The Gospel of John Chapter 10 can be a rough chapter for Christians to read and understand. I encourage you to read the whole chapter. If you don't have a Bible (or don't want to find it), you can read the entire chapter by clicking the button below.
If there's not a Bible in your house, you can use the website Bible Gateway, and there are numerous apps for phones with Bibles. I use Olive Tree. For this article, I would like to invite us to focus on one verse.
This article will be complicated and nuanced. It will not contain an entire story, but it will contain things that our congregations can do in the future. I invite you to keep an open mind while reading and to see how this might make a difference. It would be normal for you to have feelings while reading this. Notice them, share them with me or others, and let them pass so that we can be about creating a culture of abundant life in our churches.
Change is hard for everyone, and for many, this is a significant culture change. I imagine some of you will also feel joy and relief that we’re working so hard on our culture. Some of you may be excited about us bringing out topics that affect many of our everyday lives. Maybe, for some, knowing that we’re creating a culture of safety in our communities that isn’t available in the world at large will bring great happiness.
Others of us might grieve the way that changes confuse us or don’t seem right to us and our view of the world. Sometimes, they don’t seem to make sense with our own life experience. I know that my church growing up was a safe place for me, and that I’ve had my image of church shattered as an adult when I realize that many churches never talked about consent culture. I know that for some, we will need time to grieve what we thought church was, should be, or could be. When our eyes are opened to new possibilities, sometimes it is exciting, and sometimes it can be hard. That’s ok, and it is ok be angry or frustrated if this is something that is hard to understand. Faith matters to me in my everyday life. Reading the Bible and learning to be the best possible Christian community we can be for the sake of Jesus matters to me.
Pastor Jess is all about sharing the life-saving love of Jesus with the world. How she does it is up to the Holy Spirit.
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This work is licensed by Rev. Jessica A. Harren under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.