Some of you are celebrating today while others are sad! I’m confident, putting my trust in Jesus that HE is the One with all the answers we are searching for.
I’m something of a political junkie. I’m not sure why! It of course has something to do with what I believe, but it goes beyond that. Because I am by nature a strategic person, I think the horse race of presidential elections is interesting to me. Needless to say, I spent many hours yesterday focused on what was going on.
After waking up this morning, I had some thoughts. They are random, but I think they are important for where we are as Christians. Whether you are red or blue, Republican or Democrat, these are things I’m thinking about that are necessary for us, the Church.
1. We, as the Church, must be ready and willing to meet people’s needs, whatever those might be. While my prayer is that the economy will improve and jobs will be restored, the reality is that we are not currently in a great economic situation. In Los Angeles, where I live, our unemployment rate is still around the 11% mark, compared to 7.9% nationally. That is a HUGE difference.
While the east coast is still recovering from Hurricane Sandy (may God intervene there!), the reality is that wherever there is high unemployment, people continue to face a different “storm”, whose effects never seem to go away. I believe churches can be the organizations that not only serve people’s physical needs, but also their emotional and spiritual ones, especially as they are affected by lack of resources.
2. We, as the Church, must be ready to communicate the truth with an abundance of GRACE. John 1:17 states, “…grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” We have just seen the tip of the iceberg of societal change, where what society believes is beginning to be reflected in the government. For example, in the case of “gay marriage”, we saw voters (not the state legislature) make way for their states to approve such unions. Take a look here for a list of those and other measures across the country.
Understanding that this cultural transition is underway should make us MORE convinced that we need to be sensitive in the way we communicate the gospel. While we must never deny the truth we believe, we must never expect people who don’t know Jesus to believe the same way we do. We must not raise one issue as being more important than another when communicating the fact that we are all fallen creatures. We are ALL sinners in need of God’s incredible grace. A Christianity that simply “preaches to the choir” is not one that will transform the society we live in. A Christianity filled with believers who consider themselves to be more “moral” than the next person will never help us lead someone to know Jesus. Let’s incarnate the love, grace, and truth of Jesus to the world around us.
So, let’s be the Church. Let’s serve people in the midst of their real needs and let’s communicate the Gospel with grace. I believe if we do these things, we will do well.
I have barely started a list. There might be more in coming days.
What would you add?