Called to Embrace Our Essence

In the pre-church they argued over whether you had to become a Jew first to follow Jesus.
Human boundaries started springing up almost from day one. 

Paul reminded them that rejecting their essence as a Jew or a Gentile was not the path to following Jesus. 
Following Jesus, we are called to embrace our authentic selves and that of others.

We struggle to this day with this simple truth. Whether gay or straight, trans or cisgender, stranger or born in this place, we are beloved by God. Our ancestors can come from Africa or Europe, Asia or the Americas and we can still be full-fledged followers of Jesus.
Open our hearts and eyes to the path of extravagant welcome and love of Jesus. Make our actions like that of the Christ who embraces the image of God within all of us. Amen.

Tim strives to share God’s extravagant love for all–no matter what & without strings. Seeking to follow the lure of the Spirit, Tim writes about what it means to be a follower of Jesus in an era where Christianity has come to be associated with hatred and political wedge issues. “Heinous things have been said & done (& still are) in the name of the One who breathed in the Divine,” notes Tim, “but Jesus shows us that God loves extravagantly.” Following the teachings and life of Jesus is about inclusion not exclusion. It is about compassion, grace, and admitting no one has all the answers. It is about responding lovingly to the best of our human ability. It is about people not institutions. It is about social justice. It is about caring for creation. It is about being who we were each created to be. Tim is a former early childhood educator, a runner, a hiker, a devoted husband, father of two adult children and their spouses, and a grandfather of four perfect grandchildren. Tim serves as Senior Pastor of the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Albany, Oregon. He writes from home, from the coffee shop, and wherever the trail leads him.

Posted in Call to Worship, Galatians, Galatians 1-2, Galatians 1:13-17; 2:11-21, narrative lectionary

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Creative Commons License BY-NC-ND 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/us/

All materials by Tim Graves unless otherwise noted. Creative Commons License BY-NC-ND 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/us/

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