There was a major controversy in the early church ( something I know we are not accustomed to today). Luke documents the controversy in Acts 15. There was one major division between Jew and Gentile.
The Acts 15 controversy centered on whether Gentile Christians should go through the same rituals that the Jewish Christians did. It was an issue of what qualified someone to be welcomed into the community. The Jewish Christians were not recognizing the Gentile Christians membership in the church.
Walls are typically built for protection. Nehemiah, in the Old Testament, leads a huge undertaking in rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem. The Great Wall of China was built to protect dynasties from invasions by surrounding tribes. We build fences around our yards to prevent the neighbor’s pets from trampling our lawns. Emotional walls are produced to protect ourselves from getting hurt by others.
Walls are protective.
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Some days it is hard to be thankful. When the news is dominated by shootings, the threat of war, and political anything, we are challenged to be thankful. Yet, studies show that the more thankful we are, it not only makes us a better person, but we are healthier for it.
Kid President shares 25 reasons to be thankful in this video. At first, some of them may strike you as childish. But listen to his explanation for them.
God’s Servant Job: A Poem with a Promise, Douglas Bond, P & R Publishing, 2015.
The story of Job in the Christian Old Testament is one of the most poetic pieces of literature in the world. At the same time, it is one of the least read books in the Bible because its difficultly to be understand. Douglas Bond, in his book God’s Servant Job: A Poem with a Promise, crafts the well-known story into verse form. Coupled with powerful illustrations from Todd Shaffer, the story of Job with all of its joy, anguish, and revelation, come to life in a new way.
Readers of all ages will appreciate this approach to the story. The use of rhyme is engaging and captures the essence of the plot. Job, a wealthy man, is tested by Satan, and his life is turned upside down. Satan’s bet is that Job will turn on God. Satan is proven wrong.
by Minoka Gunesekera
Read Exodus 12:1-14
Many times when I go home from seminary I eat with my closest friends and family. It has become almost a ritual. The food and the actions may not be very unique, but when my community gathers for a meal it shows me an example of God’s love and devotion. And those moments of love I hold in my heart when I am away and I feel like I am about to walk into an “impending plague” or a time of trial. Just like the memory of these meals, God’s protection follows us when we feel like we need to be rescued, not because we did anything to deserve it but because that is God’s expression of mercy.