If you had an appetite for a sub sandwich, you know if you stopped at Subway, you could get one. If you really wanted to see a movie, you know where you'd need to go - the Cozy. If you wanted to borrow a book, you'd head to our fabulous city library. When you want to know more about God, or have questions about heaven, or need wisdom for life, you'd go to.......where would you go?
The second feature of 'God's Not Dead' addresses an issue that is a sensitive topic in our area this year: how much 'Jesus' is allowed in the public square. The two main scenarios addressed in the movie involve a public school teacher who answers a religious question with a Bible passage and a pastor who faces the dilemma of submitting his church sermons to the authorities because of a broad subpoena on the city's religious leaders. This Pureflix film plays out the natural tension that occurs in every church/state relationship: how much of each is allowed in the other?
Luke 24:46,47 46 Then he said to them, "Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. When was the last time you've heard someone say to you: "Was that really necessary?"
What would you do if you had to get God's attention? Would you pray harder? Pray louder? Trek a pilgrimage, or make a promise to him?
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14 You've probably heard someone say, "Let's flesh this idea out." When someone says that, they're trying to formulate a real-world evaluation of how an idea or theory would work outside the classroom or research facility; to see and understand how a theory or idea or concept works under the pressures of reality - the wear and tear of use; the rough handling of everyday life.
All of us are familiar with the iconic drama masks that picture one face in an exaggerated smile and the other face in an embellished frown. These masks have their roots in ancient Greek theatre and are attributed to the Greek dramatist Thespis, who is credited for transforming theatre by using people who wore masks to play fictional parts - for the first time, 'actors' were utilized in theatre. These actors could change roles simply by changing their masks, and would be expected to play a variety of roles and wear a diversity of masks.
Cain murdered Abel out of anger. Joseph's brothers threw him in a pit and sold him as a slave out of jealousy. Jacob fled from Esau out of fear. Judas Iscariot hung himself out of guilt and shame. Scriptures pages are full of examples of people handling conflict poorly for the same reasons you and I might approach conflict poorly by letting our feelings or emotions make our decisions in the moment of conflict.
Matthew 5:3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." What does it mean to be 'poor?' To have no money? To have no ability to produce wealth? To have no earthly possessions? Most of the time, we think of defining 'wealth' or 'poverty' with numbers - dollar amounts in the 'income' column and 'expenditures' column.
If you've flipped on the TV to watch any form of entertainment television in the last several weeks, you've seen the flippant way our society tolerates and even justifies sin; whether it's language, bedroom scenes, dishonesty, violence or crude behavior, it all seems to be a selling point on even regular programs. The book of Lamentations describes in vivid detail the consequence of harboring sin and the displeasure and discipline of God toward His people.
Have you ever used the 'five-second rule?' You know, the unwritten rule that claims that you have five seconds after you've dropped a piece of your food on the floor to reclaim it before it becomes a faux pas (apparently germs have a gentleman's agreement that they won't violate your food for the first moments of contact). Maybe you have, and maybe you haven't , or maybe there are other factors to consider, such as what kind of floor you're on (shag carpet?) or what kind of food you've dropped!