This week the younger classes (Pre-K, K-2, VC) take a week to remember that the Bible is one connected story. The Bible Story-line goes from Creation, to Abraham and Sarah, to Moses in Egypt, to King David in Jerusalem, to Queen Esther in Persia, and back to Nehemiah rebuilding Jerusalem. This second part of the year we continue this story with Jesus as the Jews anticipate another 'King David' to save them from their Roman occupiers. We hear how Jesus taught the Jews to live as if God was always emperor, and the Temple was foremost for the poorest, weakest, sickest, and left out. Jesus did not come to topple Rome by force, but to transform Rome, Jerusalem and the Temple through love, hope, peace, and better relationships. Jesus tore down world-views based on power and prestige and privilege, and instead lived a world-view that seeks to bring everyone together on earth as it is in heaven.
After Jesus is executed by the fearful and jealous religious, economic and political elite, his followers witness the resurrection of his vision and preach this news to all people throughout the empire - even those who are not Jew. They preach the news that God comes to save the poor, imprisoned, hungry, sick, alone, oppressed, depressed, forgotten and enslaved. Paul champions the core of this calling by leading people to this understanding and Way of Christ, and by encouraging small groups of people anchored in meals and fellowship (not just the rituals in the Temples). It is not an easy calling for Paul, but he is willing to die for the same kingdom that he himself once persecuted by death! Similarly, John writes an epic political cartoon to give hope to the Jesus followers martyred by the Roman Empire in his Revelation.
Are we strands of this epic saga 2,000 years later? Why do we still read the writings of those who live in a land far away, in a time long ago? Is this the same God that we feel deeply connected to today? Is Jesus still relevant in our daily lives? Do Jesus, Paul and John speak to our religious, economic and political leaders and institutions today?
May this second half of the year inspire us, motivate us, confuse us, challenge us, and give us an ongoing sense of love, hope and salvation.
Events & Evites:
Tory - Pastor of Children and Youth Faith Formation.