Church must support people: Priest

Faith

THE church should be a place to empower, encourage and support one another and not a place of condemnation, an Anglican priest says.
Fr Theophilus Garibo said not supporting and encouraging others has seen the church falling apart.
He said this in his sermon recently at the St Mary’s Anglican Parish at Gerehu, Port Moresby.
Garibo attributed this to the story of the woman in John 8:1-11, who had been caught committing adultery, was brought to Jesus and stood her before them so they could accuse Jesus.
He said when the woman was brought to Jesus, she was listening carefully for words that would encourage, support and set her free.
The teachers of the law told Jesus that according to their laws, Moses had commanded that such woman be stoned to death.
As they stood there asking Him questions, He said to them: “Whichever one of you has committed no sin may throw the first stone at her.”
After saying this, Jesus bent over and wrote on the ground with his finger. When he lifted his head, all the teachers of the law had left the place and he was alone with the woman.
Jesus asked the woman who was left to condemn her and she said there was no one.
Jesus said: “I do not condemn you either.
“Go, but do not sin again.”
Garibo said: “That is what the church should be doing.
“You look around and the seats are empty.
“We ask ourselves why the seats are empty, who do we blame?”
Garibo said as Easter was here, one should do a self-reflection and prepare for coming events.
“Strive and live a Christ-like life. Your rewards are in heaven,” he said.

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