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Published by Joseph Winston

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Published by: Joseph Winston on Mar 06, 2011
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The Rev. Joseph WinstonMarch 6, 2011
Grace and peace are gifts for you from God, the Father of our Lord JesusChrist.
You can
it in the music: the pain and agony of living here in this world.You do not sing with passion about the rock that will not move if you havenot already felt the world wash away from under your feet. You do not cry outwith tears in your eyes for a living savior if you have not first experienced thedevastation of dashed dreams. You do not want love to heal your heart if you havenot already have had it broken into a million different pieces.The music is telling you something you already know. You are broken.You can
it in all of the fights, the arguments, and the disagreements thatwe have in the Church. If it is not one thing that divides us into different camps, itis another.Grab a newspaper or turn on a television and watch nothing but the discussions
Romans 1:7, 1 Corinthians 1:3, 2 Corinthians 1:2, Galatians 1:3, Ephesians 1:2, Philippians1:2, 2 Thessalonians 1:2, Philemon 1:3.
that involve the Church. That alone will take up all of your time. The Defense of Marriage Act is just one example where you see Christians taking one side or theother. The plans for the dramatic readjustment of benefits given to workers is yetone more illustration of people of faith fundamentally disagreeing on what needsto happen. A bit closer to home is all the issues that revolve around immigration.When do we need to care for the foreigner in our own land and when do we needto look out for our own?Votes do nothing more than to outline the preexisting fault lines. Walking outmakes it visible to all. The Church is broken.You
it everyday of your lives.The rotting infrastructure of this state and nation makes it perfectly clear thatwe cannot fix it. The far too high cost of living tells us we cannot pay for what weneed. The wars, either real or imagined, that we do not win mean we are actuallypowerless.The government of this country is broken.We all live in a broken world, with broken institutions among broken peoplethat include you and I. Even celebrations like
Mardi Gras
can only distract usfrom the brokenness for a short while. Sooner or later, the party will be over andeveryone of us will return back to the broken world.This is the way it always has been. The disciples faced the same world withall of its problems that you and I share.In their day, Rome rules the world. States and cities rights are no more. Romehas conquered every last one. Now, Rome is in charge and she extracts she wants2
from the people and the land. Taxes work their way out of your pocket up to thenext level of bureaucracy where they take what they need. Whatever is left, Romedeposits in the official coffers. Rome takes property for roads and other publicneeds through the application of eminent domain. Rome owns it so she can decidethe best use for the natural resources.
There is nothing new here.
The people of faith have divided themselves into three different groups thatfrankly do not get along. One part has completely divorced themselves from whatis happening in Jerusalem and they have all gone somewhere else. Another set of people wants to toss out all of the tradition that has been added over all these yearsand only keep the written Word of God as it has been given to them. And a thirdgroup that allows, dare I say it, for some innovations in the way of faith.
Sounds like what is happening here.
Mixed in with all of the posturing of Rome and the Temple are the people.What faces them are ordinary problems that you know all too well. Children thatdo not want to behave. (What a surprise there.) Someone has a relationship that isno longer working. Your parents are getting older everyday and they require morecare than before. Add in some other harsh realities of life like children dying waytoo soon, illnesses that never get any better, and going to bed hungry at night andyou soon will see the picture.
Life is broken.
All of this experience out in the real world appears to add up to one undeniablefact. God has not been able to do much of anything. The great nation of Israel3

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