Showing posts with label ecumenical. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ecumenical. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Bible verses to heal the church Body of Christ

In our work and lives as Christian poets, writers, and other communicators for Christ, these Bible verses will help us to focus our prayers, words, and writings on healing the current miffs and ancient rifts in the Family of God.

First, let’s take Jesus at His word:

Matthew 5:9: Blessed are you who make peace, for you shall be called the children of God!

Matthew 18:19: Again, I assure you: If two of you on earth agree about anything you ask, My Father in heaven will do it for you.

John 10:16: I have other sheep who are not in this sheepfold, and I must bring them in too. They will listen to My voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd.

John 13:35: And in this way, everyone will know you are My disciples - by the love you show one another.

John 15:12: This is what I command you: Love one another in the same way I have loved you.

Then, in the New Testament letters, the Apostles and early Christian writers gave us these words of encouragement, explanation, and exhortation.

Romans 12:5: In Christ’s body, we are like many parts, who all belong to each other.

1 Corinthians 1:10: I appeal to you all, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree and allow no dissensions among you, so you may be united in the same mind and purpose.

11 Corinthians 12:20: For I’m afraid that, when I come, I won’t like what I find, and you won’t like my reaction! I’m afraid I will find you quarreling, jealous, angry, selfish, back-biting, gossipy, arrogant, and disorderly.

Galatians 3:28: No longer are you to distinguish yourself as a Jew or as a Gentile, a slave or a free person, a man or a woman, for you are all now one in Christ Jesus.

Ephesians 2:14: For Christ Himself is our peace! Through His own Body, He made both Jews and Gentiles into one body when He broke down every barrier that divides us.

Ephesians 4:3: Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Holy Spirit, bound together with peace.

Ephesians 4:13: Keep on until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we become mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full standard of Christ.

Philippians 1:27: Let your conversations be becoming to the gospel of Christ, so that whether together or not, others will hear how you stand fast in one spirit with one mind working together for the faith of the gospel.

11 Timothy 2:23-25: Don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments or debates that only cause fights and dissension. Those who work for the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, and patient. Gently instruct those who oppose you. Perhaps God will change their hearts, and they will learn the truth.

1 Peter 3:8: And, finally, be of one mind and spirit – empathetic, compassionate, and courteous, not returning ill will for ill will or insult for insult but instead blessing one another that you may inherit God’s blessing.

As we focus on each of those verses in our lives, writings, and love for the Family of God, we can be assured of the power of Christ in the church Body of Christ. And, oh, what a world of difference that will make!

© 2014, Mary Harwell Sayler, ecumenical Christian poet, writing consultant, and author of the Christian Writers’ Guide e-book and the poetry book Living in the Nature Poem

[Note: The Thompson Chain Reference Bible highlighted the verses selected for this theme, and the Bible Gateway website provided many translations to compare for the above prayer-a-phrases. May God continue to bless their good work and ours.]

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Getting to know the whole Body of Christ

Christians who grow up in church might not be clear about goals or precepts of faith for their denomination as seen from an adult perspective, so the likelihood of being accurate about principles to which other denominations adhere is pretty slim! This presents a big problem when readers know only what we tell them!

As Christian poets, writers, and editors, it's up to us to correct mistakes, overcome misconceptions, and accurately spread the Good News. Since every reader won't want to come to church with us, we do well to get to know the denominations outside of our immediate circle before we write or publish writings for secular readers or Christians in general. Thankfully, the Internet makes it relatively easy to get acquainted with our brothers and sisters in the Family of Christ.

The denominational websites listed below include hotlinks to official sites for mainline Protestant, Evangelical, Catholic, Pentecostal, and Orthodox churches. If you find others, just add them in the Comments section beneath this posting:

American Baptist Association
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Episcopal Church
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America
Lutheran Church Missouri Synod
Presbyterian Church in America
Presbyterian Church USA
Southern Baptist Convention
United Church of Christ
United Church of God
United Methodist Church
United Pentecost Church International
Vatican website for the Roman Catholic Church

© 2012, Mary Harwell Sayler welcomes your helpful suggestions, encouraging responses, and active participation with other Christian Poets & Writers in the groups begun on LinkedIn and Facebook. May God bless us and our work as we aim to be an accurate and loving voice for Christ, Christianity, and the Church.


Sunday, August 5, 2012

Common English Bible for common use in churches everywhere

Whether representing the Catholic Church or Episcopal, United Methodist or Disciples of Christ, United Church of Christ or Presbyterian Church U.S.A., over 100 Bible scholars considered the diverse cultures of Christians from many, many countries, who want to read and study a contemporary English version of the Bible.

In addition to helping Christians of mainline church denominations to stay “on the same page,” the Common English Bible (CEB) also helps children to understand Holy Scriptures better and participate more fully in church worship services. Adults who are learning English as a second language will be enabled to follow the communal Bible readings too, but even people who are used to reading thick textbooks with complex syntax will enjoy curling up in an easy chair to readily read the CEB cover-to-cover as they would a poetry anthology, historical novel, or gripping adventure tale.

The CEB has all of that and more – with each of the prophetic books found in any translation of Hebrew Scriptures as well as deuterocanonical books from the Septuagint or Greek versions of the Bible. Although the paperback shown below does not include those apocryphal books, the e-book edition does with more print editions and cover choices to follow as communally-minded Christians from communities all over the world welcome this common English translation of God’s word.


© 2012, Mary Harwell Sayler. Thank you for telling your church and Christian friends where you found this Bible review. If you’re one of the many church publishers who plan to publish study editions and various cover choices of the CEB, be sure to send me a review copy. May God bless you and all peoples of God who come together in Jesus’ Name to worship, work, and lovingly represent the church Body of Christ in the world.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A study Bible with an ecumenical view

The Oxford Study Bible contains the full Revised English Bible with Apocrypha (aka deuterocanonical books) and “A Complete Guide To The World of The Bible” in such articles as “Historical Contexts of the Biblical Communities,” “The Contribution of Archaeology,” and “The Social World” in both Testaments.

As a Christian writer and poet, I especially appreciate the articles on “Early Christian Literature,” “Literature of the Ancient Near East,” and the “Literary Forms of the Bible.” The latter, for example, talks about the biblical forms used for Bible poetry in the Psalms, of course, but in wisdom books and books of prophecy too. The article also discusses genres such as narratives, parables, and proverbs as well as the literary form prophetic books often took, and the general format found in epistles or letters.

Binding: Thick, glossy paper is my preference for the Oxford REB edition, and the cover has held up well. In other translations such as the Revised Standard Version (RSV) or New Revised Standard Version (NRSV), my Oxford study Bibles have top quality leather, but on each, the spine bowed or pulled away slightly. Since the pages were sewn together, none fell out, but pages on this paperback edition (as shown in the ad below) seem to be strongly glued to the cover.

Font: The highly readable font in the text decreases slightly in size for the footnotes, but they’re still easier to read than most.

Format: In addition to the study articles already mentioned, each section of the Bible has an Introduction as does each of the individual books.

Footnotes: Whether in the RSV, NRSV, or REB, the footnotes avoid denominational differences and aim for a wider, ecumenical view. This is not to say the information straddles fences, but the emphasis is on providing readers information about wordplays, historical settings, and cultural backgrounds, rather than rhetoric aimed to sway readers toward one stance or another.

REB: The Revised English Bible translates thought-for-thought rather than word-for-word, providing a highly readable text that flows well in public or private reading. Some spellings and word choices reflect a British accent, rather than American English, but then the same can be said for the King James Version, which British scholars produced (word-for-word, deuterocanonical books included) over 400 years ago.


© 2012, Mary Harwell Sayler, all rights reserved. If you share this info with your church, Bible study, or other group, please tell everyone where you found it. Thanks. For more Bible topics, see Blogs by Mary.