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Showing posts from June, 2013

Unity based on what? Gal 2

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Gal 2:15-21
We are continuing to look at Paul’s letter to the Galatians. The major question seems to be how do you become a Christian? This question is especially important for the Galatians who don’t seem to be Jewish. They are coming from a variety of different backgrounds, but have become attracted to Jesus. Jesus was Jewish. The God the Galatian church was worshiping was the God the Jewish people worshipped. So it makes sense that there should be a certain Jewishness about following Jesus. People had come into town from Jerusalem who were Jewish followers of Jesus. Paul taught the Galatians that they didn’t need any of the Jewish symbols to follow Christ, but these visitors claimed that it was important to take on certain Jewish symbols and ways of life. They said the Galatians should take on the symbol of circumcision, they should observe certain special days (like the Sabbath), they should perhaps eat a more Kosher diet. It isn’t an illogical demand that there should be a certain…

Finding ourselves in God's story- Galatians 1: 11-24

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Paul was part of the very beginning of a movement that was called “The Way”, which would become “Christianity”. It was primarily a Jewish movement, but that would shift dramatically and quickly because of missionaries like St. Paul. Paul had been travelling and telling people about Jesus. He would come to a town, and first he would find out if there were any Jewish people there and speak to them, and later he would speak to anyone else who would listen. Paul ended up establishing numerous churches especially in what we now call Turkey and Greece. He would stay for a time, but then he would move on. He would sometimes write letters or send a friend to help them, but Paul was always on the move. He planted churches then moved on. One of the dangers of always being on the move is that Paul wasn’t always close by to help them when difficulties arose. They couldn’t call. They couldn’t email. They probably weren’t always aware of where he was. He was all over the Northern and Eastern Me…

Reading the Bible

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As a part of celebrating 100 years as a diocese Bishop Jane Alexander has challenged us-“Let us commit as individuals and as members of the diocese, to read successfully through the entire Bible by the end of our centennial year at Pentecost 2014.” You may have picked up the challenge and have been working your way through the reading list since Pentecost. Well done! Keep going! If you have not picked up the challenge. I encourage you to start. Even if you don’t start from the beginning- just start and commit to reading each day. Pick a time- in the morning during breakfast, or during lunch, or just before you turn the lights out at bedtime. Pick a consistent time and do your best to stick to it. If you don’t have a reading schedule ask and we will get you one.  

                This is a significant undertaking, but it is also an exciting one. It is all the more exciting to undertake this challenge as a community where we can encourage each other and also share our difficulties in rea…

"creation" not "environment"

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When I was 19 I went camping in Banff National Park. I grew up tromping around in the woods, making fires, and building forts, but I had never hiked into the Rocky Mountains to camp overnight. My aunt and her friend invited me along with them and I was excited to go. We packed our bags (I probably over-packed my bag), and we drove to the trail-head  We got out of the car and I saw a massive playground- Foothills, trees, creeks, and grizzly bears. We started walking and after about 10 minutes my aunt’s friend mentioned to me that I wasn't walking in the right spot.           The trail in front of me was mostly grass, but there was a 10 inch deep muddy ditch that cut through it. I was walking on the grass beside the ditch…. But she said I was supposed to walk in the deep muddy ditch. … There was something that bothered me about what she said. Perhaps it was just my rebellious ego. She was officially right- We were supposed to leave the park as untouched as possible. We were supposed…