NOTE FROM PASTOR J R FOR SUNDAY, JANUARY 21, 2018

Have you ever had a change of mind about an issue that left you wondering … what was I thinking? The more I study scripture these days, the more that happens to me. I grew up in a very conservative Pentecostal Holiness Church. I’m forever grateful for the foundation it gave me in scripture, nurtured my love for God and taught me the joy of being part of a community of faith. Nonetheless, I also must admit that some of what I learn in church back then about God does NOT align with scripture.

Too often church scripture was used to emphasize negative stereotypes about who God is, what God is like, what God thinks about us or how God interacts with us. However, the more I study the scriptures, I find a very different God. I find a God whose love knows no boundaries, One who is always reaching out to us in innovative ways or taking drastic measures to get our attention. God loves us and knows “People Need the Lord.” We need the love, grace, forgiveness and peace that only comes from a loving God.

In the scriptures for this Sundays, God uses Jonah, an unwilling participant at first, who has to be convinced through extraordinary means to carry the message of hope to others. In the other scripture, God uses the power of Jesus presence to enlist help in spreading the message of love and hope by saying to them, “Come, follow me, … I’ll show you how to fish for people.”

God took these innovative and extraordinary actions because God knows “People Need the Lord.” But what leaves me wondering “What was I thinking” is how can I or others read these wonderful stories and portray a negative stereotype of God.

Join us in worship this Sunday, I will reinforce the message of hope and love that God desires for us to live in with a sermon called “People Need the Lord” based on Jonah 3:1-5, 10 and Mark 1:14-20

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