At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.

But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless. Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them. You may be sure that such people are warped and sinful; they are self-condemned.
— The Apostle Paul to Titus, Titus 3:3-11

Mary gave the talk this week on Titus 3. She spoke of following the spirit of the law instead of the exact letter of it.

We discussed that we should not be judgmental of how other people worship Jesus or how they live as long as they are living as the Biblical example of Jesus shows us to live. If we have something that we are questioning about how someone else worships, we should simply go to the Bible for the answer. I found this to be excellent advice.

God wants us to present our uniqueness to God as worship. Not only is singing worship, but so is work, and even play.

Instead of excluding people for some religious rules of what church has to be, we are trying to pave the way for people to worship Jesus through their distinct strengths and talents. Everyone needs to learn to honor God in all their lives: those who love Harry Potter, or blackjack, or ice skating. We are even working to gather church church communities around interests like Disc Golf or Legos. We need to learn how to worship God through every part of our lives.

We spoke as a group about ways Christians have been judgmental of how other people practice Christianity – or things they do that some don't like – such as females teaching or people playing card games or dancing.

Mary brought copies of the Monopoly rules for each person. It turns out, many of us improvise in the way we play Monopoly, however we keep the spirit of the game intact. She connected that to how families adopt different patterns of spiritual and family life that honor Christ, even though they don't have the exact same elements. It is up to each of us to interpret God's Word and worship Him in the way we do life together.

The Week's Challenge

This week we are going to work on being aware of how we might be judging other people and try to keep the spirit of the law and be welcoming of others we encounter.