Teacher on the Mount—Teacher on the Cross:
The Second “Until”

Paul Frankenburger

image of three crosses on hill with sun behind

It’s Easter and Christians across the globe mourn Jesus’ crucifixion and celebrate his resurrection. It is the signature event at the core of the rise and spread of Christianity. Wrapping our heads around the scriptural specifics is challenging. Discerning its impact is a matter of debate and sometimes conflict in the body.

For me, years of teaching adult Sunday school classes included many salvation debates pitting works against grace. Misunderstanding Jesus’ “sermon on the mount” regarding fulfillment of the law often made the resolution of those disagreements significantly more difficult.

Matthew 5:17-18 (NASB) quotes Jesus, “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.”

Is it possible that Jesus went forth from there teaching a different, entirely irreconcilable message? Don’t judge and you won’t be judged; don’t condemn and you won’t be condemned; forgive and you will be forgiven. He taught that love covers a multitude of sins and that he desires mercy not sacrifice.

According to Paul, Christ cancelled the law, nailing it to the cross and that Jesus became our peace by uniting Jews and Gentiles and setting aside the law with its commands and regulations (Col. 2:14; Eph. 2:14-15).

As I write, it is clear that heaven and earth are still in their places yet not only the smallest letter or stroke, but the entirety of the law, is said to have been abolished. How can this be? Did anything really change when Christ died on that cross? The answer is that EVERYTHING changed and it changed forever. The key to unraveling this conundrum is found in the second “until” statement in Matthew 5:18, “until all is accomplished”. Had “all” actually been accomplished? Jesus says yes! Nailed to the cross and in physical agony, Jesus was still attentive to providing for Mary’s welfare and counting down the cumulative fulfillment of scriptural prophecies.

John 19:28-30 (NASB) reads; “After this, Jesus, knowing that all things had already been accomplished, to fulfill the Scripture, said, ‘I am thirsty.’ A jar full of sour wine was standing there; so they put a sponge full of the sour wine upon a branch of hyssop and brought it up to his mouth. Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, ‘It is finished!’ And he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.”

It is essential for us to know that Jesus’ spirit was not forcibly taken from him but lovingly given. He sent it out to keep a covenant made with his disciples and with us. “I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away, if I do not go away, the advocate will not come to you. If I go, I will send him to you” (John 16:7).

Often, and without further qualification, Jesus said (and other New Testament writers affirmed) that whomever believed in him would have eternal life. I pray that we, corporately and individually, will embrace and share the spiritual gift of grace to love one another as Christ loves every one of us.

The teacher is present still.

Picture and bio of author, Paul Frankenburger

Kids Choir for Easter

If your child (geared toward 4th and 5th graders, but all are welcome) would like to sing and help lead musical worship for our Easter service on April 1, please contact Davida Brown or Nolan Staples. We will have a rehearsal on Saturday March 31 at 10:00 in the sanctuary, and in the meantime you can find recordings and lyrics to practice with here.

Appreciation for Jeremy Huwe’s Service
as Co-clerk of Elders

The naming of Elders was one of several steps in the formation of Newberg Emerging Friends Church. NEFC Elders had their first meeting on June 27 and have now met nineteen times. Pastors helped facilitate the first couple of meetings and during the July 11 meeting Jeremy Huwe and Dan McCracken were appointed co-clerks. Jeremy’s spiritual sensitivity, attention to detail, organizational skills, and leadership experience has been valuable during these first nine months of NEFC. Jeremy has now found it necessary to step away from his service as an NEFC Elder due to other commitments requiring his attention. Elders and Pastors share with the church community our gratitude for Jeremy’s service.

Davida Brown will now serve as co-clerk of Elders.

From Andy Comfort

photo of Andy ComfortI hope you are doing well! I wanted to reach out to you and invite you to be a part of something really exciting happening here in Nicaragua. You may have heard me talk about or seen my posts about our OneEgg program, an initiative we have that provides daily eggs to preschool children here in our community.

We have been providing eggs for a couple years now to 250 kids in Masatepe, but our goal has been that every kid would be able to get the protein that they desperately need for mental and physical development. For that reason, we have set out this month to provide eggs to the more than 1000 preschoolers here, primarily through $20/month support from our friends and family. We have raised more than $13,000 already this month, and are working hard to reach $24,000 by the 31st. Would you join us? Eggsforkids.org has all the info about what we are doing and how you can help. Thank you in advance, and I’d love to answer any questions you might have!


From Katrina and Shawn McConaughey

Hello Friends, Katrina and I appreciated sharing at your meeting about our new ministry calling to E. Africa with Friends United Meeting. We are just two weeks away from our hoped-for departure on March 27th.

Our plans to be in Kenya by Easter are taking shape but… we are still a bit short on our funding. 3% to be exact. This amounts to about $200.00 a month for 36 months. By FUM policy, WE CAN’T DEPART UNTIL WE ARE AT 100%.

Maybe you have been thinking about supporting us and have not gotten around to it or maybe you are just considering it now.  Either way, we would be elated for you to join our team (ASAP).  Here are the different ways you can do that.

  1. Go to our Facebook page “McConaugheys in East Africa” click on the blue sign-up button and follow the prompts.  Be sure to hit the submit button at the very bottom. While you are there ‘like our page’ The direct link to the form is here.
  2. If you want to use your credit card, call The FUM office and talk with Kim Schull to set that up.  765-962-7573 Call between 8am-3pm Eastern time.
  3. Send a check made to ‘Friends United Meeting’ with memo ‘McConaugheys’ to FUM, 101 Quaker Hill Drive, Richmond, Indiana 47374 (If you do this can you let us know so we can count it in the total)

Thank you so much
Shawn and Katrina McConaughey
Programme Officers, FUM-Africa

From David Thomas
Evangelical Friends Mission

photo of David ThomasDavid Thomas requests prayer for the rest of the seminar on Bible-Telling, Orality and Adult Learning ending on March 28th. Thank God for a great team of Lahu leaders and the two American families, the Kibbes, and their growing vision to see the Kingdom of God grow among the Lahu cultures and communities. Thank God for a good beginning understanding that the Gospel touches all of life, and for a good beginning understanding and commitment to stay away from crippling dependency, and instead to focus on the discipleship that can empower people to push back poverty and see the Kingdom of God flourish among their people.

Pray for the leaders we are with to “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind…(Romans 12:2).” Ask the Holy Spirit to bring character growth and understanding in critical foundational areas (the gospel is wholistic, not dependency but empowerment, the importance of discipleship, and the value of adult/oral learning methods of facilitation). Pray that through our Bible-Telling, Orality and Adult Learning seminar the leaders will will come to understand, value and commit to use this kind of teaching.

Thanks to those who participated in the March 17 work day!

Mark and Lisa McMinn have transitioned their Vegetable and Fruit CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) to a mostly U-Pick Fruit CSA.

We begin with we-pick rhubarb in early May (not actually a fruit…) and transition through berries (strawberries, thornless blackberries, gooseberries, and blueberries), and end with tree fruit (mostly apples) in September. You come when you want, and pick however much you want, but since we’re small, we use a google doc for picking times and have folks (subscribers) reserve a spot in the CSA. Subscribers get the first chance to sign up for picking. Their friends and family are welcome to join them. If you are interested, we have five spots left for this 2018. $50 reserves a spot, which is applied toward your summer fruit.  Other vegetables from our ridiculously large garden are sometimes available for purchase in the Market on picking days. If you are interested and/or have questions, contact Lisa at lisa@ferncreekfarm.us.

You are welcome to post items you need or have available on this Community Board, or to announce events that might be of interest to others in the NEFC community. Email your submissions to one of the newsletter editors by Tuesday at noon to have them included.

How do I get something in this newsletter?

This newsletter is emailed each week on Thursday or Friday. If you have announcements, photos, items for the Community Board, or suggestions, please contact one of the current co-editors, Mark McMinn, David Sherwood, or Michael Sayler, by Tuesday noon.