We continue on this week with the"Contemporary Testimony: Our World Belongs to God."
Paragraphs 1-6: Preamble (April 11-29)
Paragraphs 7-12: Creation (April 30-May 8)
Paragraphs 13-17: Fall (May 11-15)
Paragraphs 18-22: Redemption (May 18-22)
Paragraphs 23-27: Jesus Christ
Paragraphs 28-30: Holy Spirit
We all know that "sexuality is disordered in our fallen world;" you certainly don't have to look far in any direction to see that. We also affirm that "Christ's renewing work gives hope for order and healing." We have a much harder time seeing that hope, but it is there.
But the words, "we are careful not to confine God’s gifts and calling to the shape of our cultural patterns or expectations" sound like wishful thinking. Are we? Can we really pat ourselves on the back and say this is true in the church?
In our lifetimes, there has been no greater pain, and no greater obstacle to the cause of Christ and his church, than sexual abuse in the church. For awhile it was only discussed in hushed tones, but now it is very public. Outsiders can point to any number of sexual abuse cases as reasons why they will never have anything to do with the church. Even if that abuse in another denomination or group, still the church's name has been stained by this sin. The "commpassionate community" has too often brought suffering, not alleviated it.
I am thankful for the #MeToo movement. We need it. Western society needs it. The church needs it. Finally some voices, silenced for too long, are able to speak up. On this note, the SafeChurch team recently hosted an important study on Rev. Ruth Everhardt's latest book, The #MeToo Reckoning: Facing the Church's Complicity in Sexual Abuse and Conduct." You can also listen to the Safe Church interview with Ruth Everhart. Check it out!
May we together become that community that surrounds suffering persons with compassion. But also the one who speaks out when that community fails.
Our song today is the popular and powerful "You Say" by Lauren Daigle."
Pray with me as our Lord taught us to pray,
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts,
As we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
Go with this blessing:
The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
The Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.