Sunday, September 25, 2016

We Reach Out

The scripture lesson is from the first sixteen verses of the third chapter of The Acts of the Apostles in which we see Peter and John entering the gate of the temple.  There, looking down, they see the lame man begging alms.  Defying societal norms, they look at the man who in turn is so beaten down by society that he does not look at them until Peter tells him to do so.

Having no money they offer the man what they had saying, "In the name of Jesus of Nazareth, rise and walk."  Then Peter, again in contravention of social expectations, reaches down and grasps the man's hand, helping him to his feet.

Leaping and praising God ensues.

Today's culture is torn by disparities, an "us/them' mentality prevails.  White/black; legal/illegal; democrat/republican; rich/poor; straight/gay; liberal/conservative; male/female.  It is all about us and them.  Everyone has answers, no one has answers; little gets done.

"They need to get over it."

"It is not our fault."

Us and them mentality is a scheme of the devil.
     It creates hatred and division.  It is an attack on God Himself to whom every person counts. 
 The Kingdom of Jesus Christ offers peace and unity which the world does not understand.
The Church must stay true to God's Word.  Moving away from those we are called to reach is not the answer.  Jesus lived among us so that He could minister to us.

The only way to overcome the us/them mentality of division is to see us in them and them in us so that it becomes "WE."

We need Christians who understand the core of the problem, not just the symptoms.

With Jesus Christ there is no "us" and "them."
In a world of divisions, what would it look like to offer the radical love of Jesus?

Who is the hardest person for you to love?

In what ways does Jesus want you to personally reach out?

Notes on message by
Pastor Johnnie Blair
Sunday morning 


KC Bob said...

With Jesus Christ there is no "us" and "them."

Love that David.

In this black and white world it is easy to see those who disagree with us as our enemies. I get the impression from the gospels that Jesus did not see it that way. When he says love your enemies he is telling us not to have enemies (i.e. those we hate) but to only have friends (i.e. those we love).

vanilla said...

KC Bob, I pray that Christians everywhere might grasp this concept. It would certainly change things.