God created the world with human beings with the intention for the humans to live in a unity that reflected the unity of God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). When humans sinned their unity with God and one another was shattered. No longer were they living as equals, but they tried to dominate one another.
As God called a people to begin the process of righting the world, we see God calling people to bless each other. God called people to treat each other with respect. God called people to stop taking advantage of other humans. God gave Israel a law that called them, to paraphrase Jesus, to love God and love all.
People continued to rebel against God’s plan by seeking dominion over one another rather than enjoying unity. Prophets expressed God’s displeasure with the way God’s people were trampling the poor and refusing to respect outsiders.
God came to live among the people to show them how they were originally intended to live. Jesus (also called Immanuel or God with us) modeled for all to see how people are to relate to each other in God’s Kingdom, where God’s will is done on earth as it is in heaven.
Jesus demonstrated respect for all people. Jesus treated people with dignity. Jesus cared for all people, even those who had nothing to offer him. Jesus even modeled for people how to treat enemies and those who mistreat or sin against them.
People following Jesus today will do the same. We will respect all people. We will treat people with dignity. We will care for all people, even those who have nothing to offer us. We need to treat our enemies and those who mistreat or sin against us with forgiveness and love rather then vengeance.
Communities of Jesus followers (churches) will do the same. Churches will respect all people. Churches will treat people with dignity. Churches will care for all people, even those who have nothing to offer them. Churches need to treat their enemies and those who mistreat or sin against them with forgiveness and love rather than vengeance.
Jesus had open arms, even for outsiders.
Jesus had open arms, even for the powerless.
Jesus had open arms, even for women.
Jesus had open arms, even for children.
Jesus had open arms in his physical body.
Jesus had open arms in his spiritual body.
Jesus has open arms in his spiritual body.
On earth as it is in heaven!
In St. Louis as it is in heaven!