Sunday, January 08, 2012

Read the Red-Letters

‎(NET) Matthew 6:6 But whenever you pray, go into your room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father, who sees in secret, will reward you.
I've been reading through the book of Matthew during my morning devotions and it's really reinforcing for me Tony Campolo's concept of "Red-Letter Christians," that if you read the red-letters, the words spoken by Jesus Himself, it's pretty difficult not to adopt a progressive point of view or abandon a hyper-conservative one.

Matt 6:6 for example flies in the face of pushing for mandatory prayer in public schools or publicly flaunt one's praying like GOP candidates Michelle Bachmann and Rick Perry have done on the campaign.

Loving our enemies & praying for those who persecute us in Matt 5, storing up treasures in Heaven in stead of serving money as a god in Matt 7, not judging others in Matt 8, giving to the needy in Matt 25... So much of Jesus teaching seems contrary the ideas of this world, of America today, and of the Republican party and the "1%."

Rick Santorum may tap into many Christians fear and anger about abortion and homosexuality, but I for one think he could stand to read some of the "red letters." I'm not saying that we throw out the book of Leviticus, but I encourage Christians to spend some more time in the book of Matthew.

We can't follow, imitate, emulate or obey Jesus if we never read what He Himself taught. 

This year, make it a goal to read through Matthew. Pay attention to the red letters and are if God doesn't change your mind about a few things, open your eyes about a few things, plant a few things in your heart and do some new things in your life. I DARE you!

Once you do, pass it on (especially to your Republican and independent friends!)

Sunday, January 01, 2012

EVERYONE's invited (part II)

(NET) Galatians 3:28 "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female - for all of you are one in Christ Jesus."

I had a college professor who used to welcome students to Bible Study by proclaiming there there is "neither graduate nor undergraduate!"

Could we include distinctions like these; neither Black or White, Asian or Hispanic, Native American or European. Neither Liberal or Conervative, progressive or libertarian. Neither natural born citizen or immigrant, neither doccumented or undocumented. Neither gay or staight.

Just as ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, ALL are equal at the foot of the cross and ALL are welcomed into the family of God and the arms of Jesus.

This new year, resolve to see everyone we meet as what they are, a unique and precious creation that God loves, created in His image.

Everyone' invited

(NET) Revelation 7:9 "After these things I looked, and here was an enormous crowd that no one could count, made up of persons from every nation, tribe, people, and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb dressed in long white robes, and with palm branches in their hands."

EVERY tribe, EVERY nation, EVERY language. Jesus died for EVERYONE's sins. God wants EVERYONE to accept His love, grace, mercy, & forgiveness.

How can we DARE to hold on to our racism, prejudice, & tribalism? We are ALL God's children.