In this message we examine the introduction to 1 Corinthians. Though letter greetings are not normally preached, from these verses we learn a great deal about how to give thanks for our church, even when it may disappoint us.
We were created by God with an innate desire to belong to one another. But the belonging process seems fraught with mystery as we navigate groups to see if we really like we are really connecting with one another. The church’s vision depends on community and our relationships with each other.
“Show me the child of eight, and I will show you the man,” said Ignatius of Loyola (Spain, 16thc). The image of God set into the soul of a young child remains the rest of their life. (I spend much of my ministry time unraveling people’s poor images of God). What is Lakeland attempting to establish in children? And how shall the rest of the church participate in this critical endeavor?
“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.’” Economic class is more important than the color of one’s skin or place of origin. America was founded on the dream of equality of all persons. The founders, reacting to the classism of Europe, sought to create “a new constellation” of free people who have equal opportunity to flourish. The church was central to this ideal. What is the state of the soul of our nation, community, and church? I give my take on our church’s work with regard to race and class.