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Middletown United Methodist Church
Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors
Category: Religion & Spirituality
Location: Louisville, KY
Middletown United Methodist Church Podcast
by Middletown ...
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September 10, 2019 07:36 AM PDT

God has created us for work, but how does our work matter in a fallen world? Christians participate in the mission of God through every activity of life that expresses God’s creativity, sustains God’s creation, and cooperates with God’s redemption. As such, any work that we do that contributes to the building up of society, caring for the poor and oppressed, helping people toward thriving all connects to the holistic vision of the Kingdom we find in scripture. It is the Shalom of God that we are working toward. As such, in so far as our work contributes to this shalom, it is part of God’s greater plan of salvation.

September 10, 2019 07:35 AM PDT

God has created us for work, but how does our work matter in a fallen world? Christians participate in the mission of God through every activity of life that expresses God’s creativity, sustains God’s creation, and cooperates with God’s redemption. As such, any work that we do that contributes to the building up of society, caring for the poor and oppressed, helping people toward thriving all connects to the holistic vision of the Kingdom we find in scripture. It is the Shalom of God that we are working toward. As such, in so far as our work contributes to this shalom, it is part of God’s greater plan of salvation.

September 04, 2019 08:20 AM PDT

It is easy to misunderstand the idea of work and the purpose of work. God created us for work. The original intent of creation was for humans to care for it –we are created co-creators with God. It’s easy to forget that there was work before the fall. Work is integral to being human and even part the vision of the Kingdom we see in scripture. But work is also cursed (Genesis 3:17-19) and as such can be a barrier to thriving and living a full life before God. Work can become a means to an end, it becomes soul draining, it can consume us and become our whole identity, it can distract us from the work God call us to do and inversely be a place that God has called us, it can pull us away from family and community, etc. Properly understanding our work holistically helps us see where God calls us each and every day to be faithful and be part of building of the kingdom even as we build things, count numbers, sell things, teach, etc.

September 04, 2019 08:19 AM PDT

It is easy to misunderstand the idea of work and the purpose of work. God created us for work. The original intent of creation was for humans to care for it –we are created co-creators with God. It’s easy to forget that there was work before the fall. Work is integral to being human and even part the vision of the Kingdom we see in scripture. But work is also cursed (Genesis 3:17-19) and as such can be a barrier to thriving and living a full life before God. Work can become a means to an end, it becomes soul draining, it can consume us and become our whole identity, it can distract us from the work God call us to do and inversely be a place that God has called us, it can pull us away from family and community, etc. Properly understanding our work holistically helps us see where God calls us each and every day to be faithful and be part of building of the kingdom even as we build things, count numbers, sell things, teach, etc.

August 26, 2019 06:55 AM PDT

According to the prophet, God was about to do a new thing. Israel had been in exile of a long long time. However, when Cyrus king of Persia conquered Babylon he allowed the exiles to return. God was about to do a new thing for them by allowing to return to rebuild the city and the temple. It took a great deal of courage to trust and follow God into a new thing. According to Episcopal bishop Mark Dyer God does a new thing in the life of the church every five hundred years. We are at one of the five hundred-year marks and God is about to do a new thing in the church. Will we have the courage to follow.

August 26, 2019 06:54 AM PDT

According to the prophet, God was about to do a new thing. Israel had been in exile of a long long time. However, when Cyrus king of Persia conquered Babylon he allowed the exiles to return. God was about to do a new thing for them by allowing to return to rebuild the city and the temple. It took a great deal of courage to trust and follow God into a new thing. According to Episcopal bishop Mark Dyer God does a new thing in the life of the church every five hundred years. We are at one of the five hundred-year marks and God is about to do a new thing in the church. Will we have the courage to follow.

August 19, 2019 08:40 AM PDT

What makes this story powerful is when we understand some of the cultural dynamics behind the story. Both the younger son and the father acted contrary to their Jewish culture.

It was expected even demanded that children would stay with their families to work the land and care for their parents. So for the younger son to ask for his inheritance was completely unheard of, it was greatly offensive to the father. It was an insult and shameful to ask for the inheritance. It was like saying to the father I wish you were dead. However, it was even more out of character that the father would agree to give him the inheritance. Any other father would have told the son your out of your mind, get back to work.

This would have been a land-based economy. A family’s wealth would have been their land. The land would have been sacred. So, the father would have divided the land gave the younger son his portion which he promptly sold again a great insult to the father, one’s whole life and identity was tied to the land. To sell the land was to completely reject one’s family identity. He then took the money squandered it away in the foreign land. So, for the father to receive the young son back with such a welcome would have been a grace filled moment, a moment of scandalous grace.

This parable would have been shocking to the Jesus’ hearers, it would have been so out of character to be almost unbelievable.

In the Parable of the Prodigal Son Jesus is addressing the Pharisees who are complaining about him welcoming and eating with sinners. In this parable preachers usually focus on the younger son or the father. We like to identify with the younger son, that regardless of how far we have strayed the father will welcome us home. In light of the context, I believe the older son is the main character in this story. The older son represents the Pharisees. He will not go in to the party for his younger brother. He does not approve of his brother’s behavior not of the father’s acceptance. The parable ends and we are left wondering if the older son ever went into the party. The takes great courage to be welcoming!

August 19, 2019 08:40 AM PDT

What makes this story powerful is when we understand some of the cultural dynamics behind the story. Both the younger son and the father acted contrary to their Jewish culture.

It was expected even demanded that children would stay with their families to work the land and care for their parents. So for the younger son to ask for his inheritance was completely unheard of, it was greatly offensive to the father. It was an insult and shameful to ask for the inheritance. It was like saying to the father I wish you were dead. However, it was even more out of character that the father would agree to give him the inheritance. Any other father would have told the son your out of your mind, get back to work.

This would have been a land-based economy. A family’s wealth would have been their land. The land would have been sacred. So, the father would have divided the land gave the younger son his portion which he promptly sold again a great insult to the father, one’s whole life and identity was tied to the land. To sell the land was to completely reject one’s family identity. He then took the money squandered it away in the foreign land. So, for the father to receive the young son back with such a welcome would have been a grace filled moment, a moment of scandalous grace.

This parable would have been shocking to the Jesus’ hearers, it would have been so out of character to be almost unbelievable.

In the Parable of the Prodigal Son Jesus is addressing the Pharisees who are complaining about him welcoming and eating with sinners. In this parable preachers usually focus on the younger son or the father. We like to identify with the younger son, that regardless of how far we have strayed the father will welcome us home. In light of the context, I believe the older son is the main character in this story. The older son represents the Pharisees. He will not go in to the party for his younger brother. He does not approve of his brother’s behavior not of the father’s acceptance. The parable ends and we are left wondering if the older son ever went into the party. The takes great courage to be welcoming!

August 19, 2019 08:39 AM PDT

As we look in the mirror, we might discover that we as individuals and congregations need to go in a different direction. “Repent” is a familiar word to most all church folks. We routinely define repent as to go a different direction. Brian McLean gives the word a slightly different definition. He defines it as “to radically rethink.” I like that definition, because we must radically rethink the direction we are going before we can go a different direction.

It may or may not mean as individuals and congregations we were going in the wrong direction along. It may mean that for individuals our life situation has changed, and we need to radically rethink the future direction for our life. For congregations it doesn’t mean that what we have done before was all wrong, but that as our culture changes, we must radically rethink how we offer ministry to the community and discover we need to go a different direction.

August 19, 2019 08:38 AM PDT

As we look in the mirror, we might discover that we as individuals and congregations need to go in a different direction. “Repent” is a familiar word to most all church folks. We routinely define repent as to go a different direction. Brian McLean gives the word a slightly different definition. He defines it as “to radically rethink.” I like that definition, because we must radically rethink the direction we are going before we can go a different direction.

It may or may not mean as individuals and congregations we were going in the wrong direction along. It may mean that for individuals our life situation has changed, and we need to radically rethink the future direction for our life. For congregations it doesn’t mean that what we have done before was all wrong, but that as our culture changes, we must radically rethink how we offer ministry to the community and discover we need to go a different direction.

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