Let's Love our Neighbors....

The Church must advocate for both justice and mercy. Biblical justice and mercy are relational terms that speak to what it means to care and advocate for others in need.

In Luke 10:25–37 Jesus shares the well-known and very interesting Good Samaritan story. 

The sermon focused on three key points:

1. What it means to be in a place of the in-between (between Jerusalem and Jericho). Between Jerusalem and Jericho is historically a dangerous place. In the story, this location represents uncertainty, frustration, as well as threats of danger and failure. In Jesus' story, Jerusalem and Jericho represent being in-between where you came from and where you are going.

We never know what will happen in the place of the in-between; but we know that there is a God of justice and mercy who is God not only of where we were and where we are going but also God of the in-between. 

2. What it means to take risks. The priest and the Levite saw a man in need and failed to help him. To help the man was risky. What would people say if they knew the priest and the Levite were helping a cast-a-way who was half dead along the road? Would they lose their jobs at the Temple?

We must take a risk to help someone in need. Taking a risk is not a reckless move but rather a relentless move to do what is right in spite of what might happen to us!

3. What it means to have mercy. Mercy is not merely acknowledging that there is a problem or showing pity on problems. Mercy is active. Mercy does something about the problem.

Jesus credits the Samaritan for his willingness to have mercy on a man in need. Yet, the Samaritan's mercy was not mere pity. His mercy went beyond a hand out, a kind word, and good wishes. The Samaritan's mercy extended to the man a hand up.

Being more concerned about the damaged human being, the Samaritan man offered relationship with a broken man, whom he did not know!

This week, may we extend mercy to people who we do not know. May we be challenged to be in relationship with "the other" regardless of any criteria other than because they are human beings in need of other human beings. 

People need to know that God's people are advocates of justice and mercy. We are people who love God as well as "other" people. 

Let's be a neighbor (as Jesus defines the neighbor) to "the other;" the "other" is the one who is not like you – whatever "not like you" means to you.

Share Christ's love and may our neighbors see Jesus as a result of our merciful witness!

Dr. Antipas

Education / Inspirational / Lifestyle

“Dr. Antipas L. Harris is a scholar and modern-day theologian who is not only academically trained, but a gifted orator and as much a student of the word as he is a teacher. Dr. Harris is truly a young man far beyond his years in that he exudes wisdom and genuine love for the word of God and God's people. He has ministered at both our local church and also our conferences. His ability to exegete the text and not leave a stone unturned in his delivery is astounding. His passion for the purpose and call of his life is evident and his steps are being ordered by the Lord.” Bishop T.D. Jakes, C.E.O. TDJ Enterprises; New York Times Best-selling Author Dr. Antipas L. Harris is a man of many talents. He is professor, pastor, and public theologian. He serves as dean of the Urban Renewal Center in Norfolk, Virginia. Formally, he served as part of the full-time faculty at Regent University School of Divinity. Also, he is founder of two organizations. One is GIELD, Inc. (Global Institute for Empowerment and Leadership Development), which is a non-profit with the mission to create opportunities for developing quality leaders with the Church and society for today and tomorrow. The other organization is Antipas Enterprises, LLC. to provide ministry and business solutions.  From humble beginnings in a small Holiness-Pentecostal church, founded and pastored by his parents, to ultimately becoming an accomplished leader in many industries. Dr. Harris approaches every project and assignment with passionate effort to fulfill God’s purpose for his life. His objective is simple; to help people overcome distress, to reinforce faith, to impart comfort through the arts and to provide stability through education. Harris is a true force to be reckoned with, and he’s not done yet. His motto is “Rise to the Call.” Antipas grew up in a small rural town called Manchester, Georgia, with a population of approximately 4,000 people. He is the second born of eight children– five boys and three girls. Harris discovered his passion for religion, music and the arts in his parents’ church. A child prodigy, Harris first revealed his gifts of music at 2 years old. By 12 years old, Harris was the lead musician at his home church. Education Dr. Antipas L. Harris followed his dreams of becoming a theologian and music producer. He was accepted into LaGrange College where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree (cum laude) in Creative Music Technologies and in Religion. He continued his studies at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology obtaining a Master of Divinity degree. Then, he earned another Master’s degree but this time in Sacred Theology from Yale University Divinity School. Antipas ended his academic pursuits with one more degree, a Doctor of Ministry in Practical Theology (Church and Society) from Boston University. With efforts to learn as much as he can, Antipas also studied at Harvard University, Boston College, and Gordon -Conwell Theological Seminary. “Since his days at LaGrange College where I was president, Antipas has been an ‘unstoppable’ force. Even then, he showed great promise as a successful musician, theologian, minister and husband.” F. Stuart Gulley, Ph.D., Past President, LaGrange College (LaGrange, GA), President, Woodward Academy (Atlanta, GA) Ministry Dr. Harris has served on several pastoral staffs and currently serves as Theologian in Residence at the First Presbyterian Church of Norfolk, VA. From pulpits to the street corners, to churches, to large arenas, he has shared the good news and led thousands to faith for nearly 25 years. He has been a mentor for young people and his students as well as a friend to the homeless and downtrodden. Dr. Harris was instrumental in planting two churches. One is a local church in Portsmouth, Virginia and the other one is in Kananga of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He intends to continue planting churches throughout the world. As a teacher and leader of leaders, his vision is to raise-up leaders to pastor the churches and to lead ministries. Teaching Dr. Antipas creatively weaves scholarship, everyday experiences and theology with passion. He connects well with a variety of audiences in a personal way. Dr. Harris has taught teenagers as a Youth Pastor. He has taught undergraduates as an Adjunct Professor at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Connecticut. He has taught at a graduate school for Prisoners at Sing Sing Prison in Ossining, New York, through New York Theological Seminary. He has taught at continuing education level for pastors and ministers in pursuit of refresher courses to enhance their ministries. Currently, Dr. Antipas teaches graduate and doctoral level students at Regent University School of Divinity. Community Service Dr. Harris is active, not only in his community, but also internationally. In the Hampton Roads region, he has completed the FBI Citizens’ Academy and LEAD Hampton Roads. He serves on two local non-profit boards – the board of directors for the Hampton Roads Committee of 200 Plus Men, Inc., where he is co-chair of the Education Committee, contributing his expertise as an urban education consultant and applies his passion to help African American teenagers to succeed, and he serves on the board of directors for the Mid-Atlantic Teen Challenge in Newport News, Virginia. “A young, black, and gifted theologian from the clay hills of rural Georgia...a breath of fresh air with a desire to see the hard core inner-city demographic changed...” Francys Johnson J.D., Attorney and Counselor at Law, President of Georgia State Conference of the NAACP Scholarship Dr. Harris teaches at Regent University where he serves as an Associate Professor. He is an ardent writer and author. He has published books, several chapters in edited volumes and journal articles. He blogs regularly and is, also, an Op-Ed Contributor for the Christian Post. Some of his articles and social commentaries have been published in the Washington Post, Religion News Service, and Sojourner. “Dr. Harris is a bright and energetic scholar with tremendous promise. He writes with clear and compelling prose.” William C. Turner, Jr., PhD, Professor, Duke University Divinity School Family With all of his accomplishments, Antipas continues to spread the gospel to the world through preaching and teaching God’s word. He also continues to support, participate and provide consultancy in areas of worship, urban outreach and urban education. Antipas was blessed with a partner who shares his love for teaching and the arts. He is married to Micah, who is an Assistant Principal in the Virginia Beach Public School System, a skilled modern dancer and choreographer, and author ("Unstoppable Success" Workbook and Blog: Lead to Learn). Antipas and Micah reside in Virginia Beach. To find out more about Dr. Antipas’ community involvement please visit www.antipasharris.com. Prayerfully consider a tax-deductible gift to GIELD, Inc. to support our efforts to educate, empower and provide enrichment for leaders in the church and society for today and tomorrow.