Buscamos inspiração na pessoa de Jesus para fazermos a nossa jardinagem do espírito. Ele foi o jardineiro por excelência. Soube cultivar as sementes da fé para produzirem plantas que fornecem abrigo e sustento. Este blog é um esforço para fazer a nossa jardinagem das passagens bíblicas à luz de Jesus que é digno de servir como nosso modelo.
Convidamos os leitores a aprenderem com ELE e fazerem a sua própria jardinagem.
sexta-feira, 29 de maio de 2015
THE CROSS OR THE SWORD
His purpose was
to create in himself
one new humanity out of the two,
thus making peace,
and in one body
to reconcile both of them
to God through the cross,
he put to death their hostility.
He came and preached peace
to you who were far away
and peace to those who were near.
Ephesians 2:15-17 (read 2:14-19)
The book of Genesis narrates that God chose Abraham to
be blessed and to become a blessing to all nations. His descendants, the Jews
considered themselves to be the unique heirs of divine blessings and thought
that the God Yahweh (or Jehovah) was only for them. Centuries later, the
followers of Jesus usurped the Jews as being God’s chosen people, claiming
themselves to be the true heirs of Abraham and in judging themselves to be the exclusive
recipients of divine grace. A few centuries later other heirs of Abraham, the Muslims,
appeared on the scene proclaiming Allah to be the only true God and that
Mohammed was his last prophet.
Each of the three great monotheistic religions
continues to affirm exclusivity before the Creator, and each calls God by
different name to strengthen its privileged position.
The writer of the Letter to the Ephesians in the New
Testament, who was a Jewish Christian, wrote about the barriers between Jews and
non-Jews. He stated that in Jesus these barriers no longer exist. Now the
Gentiles are no longer "foreigners" or "wayfarers" but, also,
a part of God’s family. He also states that the Jewish laws, commandments and
regulations that made the separation are canceled. The most important thing is
to be in the presence of the “Father”.
With the passage of time, the followers of Jesus
formed the Church and created new laws, commandments and regulations, raising
new barriers of separation. Later the
Muslims followed the example of the Jews and Christians by creating another set
of laws and regulations when they came into being.
Today, the separations are greater than ever before in
human history. The fundamentalists of the three great monotheistic religions
are fueling conflicts which are leading to unprecedented mutual destruction.
Each religious group ignores the fundamentals of its own faith such as: justice,
Often Christians use Jesus as a pretext to promote prejudice, distrust and
enmity. Today the "Christian" world has the highest technology of
mass destruction in history. The tension and violence that it is generating is
now threatening the very existence of all of humanity.
Today's urgent challenge is to recover the true
meaning of the Spirit of Jesus which breaks down barriers. Jesus called his followers to
take up the cross, not the sword. The cross brings us into the presence
of God while the sword separates us from each other and distances us from God. When
we separate ourselves from others we also separate ourselves from God. Living
the cross is to live the righteousness of Yahweh, the grace of the Father and
the mercy of Allah.
The cross of Jesus in our life must eliminate the
beliefs which cause separation.
EPHESIANS 2:14-19 – NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION (NIV)
For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has
destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his
flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in
himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to
reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their
hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to
those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one
Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow
citizens with God’s people and also members of his household.