Friday, February 13, 2015

enLIGHTen 3: All things to all people


Animals out of Paper

This week we start precisely at 11. Regardless….

It’s the third Sunday in bringing the light by being the light…..And today we’re looking  at Paul’s comments about being all things to all people…In 1 Corinthians 9: 16-23:

 6If I proclaim the gospel, this gives me no ground for boasting, for an obligation is laid on me, and woe to me if I do not proclaim the gospel! 17For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward; but if not of my own will, I am entrusted with a commission. 18What then is my reward? Just this: that in my proclamation I may make the gospel free of charge, so as not to make full use of my rights in the gospel.
19For though I am free with respect to all, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I might win more of them. 20To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though I myself am not under the law) so that I might win those under the law. 21To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law) so that I might win those outside the law. 22To the weak I became weak, so that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that I might by all means save some. 23I do it all for the sake of the gospel, so that I may share in its blessings.

Last night I saw the play currently running in Mc Alpin Hall, Animals out of Paper…( It’s a play about origami…..a subject I knew little about. It’s intelligent and well done and through a taking us deeply into a trio of characters who live intensely in the world or origami illustrates that what opens the doors to one world, opens doors to all worlds. It also has a great signature quote: So much of what I am is what I've lost...Like we used to say when I was in  college, anyone who’s into anything is into the same thing…

Then there’s the story of the Hot Metal Bridge Church in Pittsburgh ( that began as a Bible Study in a tattoo parlor…then moved into a bar, then bought the bar….then....

In some ways , this is a continuation of last week’s conversation….everything permitted, not everything is wise, …and making good use of that freedom…When I was in Tulsa, single, young, free,  I went everywhere…sports, music, theatre, community events…every night of the week. I was in a large church…over 5000 ,members. So everywhere I went, I ran into church members. When they would see me at their event, the members felt, wow, he shares my interest, he understands me…

It seems we have all kinds of group ….jocks for Jesus, hikers for Jesus, bikers for Jesus…

The point is, we’re each made different and special…..with  different gifts, skills, talents, interests, passions…all of which are gifts of God and reflections of God, part of God’s light….that is where we find the light, our light today.

On Fridays we have an Open Mic here….it is accepting of all…each performer welcomed, supported, encouraged, given the room to grow, to  improve,  get better, move closer to the dream of what they want to be…that’s what we should be doing in the church as well…helping each other to see the light that it is in us and helping us to shine brighter, sharing that light with each other….

We sing our songs, finish with Shine on me one more time…and the service is over….and as soon as we are finished, the In2 Korean church is on its way in, ready for their service.

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