Sunday, June 1, 2014

Sun. June 1, 2014 (John Friesen)

John Friesen contrasted an apocalyptic (dystopic) story by Veronica Roth called “Divergent”, characterized by dysfunction and murder; and a utopian story of spiritual renewal and transformation about Jesus encountering a Samaritan woman at a well in “enemy territory”. Despite her questionable history, Jesus accepted her and offered her life-giving water. John and Erna visited Cuba recently and found much of the same dystopic quality of life among the people in Cuba. Visiting Christian seminaries, they found hope for the people where the thirst for living water was palpable. In a dialogical approach to instruction, students were offered information about spiritual kingdoms, and despite challenges and trials, students offered great appreciation for the hope that Christ offers in the seminaries in Holguin and elsewhere. In contrast to the highly-segregated community of Divergent, where youth were required to select a faction or community to which they were to devote the rest of their lives under a repressive system of government, rejection brought not only ostracization, but also a challenge to live with meaning in a world which sought to remove meaning apart from the herd. “You are you, and nobody else” echoes a message that Jesus gave to the Samaritan woman, when encouraged her to - break free of your society, be transformed and live with honour and dignity regardless of the circumstances of her past. Despite new directions in movements such as the New Calvinist movement, can we treat women with any less dignity today? [AP]

Listen to the sermon audio MP3 recording from Sunday, June 1st, 2014 using your browser's preferred media player.



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