“You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its saltiness, how will it become salty again? It’s good for nothing except to be thrown away and trampled under people’s feet. You are the light of the world. A city on top of a hill can’t be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a basket. Instead, they put it on top of a lampstand, and it shines on all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before people, so they can see the good things you do and praiseyour Father who is in heaven.
Gay marriage has been an issue lately. The voices in our culture say there are two groups of Christians in regards to this issue. The first are the tolerant, compassionate ones who love and say, "gay is ok, marry the one you love". The other group is full of hate, and they are hypocrites and want to oppress and suppress anyone not like them.
The truth is that the second group is a small percentage or a fringe that the majority of Christians would disown, disagree with, and frankly call un-christian. The first group is much larger, but hardly the majority. The majority of Christians are in the middle. They have Jesus heart of love, but believe in coming to the cross, for the forgiveness of our sins.
Gay marriage is a barometer that says there is a problem with a society. Society is not helped or healed by condemning people with same sex attraction. Actually it means it is time for the people of God to repent of their sins. We Christians have our own sins, some of them sexual in nature, to repent of. How strange it is for any Christian to criticize others and not deal with their own stuff. This is what we are supposed to do:
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.Darren Hibbs wrote about this, this past week.
-2 Chronicles 7:14
The Lord's Supper
After taking the bread and giving thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”
Dave Black posted some thoughts on The Lord's Supper this week:
...some additional thoughts about the Lord's Supper based on certain New Testament texts (such as 1 Cor. 10-11 and Acts 20:7):All are to partake. That means seekers and children. When we disallow people to partake, we are like the men who tried to get the children away from Jesus or were disgusted by the woman who poured perfume on him. We all know that the elements symbolize Christ and Christ is about saving the lost. He came to seek and save the lost, right? So why would we bar the Lord's Supper from pre-Christians, including children? Seems absurd. Hello?
1) The Lord's Supper is the centerpiece of the Christian assembly.
2) The supper is superbly Christ-centered ("Do this in MY remembrance").
3) No believer is "invited" to partake of the supper; we eat and drink in obedience to Christ's command ("Do this" is in the imperative mood).
4) The supper is a genuine meal, not a ritual to be "administered."
5) The emphasis is both on remembering and anticipating.
6) It is a joyous celebration and not a sorrowful funeral.
7) The meal symbolizes the unity of the Body of Christ.
8) ALL are to partake, and ALL are to partake together.
9) The "unworthy manner" to which Paul refers has nothing to do with one's spiritual status at the time of eating. It refers to eating and drinking in a divided manner.
10) Self-examination is a necessary part of the Christian life, but in 1 Cor. 11 it is not a reference to the preparedness on the part of the believer. It is a call to observe the social nature of the meal in which distinctions based on partiality of any kind are forbidden.
11) The one loaf of bread not only symbolizes this unity but in some sense creates it.
12) Because there is only one loaf of bread, we are one body no matter how many we are or how diverse we may be. "Many yet one."
The business of eating and drinking in an "unworthy manner", and of "examining yourself", is not about just you, but it is about you and us, the body. Christ died for all. In Christ, we are all one. We are all God's children. There are no classes or status when we are in Christ. The Lord's Supper is a place of unity. We are all one in the Lord. We have an individualistic, consumerist grid (hermeneutic) from which we view (worldview) and judge or interpret, that we need to set aside or die to.
Much of the time when the word "you" is in scripture, we read, "me", as an individual; but it actually means "you all", as in plural. So when we think of "unworthy manner", we might thing of our individual selves being unworthy, when it is really about community. It is about behavior that divides, is divisive, towards the gathering. "When you come together", is an interpretive key in 1 Corinthians 11-14.
The "examine yourself" word is a call to unity and to love in the body. Again, it is much easier to see this when you see The Lord's Supper as a meal. There are all kinds of social interactions that occur around a meal. Racism, sexism, classism, ageism, sheer rudeness; and everything else that divides, has no place among God's people in Christ, and that is what Paul was talking about.
For more thoughtful information:
Why Are Our Communion Meals So Paltry? If we have such an extravagant Savior, we should attempt to create a fuller meal. By Leslie Leyland Fields
Suppertime: Lord’s Supper Logic. By Rick Owen
Introverts and Extroverts
A pastor, who was an extrovert, tried to counsel me out of my introversion once. I was thankful that
Introverts don't hate people. We actually love people so much that it hurts and we need to recharge.
Introverts & Extroverts
Need their privacy.
Don't mind and usually enjoy "drop-ins".
Do not like surprises in public.
Love surprises, especially in public.
Need to observe a new thing first.
Dive right in, often failing at first.
Need to think about it before answering.
Answers faster, seems opinionated.
Don't like to be interrupted.
Doesn't mind, will interrupt you back.
Need advance notice of changes.
Bring on the change.
Like to be warned that time is running out.
What deadline, I need a buzzer.
Want reprimands in private.
Not devastated by being called out.
Like to learn away from the spotlight.
Does not mind on the job training.
Have many close friends.
Cannot have many best friends.
The more the merrier!
Extroverts & Introverts
Are naturally independent.
Life is about connections.
Love compliments in public.
Need their enthusiasm encouraged and accepted.
Still waters run deep.
Loves to explore, often by talking a lot.
Listens, observers, theorizes.
Loves thoughtful surprises.
Surprises are embarrassing and annoying.
Are often busy.
Need to unplug.
Love to dive right in.
Love knowing the options.
Love gestures of affection.
No news is good news.
Love to shine.
Love to be left alone