Each of us is created as a holy vessel of embodied love. Our sense of wholeness has been shattered. We look to Lent to be a season or recovery after the toxicity of this last year. Jesus is in solidarity with our healing of body, soul and spirit, where beauty is created from that which feels broken.
King Solomon ruled Israel from about 1,000 BC to around 960 BC. Do you remember what Solomon was known for? He was known for his wisdom. People came from all around to seek his wisdom. Solomon started off well but then something shifted. This shift is noted when the scripture says, “It took Solomon seven years to build the temple and thirteen years to build his house.” In that sentence is a shift that is easy to do if we are unaware.
Where do we invest our life? Do we invest in stuff that loses value over time? That is sold off for pennies on the dollar at the end of our life. What do we do with the talents God invests in us. Do we dig a hole in the ground and bury them or do we double their value? Will God say, “well done good and faithful steward?”
In the parable of the person who is robbed, beaten and left for dead, Jesus picks a controversial hero. He could have picked a less controversial character but he wanted to teach His listeners something important. Something that could speak to our world in 2021.
Maybe you can’t imagine forgiving certain people in your life. Yet Jesus says that before we can fully worship God we are to be reconciled with our brother or sister. We know that forgiveness is one response to hurt and separation that we can choose but how do we work through the feelings and resistance we may have to forgive those who have hurt us deeply.
Youth of our church will lead us in worship which is themed to explore our God given gifts and talents.
It is instinctive to compare ourselves to others. And when we do so we find out others are richer, skinnier, smarter, taller, prettier and happier than we are. We can’t win by comparing ourselves to others. Many of us feel that we fall short in the comparison game. What do we do?
One key to deal with the stress and worries of today is to focus on what we are thankful about. Thanksgiving day is not a one day occurrence. It is a daily remembrance of all the blessings we have been given. In this message we will use an old tool to refocus our life around giving thanks.
Often we hear about death and disease, tragedy and betrayal, poverty and pain. In light of this suffering we might ask, why do these things happen God? Where are you in the midst of suffering? As we gather today as people who’ve experienced the deep wounds of pain in our lives we are hungry to hear the voice of hope and to know that God hears our cries.
We live in a time of conflict. Two opposing forces or opinions pull us in different directions. Not much communication is taking place between the sides. Both sides think they need to apply more power and they will persevere. But many people get hurt in this type of struggle. Would it surprise you to learn this was going on in the Christian Church in Corinth 2,000 years ago? Fortunately the Apostle Paul had a solution for them.