Not Condemned

Not Condemned

Not Condemned Peter Fitch, St. Croix Vineyard Sunday, August 13, 2017 Find Me Jessica Williams Find me in the Darkest Night

wide awake afraid of flight praying to the God of Light to find me. Find Me Jessica Williams

Find me when my heads bowed low turned from Love and all that glows when shadowlands have gathered slow to find me. Find Me Jessica Williams

Find me in the shame that grips when ancient roots arise and trip eroding paths I thought were sent to guide me. Find Me

Jessica Williams Find me where the Thistles Bloom as Pain and Beauty together move holding space, creating room within my heart to find You.

Find Me Jessica Williams It is there I recognize Youve been inside Every Eye thats come along beneath this Sky to find me.

Find Me Jessica Williams We will name them large and small I am held within them all

even as I rise and fall to find You. Find Me Jessica Williams Help me then to keep my gaze on what is here

within this Place this is where I know your Grace this is where I see your Face This is how I find You. John 3 The Nicodemus talk Born from above versus born again Static state or ongoing country dance

Levels of human or there is only us So much more in this chapter . . . Very truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know and testify to what we have seen; yet you do not receive our testimony. 12 If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. 14 And just as

Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. 11 For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. 17 Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to

condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God. 16 And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because

their deeds were evil. 20 For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. 21 But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God. 19 Old readings Make things worse . . . A loving God sent His son to save you

from a wretched state but if you are bad you wont believe in His Son and youll remain in a wretched state until you are finally punished for who you are and what youve done Wayne Northeys parable in Brad Jersaks book: A More Christ-like God If you dont believe the right thing about Jesus you are going to Hell to suffer terrible punishment Problem

This seems out of sync with the tone of the message: a loving God sent Jesus to rescue, heal, save, fix a distorted situation (the word sozo is used in a very practical way in the NT) It seems unlikely to me that Gods plan would be to make things worse for the great mass of humanity that He apparently loves Lets look again . . . The big picture of Jesuss words in this passage seems to be

about love and helping people (see v. 17, Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.) But there is a definite recognition that people are in a state that they need saving from . . . This is stated in v. 18, Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the

only Son of God. A lot depends on what condemned means A lot also depends on what believe means Condemned To punishment after you die? To live in a wretched state now? The Greek word can mean different things . . . It could be judged; it could also refer to separating or discerning

Believe Greek: not believe in but believe into Peter Enns: the essence of belief is trust Peter Fitch: the essence of belief is to act in accordance with Alternate reading Humans are completely loved by God and He sees that they

are in an awful state, separated from the flow of His life He wants to fix the situation but its as tough for Him as it is for any parent trying to fix any of their kids issues, problems, and addictions He finds a way: He sends Jesus to show what innocent and humble strength looks like . . . Sacrifice instead of scapegoating (Girard) Remember the strange message in the earlier part of the

passage? (14 And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.) This is a reference to an episode in the wilderness wanderings of the Israelites (Numbers 21) It means that the people could only be healed from their affliction if they looked their problems head-on and realized that they themselves had to honestly see all sides

Numbers 21 The people came to Moses and said, We have sinned by speaking against the Lord and against you; pray to the Lord to take away the serpents from us. So Moses prayed for the people. 8 And the Lord said to Moses, Make a poisonous serpent, and set it on a pole; and everyone who is bitten shall look at it and live. 9 So Moses made a serpent of bronze, and put it upon a pole; and whenever a serpent bit someone, that person would look at the serpent of bronze and

live. 7 Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps US Army Medical Corps Symbols Rod of Asclepius

Cadeucus Nehushtan So Jesus is like that An innocent man who takes punishment rather than wishing it on others One who forgives his oppressors One who, in His sacrifice, makes us understand that our way of seeking power is the very thing that separates us from

God Maybe this will help . . . Alan Paton (from a speech quoted by Lewis Gannett in his introduction to Paton's famous novel, Cry, the Beloved Country) Walter Thiessen in reconnecting: Wondering about the contemporary relevance of these words by Alan Paton, spoken in 1949 in the context of South African apartheid

But one must not imagine that this white settler is motivated solely by fear. He, too, is a human creature. He has not lived upon the earth without being influenced by the great human ideas, notably by the ideas of Christianity. Therefore, he too is a divided creature, torn between his fears for his own safety and his desire for his own survival on the one hand, and on the other, by those ideas of justice and love which are at the very heart of his religion. We are witnessing today a struggle in the

hearts of men, white men, between the claims of justice and of survival, of conscience and of fear. It is my own belief that the only power which can resist the power of fear is the power of love. It's a weak thing and a tender thing; men despise and deride it. But I look for the day when in South Africa we shall realise that the only lasting and worthwhile solution of our grave and profound problems lies not in the use of power, but in that understanding and

compassion without which human life is an intolerable bondage, condemning us all to an existence of violence, misery and fear. In this reading God sends Jesus to disarm our attempts at personal power He shows once and for all what this leads to, the killing of an innocent man who only did good for others This is so that we will see what our tendency toward fearinspired power will ultimately doit will keep us separated

from God and from others and locked in our own personal hells But if we see Jesus, realize that weve invested in a dead-end stock, and choose to follow His example, we will lay down this kind of power and try to invest instead in the building of family and community This is belief . . . Action in accordance with Gods intent and Jesuss example

Choose this and the separation breaks Walk this way (no matter what ideology or religion you are part of) and you are believing, you are coming to Light You are free from all condemnation, all judgment, all separation from the flow of Gods life and Spirit All you have to do . . . Accept your own fallibility and your tendency to blame

others Stop it Steer your efforts away from your own false aggrandizement and dedicate yourself to building yourself and others in healthy ways (Love, not fear-based power) Enjoy the ride!

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