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Fact or Context?

Which is more important? Facts or context? It's easy to answer  "both." But how often do we focus on what we can see and think we know? Are we even willing to try to understand the backstory?


I recently read about a writing instructor's essay prompt that involved thinking of something genuinely horrible a person may say. The next step was to incorporate the phrase into an essay. However, the essay also had to include some language that would make the reader empathize with the subject. The assignment aimed to help both writers and readers better understand the role that empathy plays or doesn't play in human relationships.


Have you ever been misunderstood? This Sunday, we will explore the story of Peter and Jesus calling him out of his boat to walk on water. If you know the story, you understand that Peter could do as Jesus asked, but then he became afraid and began to sink until Jesus rescued him.


In telling the story, Peter is often portrayed as weak-willed and easily frightened. Could we see Peter differently if, instead of focusing on his fear, we considered his courage? Wouldn't anyone need much courage to try to do as Peter did? And, who among us hasn't had the experience of feeling as if we are in over our heads? We wonder if we jumped too soon. Should we have thought over our decision a little more carefully? What happens if we take a big first step but need to figure out what to do next? I wonder if Peter was having a "what now-what next" moment. Fear is often the most likely and sometimes the healthiest option when we face the unknown.


We will take on those questions this week in worship. You may also join a small group discussion about the day's scripture focus and message. We meet in the main floor parlor between services from 10:10-10:45.


We are journeying through Lent in the company of Jesus and Peter, his most well-known disciple. I look forward to seeing you Sunday mornings at 9 and 11 in the sanctuary or connecting with you through our livestream on Facebook. By the way, we also post the weekly message on our YouTube channel. Hit the "like" and "subscribe" buttons to help the page reach more people. The same goes for all our social media channels and our website. Links are below.


Peace,

Pastor Linda

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Facts without context often leads to the wrong conclusion. Take a trial ... one may think they have the facts to try a person and find them guilty only to find that the facts may come to the wrong conclusion when one considers the context. In fact there may be another person involved in the case. In Scripture, the teachings of Christ or Paul or the Prophets or the writers of other books in the OT and NT become clearer when we consider the context of the times in which they are written or said.

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