Tribal Religion gone Global

1 Mar

Good morning,

Take a minute to imagine Paul’s life.  He has gone from a gatekeeper to a door opener.  It really is amazing.  Paul’s life had been one of not only keeping the rule of Judaism, but making sure everybody else kept them as well.  His encounter with the risen Christ came when he was trying to stop his heretical followers.  And now he write these words of encouragement to reach out to others – all of the others; to take was once the tribal religion of Judaism to all of God’s people around the globe.

7-13 So reach out and welcome one another to God’s glory. Jesus did it; now you do it! Jesus, staying true to God’s purposes, reached out in a special way to the Jewish insiders so that the old ancestral promises would come true for them. As a result, the non-Jewish outsiders have been able to experience mercy and to show appreciation to God. Just think of all the Scriptures that will come true in what we do! For instance:

Then I’ll join outsiders in a hymn-sing;
I’ll sing to your name!

And this one:

Outsiders and insiders, rejoice together!

And again:

People of all nations, celebrate God!
All colors and races, give hearty praise!

And Isaiah’s word:

There’s the root of our ancestor Jesse,
    breaking through the earth and growing tree tall,
Tall enough for everyone everywhere to see and take hope!

Oh! May the God of green hope fill you up with joy, fill you up with peace, so that your believing lives, filled with the life-giving energy of the Holy Spirit, will brim over with hope!

Imagine of the strength of this kind of community of faith.  Everyone, people of different backgrounds, skin colors, intelligence, height, . . everyone welcoming the other to be a sign of “the God of green hope.”  I dream that in this community diversity is accepted and celebrated, with kindness and the grace of God being the most important work to be done.

Spring is coming after the dark winter months- green hope of new life.  I pray in your day you will see sign of the Divine presence.  I pray with Paul we can open doors and find people who are waiting to hear our story of good news, waiting to create their own story of God’s power in their lives.

Peace,

Mary

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