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.

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. 

Gospel of Gratitude

Luke 17:11-19

Lewis Smedes, who was my ethics professor at Fuller Seminary, described it this way: “Ingratitude decays the spirit, spoils the soul, decomposes life itself.”

In this sermon Amy looks at the story of the lepers that Jesus heale from leprosy. Nine went on their way and only one returned to thank Jesus. What made this man return to Jesus? What did he see and experience when Jesus responded to his cries for mercy with healing grace? And how can we live in gratitude everyday, seeing our lives as gifts from God?