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Big Jesus wins award for the 'best community entry' in the parade.
We had a unique perspective on Jesus, His fame and renown. If the crowds were silenced even the stones would have cried out to Him. This must be what it was like for Jesus to enter Jerusalem, re-enacted for the benefit of his LGBT people... What does this say for us and for Him?
Photos of ‘Big Jesus’ appeared in ‘The Guardian’ photos of Pride around the world!
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Extracts from 'The Story of Abraham Continued' Genesis 18
In Genesis 18 Abraham welcomes 3 travelers who are passing through his region. They are strangers but according to the custom of the time, Abraham welcomes them into his home and gives them food and a place to stay for as long as they need it.
From what the strangers say Abraham realises they are messengers from God. They tell him that this time next year Sarah will have a son. God has been promising this to Abraham for years and he has practically given up hope of it ever happening. Sarah overhears and laughs – after all these years and at her age the idea is crazy!
To her embarrassment the messengers hear her laugh and say ‘Is anything to hard for the Lord’.
The Lord then speaks to Abraham about Sodom and Gomorrah. The story of S n G has been misused for centuries to unjustly condemn gay people. It’s misuse has caused immense damage throughout history.
This story is ancient. It comes from the Bronze Age which is one step up from the Stone Age. They were primitive times. It was over 400 years before the Law of Moses came into being. This story is not about morality. Morality as the Jews knew it did not yet exist.
The story is about the righteousness of God and God’s grace. Is the story is an allegory or a parable or is meant to be actual events? Matters not, as with all of Abraham’s story we are considering its spiritual meaning.
We know that Abraham knows the Lord. He is a friend of God. In Genesis 18:20 the Lord tells Abraham that the people of Sodom and Gomorrah have ‘committed a grave sin’ and the cities will be ‘swept away’.
It says ‘sin’ singular. One ‘sin’, not many. Ro 4:15 tells us, that you cannot break the law (of Moses) if the law doesn’t exist. Well to Abe and the citizens of S n G the law of Moses did not yet exist. So the sin could not involve something forbidden by the Law.
The ‘grave sin’ is simply unbelief; resulting in unrighteousness which means not in right standing with God, alienated from God, with no desire for connection, trust or belief in God. Righteousness is a gift from God given to those who desire God and respond to him with faith. Unrighteousness is a lack of response or desire for God.
But Abe, knowing God is just and righteous, mediates with God to spare the cities for the sake of 50 righteous people in them. And the story says God agrees but can’t find 50 righteous people.
Abraham reduces the numbers, and each time God agrees to spare the cities for fewer and fewer righteous people. But each time the number of people can’t be found and not even 10 righteous people can be found.
We all suffer from ignorance, prejudice and bias. It is through the eyes of ignorance, prejudice and bias that we make judgments and interpret scripture.
In my experience the morality gospel, taught in the mainstream church, makes us all focus upon the morality or otherwise of people in scripture.
Making judgments about the people of Sodom and Gomorrah whose culture and society we know so little about is not advisable. As it doesn’t help us with its spiritual meaning.
Judging them according to the Law of Moses, of which they were totally unaware, is unjust and unwarranted.
Yet we are quietly ushered by the morality gospel into making judgments, while at the same time acknowledging the scriptures that tell us, that God alone is the Judge.
Ge 18 confirms how God makes judgments, not according to laws and rules governing morality.
Gods judgments are on the basis of God Himself. His perfection is the standard. As Jesus said, ‘Be perfect as our Father in Heaven is perfect’.
We can never achieve this. But we can receive his righteousness as a gift when we respond to him in our hearts and so be acceptable to him and be able to relate to and know Him.
And until we are perfect and not affected by ignorance, prejudice or bias, who are we to judge anyone?
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