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Week 2: Love, Grace, Mercy

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As believers in Jesus, we have experienced God’s unconditional and impartial love and should be demonstrating the same kind of love to other people – no matter who they are. Yet, James saw favoritism exhibited in some churches. Those who were rich were more welcomed and treated better than the poor. James indicates that the way we treat people reflects what we truly believe about God. Read James 2:1-13.

Reflection:
Why was favoritism so condemned by James?

Prejudice means to negatively pre-judge people without knowing the truth about them. Bigotry is prejudice in action. Do you hold any prejudices against certain people or people groups? If so, who and why?

Listen:
Ask God to show you if there is any way in which you are showing favoritism or discriminating against any person or people groups.

Action:
Read a book dealing with matters of prejudice, bigotry and racism.

Involve yourself in organizations or programs that serve the poor or other marginalized people in your community.

Prayer:
Dear Lord, open my eyes to see if there are any prejudices or worse in my life. Forgive me if there are. As one who has experienced your grace and mercy, open my eyes to ways I can show the same to others. Whoever it may be, give me the strength and courage to love my neighbor as much as I love myself. Make me more like Jesus today. AMEN.

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Greetings,
 
On August 26, 2021, IL Governor J.B. Pritzker issued an Executive Order mandating that masks be worn at all indoor gatherings. Although churches are exempt from the Executive Order, out of respect for governing authorities, Parkview has continued to ask staff, leaders, volunteers, and those attending Sunday gatherings to wear a mask while indoors. We are grateful for our people’s understanding and willingness to do so. The Governor recently indicated that his Executive Order will be rescinded on Monday, February 28th making masks no longer required in most indoor settings. In anticipation of that, on Sunday, February 27th Parkview will return to a “mask optional” policy.

While the mask policy has once again shifted, our commitment to your health and wellbeing has not. We remain dedicated to thoroughly cleaning our public spaces before and after our gatherings. Masks and hand sanitizer are still readily available to those who want them.

Navigating these difficult days has not always been clear or easy. Whatever your perspective on current realities, as fellow Christians, let us allow kindness, grace and compassion characterize our interaction and relationships. In the words of the Apostle Paul, “Let us be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.”

I look forward to being with you on Sundays.
 
Grace and Peace,
 
— 
Ray S. Kollbocker
Lead Pastor