8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. - Hebrews 13:8
I have said, in some of these blogs, that these are times of change and that God is doing great and new things. When I had said that, I did not know that God had new plans for me. I will be leaving the Durbin and Franklin United Methodist Churches on June 30th. I will be starting a new ministry with the Bright Star Parish on July 1st. It is a loss to be moving from people I have come to know and love, yet it is also an exciting time as I go to meet and serve a different community of believers. I do not know what is in store for the Franklin/Durbin Charge or for me at the Bright Star Parish, but I know that God only does good things.
We change, situations change, but God does not. We can count on His goodness and grace, no matter what happens. As things change we can trust in the Lord and remember that he is working on all things for good.
18 If it is possible, as much as it is up to you, be at peace with all men. - Romans 12:18 (WEB)
Peace is a hard thing to find in today's world. We hear of violence in the world. One group of people hates the other group of people. It is no secret that we live in a broken world, not broken by God, but by us. Paul tells the Romans that they should do all they can to live in peace with everyone, Christians and unbelievers. Sometimes it is not possible to “live in peace,” even those of us that profess to follow Christ, can not live in peace with each other, but that does not mean that we cannot try to understand each other.
Jesus came as the prince of peace (John 16:33, Romans 5:1), we cannot find peace without him. When we come to Jesus, even in the most troubling of times, we can find peace that can not be found in the temporal world. Follow Jesus.
They said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? 6 He isn’t here, but is risen. - Luke 24:5b-6a (WEB)
For many years now, I have heard that the Christian Church is dying. The Church does have many problems, but it is not dead yet, and I believe that it will never die. Many people thought Jesus was dead, the Romans, the Pharisees and the Sadducees all thought Jesus was gone. Then came Easter morning and the women find the tomb empty and Jesus alive! So it has been with the Church, people have tried to “kill” it, but it still is alive and will be alive long after we have entered into eternal life with Jesus. Do not look for the living among the dead!
3 All the people took off the golden rings which were in their ears, and brought them to Aaron. 4 He received what they handed him, fashioned it with an engraving tool, and made it a molded calf. Then they said, “These are your gods, Israel, which brought you up out of the land of Egypt.” - Exodus 32:3-4 (WEB)
The world is full of idols, it was in the time of Moses and it is today. We are drawn to idols. We like the looks, we like the so called power of idols, we even have TV shows for them. In Moses' day, people were willing to give up their gold for the idol of the golden calf and people today give even more precious time to their idols. We can all fall into the trap of idols, people, power, money, even church and family can become an idol. Do not be fooled into worshiping an idol, but worship the only one worthy of our worship, God.
4 An evildoer heeds wicked lips. A liar gives ear to a mischievous tongue. - Proverbs 17:4
For Christmas I received the book Eichmann in Jerusalem, by Hannah Arendt. It is about the 1961 trial of Nazi officer Adolf Eichmann, who was in charge of the trains that took the Jews to the death camps. What is shocking about Eichmann, was that he did not believe what the Nazi's said, or that he hated the Jewish people, he had Jewish relatives that he helped to escape to Switzerland. What makes Eichmann truly evil, was that he did not care about the people on the trains. He knew that they were going to be killed, he had been to the camps, he just did not care. He only joined the Nazis because he needed a job and that job was to arranged for the killing of 6 million people. If Hitler would have told Eichmann to send the people to Disneyland, if it had existed, he would have done that. His defense was he was just doing his job.
Evil comes in many forms, hate can be one, but also apathy to the suffering of others is another. Do not let evil enter in to your life, because you do not care.