Yesterday we started a new sermon series called “The Questions of Jesus” (listen here) in which we will spend the rest of July and August exploring some of the questions Jesus asks his followers. Yesterday we looked at the question asked by Jesus as to whether it was easier to heal a physical ailment than to forgive sin. (Mark 2:9) Though on the surface it might seem that healing a paralytic is harder than saying “I forgive you” we saw that without forgiveness there is no future as we get stuck in cul-de-sacs of resentment, gossip and bitterness. As Hannah Arendt put it in her book “The Human Condition”
Without being forgiven, released from the consequences of what we have done, our capacity to act would, as it were, be confined to one single deed from which we could never recover; we would remain the victims of its consequences forever, not unlike the sorcerer’s apprentice who lacked the magic formula to break the spell.
Jesus’ healing of the paralytic was evidence of his authority to forgive sins and a reminder that he came to break the spell and bring healing and restoration through his death and resurrection. This is the resource Christians are sent into the world to embody. In other words, when the Apostle Paul wrote that Christians are to be ambassadors of reconciliation he meant in part that we are to forgive as Christ forgave us. So as you begin another week reflect on Jesus’ prayer below and let his words first bring healing to your soul and then identify one relationship in your life that requires the healing power of forgiveness and bring it to God the Father and ultimately to the other person.
Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”– Luke 23:34
Vacation Bible School is this week
We are excited to offer Vacation Bible School in person again and we need your help. Happening this week, our children will learn about God and his love for them through skits, Bible lessons, music, games and crafts. We need volunteers to help make every aspect of this “Monumental” week happen, so please sign up. If you can’t serve during the week, you can pray for the week.
- Visit the gallery and see Tangled in Color, through Aug 28: “Tangled in Color” features works by ArTech Collective artists, this collection of drawings, embroidery and weavings will awaken your senses, evoke emotion, and help you escape the everyday. Through the artistic practice and the created pieces, the artists hope to share a fragment of their creative world as they tangle you up in this colorful journey.
- Summer volunteers needed: Will you be in NYC this summer? Whether you’re here on a summer internship or have been wanting to see what volunteering might look like, help our vacationing volunteers by joining a team, once a month, meet great people and help to serve your neighbors!
- We are hiring: Do you know anyone who’d be a great fit at Redeemer? We are looking to fill several roles on our team before the end of the year. Check them out and spread the word!
- Build your community: Every community has a mission, and every mission has a community behind it. So if you’re interested in building communities for following Jesus together and making an impact in our neighborhoods, please let us know. Community groups have always been a crucial part of Redeemer’s life together, all the more so when communities have been fragmented the last couple years. Redeemer West Side is aiming to start up to 5 new community groups this fall. We’re looking for hosts and leaders who are hospitable, can facilitate discussions, and help their group find ways to serve the city and each other. If you feel like that’s you, send an email to [email protected]
- Get Gospel Centered Counseling Content: Sign up for the Redeemer Counseling Update to receive Gospel-centered counseling views on issues that many people face. Also, try these counseling exercises for when you get stressed and learn some tips from Redeemer Counseling on how to address burnout.
- Support summer school with The Open Door:School may be out for kids during summer, but consider tutoring adult students in ESL and other topics. Connect with The Open Door to learn more!
- Pray with Hope for New York:Renew your prayer life this summer by praying for a different community in need each month. Follow Hope for New York’s prayer guide!