Does Being Human Matter? Genesis 1:26-27
This week we begin our summer series called “Does it matter?” For the next eight weeks, we will explore eight topics that our culture sometimes influences us to regard as insignificant. However, we want to show that each of these topics matter tremendously to God, and therefore should matter tremendously to us.
So, does being human matter? In many ways, this topic is a foundation for everything else in life. And, what we find in Genesis is the radical truth that every single person is made in God’s image! It’s a radical concept, but what does it really mean, and what are the implications for our life? That’s what we will explore this Sunday.
In our text this week, Paul makes his historic return to Jerusalem. Historic because he has representatives from all the churches he has planted traveling with him, along with a significant amount of money collected from each church for the poor in Jerusalem. The gifts are the first fruits of his ministry among the Gentiles and symbolize the unity of the church. Like a college graduate returning home, not just with a degree, but with money to pay his parent’s back for his or her education, one would think the homecoming would be one of unadulterated joy. But there are disturbing warnings in every port that serious trouble awaits him, but Paul refuses to be deterred. The text addresses some key questions: How do we discern God’s will when both parties believe the Spirit is guiding them? And why is “coming home” often so difficult?
After the riot in Ephesus and return visits to Macedonia and Corinth, Paul was eager to get back to Jerusalem with the offering he had collected from the Gentile churches before the day of Pentecost. On the way he summons the elders in Ephesus to meet him in Miletus, for his farewell speech, where he commissions them to follow his example in life and ministry as the new leaders of the Ephesus church. This text not only sets a high bar for church leaders, it also sets forth what all followers of Jesus should aspire to.