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Category: Jesus is best revealed incarnationally (page 1 of 3)

March 5– Sexual orientation is not a barrier

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Jesus is best revealed incarnationally
One’s gender and sexual orientation is not a barrier between them and God, nor does it make them less honorable. The love of Jesus makes no distinctions. We are one in Christ.

Today’s Bible reading and an excerpt

Read Romans 14:1-13

You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. It is written:

“‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,
‘every knee will bow before me;
every tongue will acknowledge God.’”

So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.

Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.

More thoughts for meditation

In Romans 14 and 15 Paul writes a gracious argument about how to treat people who are oriented in different ways. He is talking about people coming up against the feeling of “taboo” associated with meat that has been sacrificed to an idol and then sold in the temple market. Some people just can’t touch the tainted stuff; others think meat is meat.

While it is not the same topic, the same grace in Paul’s teaching applies to sexual orientation, which is much more complex and much more laden with different taboos. Jesus followers respond to sexual orientation in different ways, like our statement on marriage acknowledges. Most of the time, our sexual feelings or behavior will not be public knowledge. When it is, we might need to ask ourselves Paul’s questions: “Why would anyone judge them? Why would anyone treat such feelings with contempt?” And it could be added, “Why might I ignore people or ‘freeze’ them because I don’t want to deal with their behavior or confront the judgment they receive from people like me?”

Paul is saying to us about how we think of others, “Even if you think they are wrong or even if you think you are more right, they give account to God, not you.” Our job is to keep from putting any obstruction in the way of our brother’s or sister’s relationship with God. They may, indeed, be sinning sexually in heart or behavior (you may be too!), so that could be an issue. But that is not where we start. The first thing, like our proverb says, is to accept them like God does, in Christ. No orientation separates us from the love of Christ. We are all one in that love.

Suggestions for action

Pray: On my knees, with my mouth, I acknowledge you. Lead me as I consider how to make the way to you clear of obstruction for others.

The recent laws about “same sex marriage” solved an issue of rights under the law. But it did not solve the layers of thinking and feeling surrounding sexual orientation. We all have many issues about how we feel and then behave, sexually and otherwise.

Start with yourself. When you stand before God, Jesus will be your advocate. Is your knee bowed? How do you feel about giving an account? Give an account right now and repent where necessary.

Then think about how you see others. What level of prejudice do you generally work from? (What do others think is your level?) In the case of people considered LGBTQ or hetero-dominant (whether you are oriented like that, or not), how ready are you to get obstructions out of their way to Jesus?

Today is Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday, Fastnacht Day), the Eve of Lent. Explore it at Celebrating Our Transhistorical Body.

March 4 — World Christians: Members of the transnational Body of Christ

Jesus is best revealed incarnationally
We are “world Christians,” members of the transnational body of Christ; concerned with every person we can touch with truth and love.

Today’s Bible reading and an excerpt

Read Psalm 67

May God be gracious to us and bless us
and make his face shine on us—
so that your ways may be known on earth,
your salvation among all nations.

More thoughts to ponder

Here is one reason we are against warfare: it kills our brothers and sisters in Christ. They are all over the world, as the map shows. The kingdom of God is in and over all nations; it is transnational, transcultural and even transhistorical!

Jesus understands and operates within the arbitrary boundaries of nations, but he more fully transcends those boundaries. He is the Lord of all the earth.

We can’t be responsible for the whole earth, but we love it just the same, just like Jesus does. Wherever we can touch it with love or make a difference to people, we try to do it.

We are world Christians, citizens of the kingdom of God and that “nation” is within all the nations and our Leader is over all leaders.

Suggestions for action

Pray: I want to reflect your grace and make your ways known to the nations. Bless us.

Read the international news in your newspaper or Yahoo News as an act of meditation and prayer. Listen to what God is revealing. Intercede for people and bless situations. Get at least one holy suggestion for action from God directly—it may be a new or renewed one.

Check out our nations page!

March 3 — One whole cloth

Jesus is best revealed incarnationally
Life in Christ is one whole cloth. As we participate in and love “the world,” we bring redemption from the Kingdom of God to our society. Jesus is Lord of all, so we have repented of separating “sacred” and “secular.”

Today’s Bible reading and an excerpt

Read John 19:16-24

When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom.

More thoughts to ponder

On the cross, Jesus embraces the whole world. For some it is a warm embrace, a place of rest. For others his embrace is a wrestling match, a threat to their hard-won “freedom.” But embrace he does, without distinction. Like his robe was seamless, his life was one whole cloth.

On the cross Jesus breaks down the walls of hostility between people and between the thoughts and feelings that divide them. The binary arguments that make up the narratives of the world are bridged, such as arguments pitting “sacred” against “secular.”

The cross is why we don’t try to hunker down in our building behind our theology and holiness. We are dispersed into our city in cells and into the whole world in many ways to embrace. We think of our places of work as sacred places, since Jesus is with us and was at the workplace before we got there. We welcome people into our worship meetings even if they might be religionless, or “secular,” since Jesus has drawn them and we are predisposed to love them.

Like Jesus, we embrace the whole world with every person in it. We are dressed in a seamless robe now that we have put on Christ.

Suggestions for action

Pray: Thank you for your indescribable gift! Thank you for opening your arms to me and mine.

Where in your life does it seem most “secular?” Where does Jesus seem to be least welcome? How will you stay aware of his presence there? How might you resist the domination system that refuses the embrace of Jesus?

Not long ago we had a lengthy discussion how the world has robbed Christianity of holiness when we considered Migrations of the Holy. Here is a link to those posts [link]

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