Welcome to “Just for You!” a ministry which will offer regular reflections on God’s abundant blessings in our lives. “Just for You!” will be emailed to the people of the United Proclamation of the Gospel, will be available in paper at Sunday worship celebrations when available, and will be posted on the newly created “Blog” on the UPG website (www.upgbethlehem.org). We invite you to share your own thoughts an opinions on the varied topics by either emailing the pastor (firstname.lastname@example.org) or joining the community that will form on our website.
“Just for You!”
Year 1, edition 1 (Jan. 18, 2020)
“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.”
Greetings and peace to you all!
Welcome to the inaugural edition of “Just for you!”
Recently I heard a rostered leader from another faith community tell the gathered congregation that God created humans to worship God. While my thoughts, education, and personal experiences with God made me feel repulsed by this statement, I quickly realized that the way that I understand God and the world that our Lord created has been formed and shaped by my own unique and personal life experiences. I also realized that when rostered leaders share thoughts about theology in the public sphere that these thoughts can either “build up” people, “tear down people” or try to “keep people” in line. (My hope is that “Just for You!’ will offer reflections that will “Build up people.”)
In a relatively short period of time, I came to an answer of my own as to why God created humans and maybe this will be a good topic for a later edition of “Just for You!” Today however, I’d like to share my personal understanding of why Christ came to earth, why Christ endured the trials and sufferings of Holy Week, and why Christ willingly went to the cross in Jerusalem. Again, I would offer that this is my own personal understanding.
I believe that Christ came to earth, “Just for You!”
I believe that Christ came to earth, in order that you would know how much our God loves You!
I believe that Christ came to earth in order that You would be promised a life accompanied by God!
I believe that all Christ taught in His public ministry and all Christ shared in His mortal life was designed to share with You and all of humanity, that each one of us is loved, each one of us is worthy, each one of us is adored by God.
When we make mistakes, even when those mistakes are intentional, I believe Christ came for You!
When we fall victim to other people’s poor use of free will, I believe Christ came for You, to share with you that you are not alone in your sufferings or trials.
When we feel alone or isolated, I believe Christ came for You, to share remind us that we are never truly alone or isolated in this world.
I believe that when we gather around God’s Word and worship in community, that we have the unique opportunity and ability to bear witness to the truth that Christ came for You. That together we have the opportunity to see “glimpses” of how God desires we will live in the world.
So, this and all future editions of “Just for You!” will be shared to the glory of God in thanksgiving that God, incarnate in Christ, came to this world “Just for You!”
My hope is that these offerings will uplift “You” in your faith. My hope is that these offerings will provide you thoughts to “stretch” our understandings of God.
My hope is that these offerings will encourage “You” to share your own thoughts and understandings of God with the rest of us.
May our God, Who came “Just for You!” walk with us all on this new holy journey!
Peace for now!