Meeting Times at 4th United Presbyterian Church

Cafe' Worship: 9:15 a.m. each Sunday in Gathering Hall (activities provided for children; coffee; snacks)
Adult Sunday School: 10 a.m.

Sunday Worship: 11 a.m.

Bible Study: each Thursday at 6 p.m.

Community Forum: last Thursday of each month at 6 p.m. with meal (no community forum in November, 2011)

About the 4th United Presbyterian Bible Blog

Posts on this blog are from me, Rev. George H. Waters, one of the two organizing co-pastors of 4th United Presbyterian Church. Our other organizing pastor was Rev. Sonya McAuley-Allen, who is now pastor of a church in Charlotte, N.C. Since June of 2011, Rev. Elizabeth Peterson has been our parish associate pastor for new church development. The earliest posts are sermon notes from the few I have typed the last two years. Then, there is a series of notes posted on the book of Romans. After that, it varies from week to week, sometimes church news, sometimes reflections on a happening, a passage of scripture, or even some pictures. This blog is meant to open the conversation we have going on in our church to others in our community.

The picture below is of our church's sanctuary, built in 1913.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Life or Death?

There is an attraction to life and an attraction to death. The ancient book of the Church, "The Didache" acknowledges this. Freud teaches this.

And, it permeates every level of life - this adherence to the way of life or the way of death. Sometimes, it is obvious, but most of the time, it is subtle.

One way to get at this subject is to consider the Ten Commandments. The last, 10th commandment, is the prohibition of envy. And, if we start at the 10th commandment, we see other destructive conduct follow from envy: lying about others, stealing from others, committing adultery, and killing others.

And, where does envy come from? It comes from inequity. It comes from some having everything and others having nothing. Of course, strangely enough some of the worst envy/lying/stealing/adultery/killing comes from those who have quite a bit, but want what they don't have.

So, in the first place comes from a lack of contentment with what is enough, and a desire to have more and more, disregarding the consequences this has for others. This is the basic sin in human life that ruins lives over and over.

The reversal of this sinful, death-dealing way of life is the holy way of many who, though having way too little, refuse to envy those who have more. It is this way of Jesus, which will not lie about the neighbor, will not steal from her, will not try to take what is most precious to her and will not kill her. Redemption on earth comes from those on the under side of history. Look at the Civil Rights Movement in this country. Where did the power to change for the better come from? Did it come from those with power? No, it came from those without power, who should have been bitter, but somehow found a way to not only not be bitter, but to love. How these Southern Black men, women and children found this power is a mystery which causes me to look to God and wonder if I can participate in this miracle of grace.

This is the way of life. This is the way of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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