Have you noticed that the best way to get to know people at First Pres is to become involved? Well, taking the Matthew class certainly did provide that! We experienced and enjoyed the lively interaction between the pastors on the panel with each other and with the class' participants. A growing sense of community was taking place each Sunday between all of us!
Just as importantly, participants grew to understand Matthew's Jewish way of thinking and writing better through the help provided by the panel of ministers. We became better equipped to comprehend the intent of the original writer's message. As Pastor Paul Armstrong said last Sunday when he was ending the class in prayer, "We would not be your people apart from your Word & your Holy spirit."
All the ministers reminded us throughout the study that at the heart of all of Christ's teachings in Matthew was our need to change our hearts. It is not our ethnicity, gender, education, social class, or even our religious practices God cares about; He cares about our hearts and that they are turned towards and open to Him. It is our hearts that make us God's community of people.