Grace United Methodist Church
Sunday, November 17, 2019
Reaching people with the love and teachings of Jesus Christ

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Hello Friends!
 
In November we’ll be starting a new sermon series that will talk about parallel readings and multiple meanings to famous passages in the Bible and theological concepts. There is a Jewish tradition that says the Torah is like a gem with 70 facets; each facet offers a different view. The Rabbi Shlomo Riskin presents this approach in his fascinating booklet, Confessions of a Biblical Commentator: 

 

The world of biblical commentary revealed many secrets. First and foremost, the Bible—which contains the wisdom of the Divine—may be likened to a magnificent diamond, glistening with many brilliant colors all at the same time. And although the different hues often appear to be contradictory, when you view the totality of the light emanating from the diamond, you begin to appreciate how complementary they really are. Thus the sages of the Talmud understood that there are many possible truths contained in each Biblical statement, each adding its unique melody to the magnificent symphony of the whole, synthesizing not in conflicting dissonance but in holy dialectic.

Every single one of us was raised in a particular tradition which shaped our concepts of God, humanity, and the Church. Most of us have experienced shifts in perspectives but haven’t ventured too far outside of what we consider orthodoxy (“right” beliefs). For those that have shifted radically, they’ve often left the church, renounced religion, or been ostracized from the Church community. Perhaps the church needs to offer a safe space to take a wider view of things and open dialogue for questions and doubts?

Our next series will broach topics on the nature of God, atonement, salvation, Old/New Testament conflict, and a few others. This is be an opportunity of examination of not only scripture, but our beliefs and experiences as well. 

Grace and peace, Pastor Paul