NOTE FROM PASTOR J R FOR SUNDAY, JULY 9, 2023
This Sunday is the 6th Sunday after Pentecost and the Sunday following July 4th. In an essay I wrote for the 4th of July, I emphasized that the Declaration of Independence was written when America was in a formative state. It was meant to be an aspirational vision to intent of what the foundering ancestors hoped America would become; NOT a declaration of the reality of America when it was written.
The Constitution ratified 11 years later (1787) was written to be adaptable by amendment meeting future times and challenges. The ink was barely dry when it was amended 10 times. This should dispel “the doctrine of original intent” being sacrosanct as the determinant factor in deciding matters for which the writers could not have anticipated or known at the time of its writing.
Nonetheless, the freedom aspirational intent of The Declaration of Independence should never change that “… all … are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
This also applies to scripture. It’s helpful to under what scripture meant to its writer at the time and the original hearers. But scripture should never be read as many read The Constitution. For scripture to remain relevant for the lives of each generation, we must learn to not fall in the trap of trying to put the new wine of our lives into the old wineskins of scriptural legalism. Yet, we must hold without compromising to the eternal truth of freedom and love of scripture: “loving God, loving self and loving others. It’s how God’s promise “Making All Things New,” is fulfilled in our lives and in 2023.
Join us for worship this Sunday, in person, by Zoom or Facebook Livestream for more on this in my sermon, will be “Making All Things New!” based on “Isaiah 43:18-19” and Matthew 11:16-19, 27-30.