NOTE FROM PASTOR J R FOR SUNDAY, MARCH 8, 2015

This past week we were once again faced with a state Supreme Court decision that makes Alabama look like a backward bastion of narrow-mindedness as it issued an order to halt the issuance of marriage licenses to same sex couples in defiance of a federal judge’s order. (Will they never learn!) This action was taken in response to a lawsuit brought by a “Christian” group opposing marriage equality. And of course, we all know how Judge Roy Moore loves to pontificate based on his religious views instead of following the law.

It is sad that in 2015 in America, supposedly the land of the free, we still have such people using their religious beliefs as the law of the land to force others to live by it. It’s amazing that these same people don’t see the parallel of wanting our country to put boots on the ground to fight ISIS who is doing the same thing. Oh, they may not be employing the same tactics as ISIS (so far,) but make no mistake, it’s the same philosophy … going to extreme measures and using religion to deny other’s human rights and civil liberties based on your religious beliefs.

This week’s Gospel lesson from John 2 tells about Jesus’ rare display of anger that occurred in the temple. When Jesus entered the temple that day, he found a faith that had become a religion. It had become institutionalized and it was stale and downright dirty. People were using their religion in taking advantage of others and ritual had become more important than the condition of the heart. What Jesus did, I believe, was challenge a smug, hypocritical religious system that desperately needed to change. The faith community at that time was so wrapped up in rules and rituals that the fresh revelation of God that “LOVE TRUMPS ALL” could not get through. It was impossible for people to see that truth because they were blinded by obstacles that hindered their ability to see this great revelation. This so outraged Jesus that He became a one-man wrecking crew.

Unfortunately, we see this same smug hypocrisy played out in “Christian” churches today resulting in the Alabama Supreme Court edict issued this past week. I guess not as much has changed in 2000 years as we’d like to believe. Taking advantage of others with rituals and laws that have become more important than the condition of the hearts of humans shows that even today, the body of Christ (the church) has yet to learn that “Love Trumps All!”

Join us in worship at Covenant on this Third Sunday in Lent. Discover for the first time or see once again why “LOVE TRUMPS ALL.” My sermon is based on Psalm 19:8-11, & 14 and John 2:13-22.

THEN JOIN FOR THE JASON AND DEMARCO CONCERT AT 6 PM THIS SUNDAY!

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