from the pastor

Reverend Katie Zettle

After gaining Momentum For Life through the use of the book by Rev. Michael Slaughter, we moved through Lent with another of his books “Renegade Gospel: The Rebel Jesus.” The purpose of choosing this book was to intentionally challenge our ideas of faith, theology and our responsibilities as Christians. How do we see Jesus? Do we respond as a church and as individuals to the in-your-face words Jesus uses as he pushes against the religious elite, the societal structures, and the powerful in order for the poor, the outcast, the grieving, and sick to be brought back into the community?

Jesus’ words in red (the red letter bibles share words of Jesus in the Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) are not what we hear in society today.

Matthew 18:21-22 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “LORD, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” (NIV)
Matthew 5:39 “But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.” (NIV)
Matthew 19:21 Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” (NIV)

In each scripture and many more we are called to living radically different than the world, in order that others might see and know Jesus. This Jesus is really pushing people out of their comfort zones. He is rebellious and radical and revolutionary in what he asked those following, and what we are asked to do today! It is when we give freely of our time, and our money and our talents, or when we forgive an injustice that the light of Christ will stand out in a world that seemingly is getting darker. It is when we take time to build relationships and love difficult people, and listen deeply to the pain and the hurt of others, that we also become more Christ-like.

If our goal is just to sit in a church pew for an hour and check it off our list for the week as a things to do, we have got it all wrong. I ask us all to consider why do we believe in Jesus Christ? Is my life showing others that I am all in on the call to follow and to do what Jesus asks? If not, how might I change my thinking and my actions?

We are Easter people; people of a living RESSURRECTED LORD! May we be filled with joy and hope in our days so that we might offer a new relationship in Christ to another person. There is enough pain and hurt and brokenness; we are called to bring mercy, justice and light!

Rev. Katie Zettle