I had an interesting lunch a couple weeks ago – it was with a young man (he’s 27), who does the graphic design for Cross Church and some for NRHBC. His name is Justin.
Justin has worked on projects for me for about 5 years. We’ve touched on spiritual things here and there. I was never certain of his stance on the faith, but he is talented and inexpensive, so I didn’t mind working with him.
For the first time, we spent a few hours together – it was our first real chance to delve into deeper conversation. He moved into an office for the first time and wanted me to come see it (he was most proud of the fact that the shared office space had a keg…).
He showed off the office and asked if there was something we could work on together. I’ve been toying with the idea of making our discipleship process easier to understand – and so I started to discuss what it means to be a disciple of Christ, which starts with salvation.
I think he realized what I was doing (sharing the gospel) and told me that he really appreciates our church and how we try to make things simple and clear – he spoke of Love Loud – of the phrase Love God and Love Others – and how he’s using that phrase as the epitome of his faith in Christ.
Needless to say that this was encouraging. We talked about other things – like adoption and how in regards to both adoption and Love Loud – that Christians – that God’s people – are not just to believe in abstract truth, but to put our faith into action.
Our faith is supposed to translate into action. So we believe that we are to Love God and Love Others and this motivates us into serving others – painting a widow’s house, cleaning a creek bed for a community, planting a garden, etc.
Similarly, Janet and I are pro-life, pro-adoption, so then we adopt.
The simple truth is this: God’s people act on what they believe.
In Genesis 50, Joseph is the perfect picture of this. Joseph believed God’s promises to Abraham and Jacob, so he asked for his remains to be returned to Canaan when Israel returns to Canaan.
Faith must lead to action.
Friday, June 19, 2015 was the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation being enforced in Texas. It is celebrated annually as Juneteenth.
On the Wednesday before, a young man walked into a church in Charleston, South Carolina and sat through an hour long Bible Study. He remarked that even though he was white and they were all black that they were kind and were very welcoming to him.
Then he shot 9 of them leaving at least one alive to act as a witness.
About a year ago, our country was witness to chaos and carnage in Ferguson, Missouri.
Over the course of a couple weeks at the end of June and beginning of July, several churches burned, most likely at least three by arson. (Read more here.) The burning of churches by arson, whatever the predominant color of the congregation, is the burning of all of our churches.
Scott, senior pastor of NRHBC, asked me to take the lead on working with sister churches – of every ilk, black, Hispanic, Asian, etc – in our area to take the lead in our area in racial reconciliation.
I had a few conversations but I must confess that I dropped the ball. Our country has a race problem and our church will not stand idly by.
We believe that every human was created in God’s image and God equally cherishes everyone. It is time for us to move – to take action.
We are a people whose faith motivates us to take action. We will take action.