Whom the Church Has Harmed 050813
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Whom the Church Has Harmed 050813
A close friend has expressed to me how they have suffered for several years after an incident of injustice and hurt caused her to leave the
church. We’ve all been part of these situations, as a participant, as a victim or as an observer. The church sometimes, maybe often, hurts
those whom Jesus loves.
The idea occurred to this person that a church made up of those who had been hurt would be the largest church in the United States, or maybe
in the world. There are several ways of looking at this, and how we look at it may determine what we decide to do.
If we think the hurt was just the action of several mean people, or stupid people or ignorant power hungry people we may seek another
church, just to find that the new church is just as bad as the old.
Or we may decide that modern Christianity tolerates abuse of people, and realize that the safety of Jesus, the comfort of Jesus has been deleted from the modern church and replaced with the notion of church as being a burden to be tolerated, because it what we were taught we should do.
So,the church becomes an institution of social control and victimization, rather than an institution of spiritual freedom and spiritual joy, of a magnitude that human beings cannot find any other
place. What has happened?
How can we stay loyal to Jesus and ask for complete change within the church? And who dares to go first?
Pray for Peace,
Peace Mennonite Church keeps a prayer list for those in need. If you need prayer, or want to e-mail our pastor, e-mail billd @ peacemennonitechurch.net
(Take out the extra spaces to use this e-mail—the spaces confuse spam generators).
Pray with us!
Copyright 2011. All rights reserved. Peace Mennonite Church of Columbia, MO Permission is granted for one-time non-commercial use with proper attribution.
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The Message (MSG)
93 1-2 God is King, robed and ruling, God is robed and surging with strength.
And yes, the world is firm, immovable, Your throne ever firm—you’re Eternal!
Stronger than wild sea storms,
Mightier than sea-storm breakers,
Mighty God rules from High Heaven.
2 Chronicles 34:20-33
The Message (MSG)
19-21 When the king heard what was written in the book, God’s Revelation, he ripped his robes in
dismay. And then he called for Hilkiah, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Abdon son of Micah, Shaphan the royal secretary, and Asaiah the king’s
personal aide. He ordered them all: “Go and pray to God for me and what’s left of Israel and Judah. Find out what we must do in
response to what is written in this book that has just been found!
God’s anger must be burning furiously against us—our ancestors haven’t obeyed a thing written in this book of God, followed none
of the instructions directed to us.”
22-25 Hilkiah and those picked by the king went straight to Huldah the prophetess. She was the wife of Shallum son of Tokhath, the son of Hasrah, who was in charge of the
palace wardrobe. She lived in Jerusalem in the Second Quarter. The men consulted with her. In response to them she said, “God’s
word, the God of Israel: Tell the man who sent you here, ‘God has spoken, I’m on my way to bring the doom of judgment on this place
and this people. Every word written in the book read by the king of Judah will happen. And why? Because they’ve deserted me and taken
up with other gods; they’ve made me thoroughly angry by setting up their god-making businesses. My anger is raging white-hot against
this place and nobody is going to put it out.’
26-28 “And also tell the king of Judah, since he sent you to ask God for direction, God’s comment on what he read in the book: ‘Because you took seriously the doom of
judgment I spoke against this place and people, and because you responded in humble repentance, tearing your robe in dismay and weeping before me, I’m taking you seriously. God’s word. I’ll
take care of you; you’ll have a quiet death and be buried in peace.
You won’t be around to see the doom that I’m going to bring upon this place and people.’”
The men took her message back to the king.
29-31 The king acted immediately,assembling all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem, and then proceeding
to The Temple of God bringing everyone in his train—priests and prophets and people ranging from the least to the greatest. Then he
read out publicly everything written in the Book of the Covenant that was found in The Temple of God. The king stood by his pillar and
before God solemnly committed himself to the covenant: to follow God believingly and obediently; to follow his instructions, heart and
soul, on what to believe and do; to confirm with his life the entire covenant, all that was written in the book.
33 Josiah did a thorough job of cleaning up the pollution that had spread throughout Israelite territory and got everyone started fresh again, serving and
worshiping their God. All through Josiah’s life the people kept to the straight and narrow, obediently following God, the God of their ancestors.
The Message (MSG)
25-32 In Jerusalem at the time, there was a man, Simeon by name, a good man, a man who lived in the prayerful expectancy of help for Israel. And the Holy Spirit was on him. The Holy Spirit had shown him that he would see the Messiah of God before he died. Led by the Spirit, he entered the Temple. As the parents of the child Jesus brought him in to carry out the rituals of the Law, Simeon took him into his arms and blessed God:
God, you can now release your servant; release me in peace as you promised. With my own eyes I’ve seen your salvation;
it’s now out in the open for everyone to see:
A God-revealing light to the non-Jewish nations,
and of glory for your people Israel.
33-35 Jesus’ father and mother were speechless with surprise at these words. Simeon went on to bless
them, and said to Mary his mother, This child marks both the failure and thenrecovery of many in Israel,
A figure misunderstood andcontradicted— the pain of a sword-thrust through you—
But the rejection will force honesty, as God reveals who they really are.
36-38 Anna the prophetess was also there, a daughter of Phanuel from the tribe of Asher. She was by now a very old woman. She had been married seven years and a widow for
eighty-four. She never left the Temple area, worshiping night and day with her fastings and prayers. At the very time Simeon was praying, she showed up, broke into an anthem of praise to God, and talked
about the child to all who were waiting expectantly for the freeing of Jerusalem.
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