I’m excited to begin the new sermon series “Limitless.” The initial inspiration for this comes from a book by Parker and Brock called Saving Paradise: How Christianity Traded Love of This World for Crucifixion and Empire Paradise.
The story begins with their search for images of the Jesus and the crucifixion in ancient churches. To their amazement, they couldn’t find a dead Jesus! Instead, they found that paradise was the dominant theme of art in early Christian churches. The frescos and paintings depicted images teaming with things that represent abundant life.
In researching this further, they discovered “that early Christian paradise was something other than 'heaven' or the afterlife. Our modern views of heaven and paradise think of them as a world after death. However, in the early church, paradise—first and foremost—was this world, permeated and blessed by the Spirit of God. It was on the earth.”
It was the life of Jesus and the meaning of Easter that sparked this hope and fueled the early church’s faith. I think we’ve lost this vision of what life can be and what God can do through us. Beginning this Sunday, we’ll explore how to move beyond the limits we place on ourselves.
Something to ponder:
“Dear, dear Corinthians, I can't tell you how much I long for you to enter this wide–open, spacious life. We didn't fence you in. The smallness you feel comes from within you. Your lives aren't small, but you're living them in a small way. I'm speaking as plainly as I can and with great affection. Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively” (2 Corinthians 6:11-13, The Message).