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Sunday, January 27, 2008

Is Christ Divided?

"Has the Messiah been chopped up in little pieces so we can each have a relic all our own? Was Paul crucified for you? Was a single one of you baptized in Paul's name?" (1Corinthians 1:13) Paul asked the Corinthian church those questions and the Pastor this morning asked us those same ones.

It seems like a simple question with a simple answer, no Christ wasn't divided up for us all to have our own piece, but His blood was shed so that we all could find eternal life. Rev Dennis Oglesby from Park Ave UMC shared from the wider passage of 1 Corinthians 1:10-18 (He didn't use The Message but I really like how it reads).

The overarching theme of the message was that we can have diversity through the unity of Christ's death on the Cross. It was a powerful message looking at the need for reconciliation and restoration within the Christian community. He was very clear in stating the fact that we are diverse and can have our diversity but we need to come to unity under the flag of Jesus - the Cross. We should stand proud under this symbol of suffering and shame, even to the point of "silliness" or "foolishness" (depending on the translation).

Oglesby's final point came out of verses 17-18 and John 1, that we are all God's children redeemed through the power of Christ's life, death, and resurrection.

John 1:9-13 (The Message):
But whoever did want him,
who believed he was who he claimed
and would do what he said,
He made to be their true selves,
their child-of-God selves.
These are the God-begotten,
not blood-begotten,
not flesh-begotten,
not sex-begotten.

Fittingly enough the service ended by singing They'll Know We Are Christians (by our love) whose chorus goes:

We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord
We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord
And we pray that all unity may one day be restored
And they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
They will know we are Christians by our love

We really enjoyed this church, its diversity, and passion. They also have a foundation that is doing good works throughout the community. The full message might be podcasted or posted here.

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