Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Loving Everyone into Sacred Community

Jesus began his ministry by loving everyone into sacred community before he ever began the teaching, healing, and other facets of his ministry. This is the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. This year’s theme comes from the Great Commandment: “You shall love the Lord your God… and your neighbor as yourself…”1 The challenge for followers of Jesus has always been to reconcile our relationships with God’s love. Wherever we fall short in loving as Christ loves, we are invited to acknowledge and revise our behavior. How we relate to each other within and beyond the faith community is a reflection of the progress we are making in our ultimate reconciliation and unity with God, humanity, and all Creation.

Humanity has been invited into an ongoing holy conversation ever since Jesus announced, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.”2 Everyone is invited to join this eternal spiritual chat room and to engage as participants in exploring all the ins and outs of a universal faith community that spans all barriers of time and space and life and death. Beliefs, expressions, and practices will always differ among everyone as they always have, and people will always continue to associate and organize around similar ideas and objectives. We are all called and sent to love one another into the sacred community of God’s family.


Excerpt from the manuscript of the sermon preached by 
Rev. Bill Lawson on January 21, 2024, at Briensburg UMC.

Bible Readings for the 3rd Sunday after the Epiphany,
Revised Common Lectionary, Year B
Jonah 3:1-5 & 10, Psalm 62:5-12, 1 Corinthians 7:29-31, Mark 1:14-20

Complete Sermon with Bibliography and Notes:
 [ PDF | MP3 Audio | All Text Formats ]

 COVER IMAGE: Pixabay User ooceey. “Unity in Diversity,” 2020. Pixabay.
Accessed 16 January 2024. Image.

No comments:

Post a Comment