A Community Without Barriers

Galatians 3:21-29

All People made One as the Outcome of God’s Story

God has given us scriptures that are remarkable and challenging to understand. He engages our minds to understand and discern. We receive the whole OT. The Gospels tell Jesus’ story in four different ways. The letters are real letters written on a particular day to a distinct situation, set of problems. No systematic theological treatises or law books. There is built-in flexibility, diversity, and interpretation.

In Gal 3 Paul looks broadly over the whole story in the context of deep disputes about the OT law and the Gentiles. God’s ancient promises come to fruition in Jesus’ faithfulness as Messiah and our faith/trust in him. He is one person who is both Israel and every human, but also God so that every person can become part of him.

All the deep, ancient barriers are broken down. Humans are given a new reality by God, united not by virtue but by what God has done in Jesus. Jesus actively breaks down religious, ethnic, class, socioeconomic, gender, relational barriers, back to creation. All of these barriers were set both in custom and in Roman law, city laws, and Mosaic law.

Women Following Jesus

Luke 8:1-3

What is God Doing? Acts looks back to Pentecost - a remarkable beginning. Not careful planning and strategy. Not insight by Apostles. Yes, they were prepared by Jesus. But they were carried along by God’s intervention. God waited till Pentecost for the meaning of the feasts. Passover: deliverance. Pentecost: Covenant, Community, Giving of Torah - God breaking in.

Mary of Nazareth & Her (Un)Ladylike Faith

Scriptures Readings on Mary:

Matthew 1:16
... and Jacob was the father of Joseph, 
the husband of Mary, 
of whom Jesus was born, who is called the Christ.

Luke 1:27
The virgin's name was Mary. The angel came to her and said, "Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!"

Luke 1:35
The angel answered her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High 
will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy--the Son of God. 

Laura and Ira Hays Communion Meditation

Ten years ago, while Joe and Laura Hays were serving the Manhattan Church of Christ as ministers of Christ Church for Brookyn, their son Ira was born without a diaphragm. Ira was in and out of the hospital for more than a year, and it was a very difficult time for the Hays family.

Laura and Ira returned to MCOC to deliver the powerful communion meditation on hope, grace, and thankfulness.