a way that myself and many others wish our bishops would respond to such questions (I have not addressed all seven from the original post, but only the first three).
- How does the Council of Bishops’ call for another trial do good for this broken body of the United Methodist…
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Learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' ~ Jesus