Today, July 31st 2011, the people of Provo Community United Church of Christ had to say farewell to Felipe Dominguez as our music director. We used this occasion to reflect on the topic of "hope". From the Red Sea, over Mary's conception to Augustine's sermons and Bach's chorales – the history of music is a history of hope. Welcome to this exciting journey that we are even stretching out into the 25h century.
In the letter to the Hebrews, Jesus is seen as the great high priest, whose presence in suffering and death abolished the need for such sacrifices. Even President Obama thinks the debt crisis can be resolved with sacrifices:
Paul wants Philemon to treat his returning slave with kindness and love. Roman law allowed slaveowners to punish escaped slaves harshly. Onesimus may have run away because of a disagreement with Philemon. In this kind of situation, a slave might ask a trusted third party (like Paul) to intervene. What does this letter say about how Christians should treat one another? What can we learn from Paul’s example and the actions he took on behalf of Onesimus?
Equal pay for equal work? Not with God!
Instead Jesus insists on Freedom of contract.
When the workers who were hired first thought they would receive more than the others, and they complained when all were paid the same, Jesus shrugged: ‘I have not cheated you. After all, you agreed to do a day’s work for one silver coin. Now take your pay and go home.’
Have you ever had to forgive someone for something?
Did your willingness to forgive improve your relationship with that person?
What would the world be like without forgiveness?
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, if my brother keeps on sinning against me, how many times do I have to forgive him? Seven times?” “No, not seven times,” answered Jesus, “but seventy times seven,”