DiscoverRiver City Vineyard - Teachings
River City Vineyard - Teachings
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River City Vineyard - Teachings

Author: River City Vineyard Community Church

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A New Year has begun in a not so happy way. The global pandemic is worse than when it first began. An insurgency at the National Capital. A President impeached for the second time in a four year term with the most serious charge in impeachment history: inciting an insurrection.What do we do now?
How are we to respond to the insurrection at the US Capital? 
God made a personal appearance on the earth. He brought attention to that appearance through a miraculous sign, a guiding star. The star both announced the birth of a new King and also guided the Magi from the east to Bethlehem, the city of the King’s birth.  In Bethlehem these Magi had a personal encounter with the new-born King. That appearance overwhelmed them and they bowed in worship. May we all have a similar epiphany of Jesus, Messiah and King.
Shalom. Peace...”The essential characteristic of the Messianic KIngdom.” How much of that peace did Jesus give to those who follow him?
In these challenges days while we gather for holidays, we have the opportunity to listen to one another’s woes and offer to pray for one another. God has amazing ways of answering our prayers with divine surprises.
What does it look like to follow Jesus after such a contentious Presidential election and at the same time a year of pandemic, economic downturn, police brutality and racial injustice. Let’s have a conversation.  We have lots to talk about. 
Who we are, our identity, in relationship with Jesus, our King and his Kingdom can not be lost in our practice of temporal, national politics. We will never enter the Kingdom if we cannot let go of our political partisanship
Part Two of our encouragement toward regathering for in-person services.
We are waiting for the Positivity Rate in our county to drop to 5% and remain there or lower before we gather in-person. Until then we can begin to take steps forward toward regathering. This week and next week are an encouragement toward our first step.
More on disciple making. We can do this!
By and large the church is not in the building. That is a blessing. We can get back to doing what Jesus asked us to do. 
Paul returns to Antioch certain that he is on the right track in announcing the Kingdom of God to the Gentiles and asking them to simply believe in Jesus with nothing else added. Peter helps assure Paul of his ministry. All is good until Peter comes for a visit. Sadly Peter is followed by others who disagree with the decision reached in Jerusalem. For this Judaizer group Faith in Jesus for the Gentiles must include obedience to the Jewish law of circumcision. Peter is so intimidated By this group he draws back from the Gentiles and is swept into hypocrisy.Do we recognize similar pressures today? And if so, what are we to do?
For fourteen years Paul announced the Good News of the Kingdom to Gentiles in Syria and Cilicia. Throughout that time he had a lingering uncertainty. He expressed that uncertainty in this question: “Am I running or have I run this race in vain?”What did he do with this uncertainty? How can we learn from Paul as we face our uncertain time?
Throughout Christian history and into modern times, church leaders have demonstrated a strong tendency to insist new followers of Jesus conform to prevailing religious, social, and political customs.  Two familiar and important stories from the ministry of Jesus remind us that making distinctions based on these customs is contrary to the Good News of the Kingdom. 
We are more than the worst thing we’ve ever done. But until we as a nation are willing to take an honest look at our legacy of racism and truly listen to the stories of those affected by it to this day, we won’t move forward into healing and freedom in Christ. 
We are not the first lovers of God to face difficult circumstances. Those who love God have quite the history of facing slavery, forced labor, pompous emperors, fiery furnaces, global famine, and even execution by the state. How did our ancestors face their trials? What can we learn from them?
Who is going to step up to the work of reconciliation in our generation? Reconciliation is long overdue making the challenges even harder. But, who regardless of the difficulty is going to do the heavy lifting? 
We all need reconciliation with God and with one another. The need for reconciliation continues in our nation. It is hard work to reconcile. It takes a lot of time. Yet,  there is nothing like being reconciled. Who are the servants of reconciliation in our generation?
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