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Sunday, September 18, 2016

First Presbyterian and Saint Paul’s Lutheran church of Galeton, 9-18-16

First Presbyterian and Saint Paul’s Lutheran church of Galeton, 9-18-16

by Martha Pennell, 

Women’s monthly Bible study meets Wednesday, September 21st, at 3 pm at Saint Paul’s Lutheran church; Galeton Food Pantry opens there at 10 am Friday, September 23rd. 

Pastor Roger began his sermon, “The Dispersion of the Church,” telling us cancer is treatable if localized, but becomes a greater challenge if it spreads to other areas of the body. 

Likewise, the Romans viewed the Christian church as a cancer needing to be eradicated. The localized church called Jerusalem home, giving them two options: remain in Jerusalem to be killed or flee and disperse. 

Before returning to heaven, Jesus’ final instructions to the disciples under the authority given to him were to go make disciples of all nations. 

Pentecost happened, bringing the wrath of the Romans. 

Without structure and leadership the future of Christianity was questionable. The apostle Paul provided structure and leadership by forming cells of Christians wherever he traveled. The church in Jerusalem had metastasized, growing in leaps and bounds. 

Christians leaving Jerusalem were not spared persecution but took their faith with them. The more it was persecuted, the more the church grew. 

Wanting to be emperor of Rome, in 300 AD Constantine saw a cross bearing the inscription, “by this sign you shall conquer,” and his army was victorious. To unify his empire, in 325 AD his edict declared Christianity the favored religion of the Roman Empire. 

Christianity went from the outhouse to the penthouse. 

Pastor Roger told us the same God is here today, the God of yesterday, today, and forever. 

Do not fear and despair because peace and justice will be the same for all, established through the church. Rome did a 180 degree turn and embraced it. 

Christianity will emerge victorious!


Kathy said...

Good post, Martha. Thank you for sharing!

Sandra said...

Thank you yet again, Martha.
Especially thankful that, when we miss a service, we feel connected by hearing a summary of Pastors Tom or Roger's message.
We also hope more folks reading your weekly report might realize how welcome they would be at either church of the shared ministry.
Blessings to all.