Notes from Jan

So, What’s in a Name?

July 4, 2016

Apparently, a lot, judging from the response to my recent blog. Thanks for responding on and off-line.

The challenge is leaving the label behind without losing the love for those who remain attached to the name and other matters where we disagree.

If I/we fail to live out the command, “Love God and our neighbor,” it doesn’t matter what name we choose, it won’t be Christian at the heart of the matter and the heart is what matters.

Yesterday, Patrick continued the series from Galatians.  Some Sunday sermon notes:

“How we engage those who are wrong is as important as identifying the wrong.”

“Gentleness should be the tone with each other.”

“We are to carry each other’s burdens. We need each other. Picture who’s hard to carry.  That’s who I’m to carry!”  (Lord, help me.  That is some kind of burden!)

“If we’re not sure how to love God and our neighbor, remember,  Love looks like Jesus.”

On this 4th of July, I’m reminded of a quote I read this past week by Frederick Douglass, a former slave and Christian brother.

“Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.”(from  a speech given at the 24th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.”

While we have much to celebrate in this country I love, we still have much work to do to “love our neighbor,” “carry  each other’s burdens” and grow into the name Christian.

Galatians six challenges, it’s not about the puny  crosses I bear but about The Cross, Love writ large so I wouldn’t miss it, but sometimes do.

So, beneath that Cross of Jesus, I take my stand, the one God took, to Love no matter what, no matter who, for however long.

As Patrick preached,

“There’s still time to dismantle the bombs we’ve made, to unclench our fists, to do good to everyone. Look at Jesus. Let The Story change you.”




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  • Reply Barbara Chapman July 4, 2016 at 8:35 pm

    Why is it so hard to disagree without being disagreeable

  • Reply Nancy Mering July 5, 2016 at 12:22 am

    I looked up from my note taking during the sermon yesterday, Jan, and wondered if the notes I saw you writing would appear in a blog post. I, too, wrote down, “Love looks like Jesus.” Makes it pretty clear.

    And I’m grateful to see the Frederick Douglass post. Powerful truth.

    Thank you–

  • Reply Dale Lefever July 5, 2016 at 6:15 pm

    Thanks Jan or is it Janet?! I love the promise that “at the name of Jesus every knee will bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord.” Thanks for leading all of us to center around that name.

    Blessings, Dale

  • Reply Wendy Lane July 6, 2016 at 1:55 am


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