'Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?' Then the King will say, 'I'm telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me – you did it to me.' Matthew 25:37-40 The Message
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://spectrummagazine.org/article/2017/07/15/i-met-jesus-church-today
From what is written in the 4 gospels, if Jesus came to church, everyone would take note even if He didn’t do one single miracle.
He would not be a passive , apathetic spectator in Sabbath school class. There would be more than a few who would react…
“We have never heard anyone speak like this!” the guards responded. JN 7:46
It would be nice if you went beyond the usual of just handing a person a bulletin & saying…“Happy Sabbath”
Could you elaborate? Did you knee jerk and create a vege-beef?
There are excellent points to ponder in this article and some of them make me think that many would not greet Jesus easily to their church or home today. Today is my first Sabbath as a new greeter at our local church and this article got me to thinking as to what my approach would be if Jesus showed up as a human guest. It’s a tragic irony that only really sinks in when you try to think of the last time you remember a homeless person having any role in our church other than just being another charity case. Jesus would probably have no place in today’s Church because we’d just pass him off to a homeless shelter or a designated committee.
Would Jesus feel comfortable looking at our parking lot at church or my “toys” (trophies) at home? Paul said that we all have different spiritual gifts, but one gift we all seem to share in common today is the ability to bend over backward to justify our materialism in the face of a savior who said things like “do not store up treasures for yourself on earth” and “sell everything you have and give it to the poor.” Some of the most “successful” preachers in the church today are those that either explicitly or implicitly sanctify our love for stuff.
As much as we like painting pictures of Jesus with a warm smile on his face, he would be considered by some as too blunt and direct. Not cruel, mind you, but not always warm and fuzzy either. In fact, he could be very critical of others and not worried about being politically correct or overly concerned with social standing or interfaith protocols, particularly other people of faith. Case in point: his relationship with the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Teachers of the Law (and even at times, his own disciples). Yet, without fail, whenever one Christian criticizes another Christian (or the Church in general) in public, folks come out of the woodwork (especially on the Internet) to condemn the one doing the criticizing for creating bad PR and destroying the unity of the Church. We keep emphasizing Unity in our Sabbath School in a way that challenges diversity. Just imagine the thrashing Jesus would get online if he proclaimed his famous ideas about gender equality and inclusiveness, woes against institutionalism and apathy in some churches today.
The unloving attitudes of the doctrinal defenders comes to the fore once again. The writer is showing that the most important thing to Jesus was people, and loving them. He showed it by how he treated them, no matter who they were, what their background and backstory were, and no matter what the religious rules and the enforcers of them thought or said… like some of the commenters coldly did not only above, but often do on other threads.
Go and learn what this means…I desire mercy and not sacrifice… nor exact definitions of the gospel, or justification by faith, or punctillious Sabbath keeping, or nailing down eschatological scenarios and demonizing the Catholic church… etc. Faith expresses itself in love… without borders. When that happens, Jesus is there.
i met jesus in church today - well, not today, but this past sunday, and not in my home church, but in the main fellowship hall at alberta’s campmeeting…pam lister took to the podium and sang songs about trust, faith and grace - the staples of adventism…her music of old style gospel and simple country isn’t what i normally listen
to - in fact i generally avoid it - but i’m so glad i went and listened…pam touched briefly on her testimony - of leaving the church at 18, but returning in her early 30’s - and i could so much relate to her evident groundedness, her clear, settled intent to really make things work the second time around…there were many tears in the audience as she sang…her simple, unaffected singing was so direct, so unpretending…it’s as if she had emptied the hall and everyone’s thoughts of everything but the question of jesus, and whether to respond to him or not…it really was almost like an altar call, which preachers don’t use as much now, but probably should…there was that tell-tale sign that the holy spirit was present - the quiet, but growing glow of love, warmth, and of being drawn out of yourself into another dimension…at the end of her scheduled time, pam hadn’t finished all her songs, but the audience encouraged her to continue…she eventually did finish, but she left us with a lot to think about…my favorite line in one of her songs was, “if it matters to you, it doesn’t only matter to you, it matters to the master”…