Dietrich Bonhoeffer, great preacher, theologian and martyr, wrote in Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Faith Community wrote these words: Jesus Christ lived in the midst of his enemies. At the end all his disciples deserted him. On the Cross he was utterly alone, surrounded by evildoers and mockers. For this cause he had come, to bring peace to the enemies of God. So the Christian, too, belongs not in the seclusion of a cloistered life but in the thick of foes. There is his commission, his work. 'The kingdom is to be in the midst of your enemies. And he who will not suffer this does not want to be of the Kingdom of Christ; he wants to be among friends, to sit among roses and lilies, not with the bad people but the devout people. Martin Luther writes: O you blasphemers and betrayers of Christ! If Christ had done what you are doing who would ever have been spared.” This past Wednesday in our Wednesday Think we discussed the need for believers to confront with the right spirit the world in which we live that is seeking to destroy much that we have believed in for hundreds and hundreds of years. We can be Christians in name only by hunkering down and hoping the storm will blow over, but we can’t be authentic believers if we hide from the world indicated in John 3:16. God so loved the world, and His children must also love the world. And by the way, the storm will not blow over, there is no security granted for hunkering down in the building hiding from the world. We don’t love the world by avoiding the world, by agreeing with the world, by following the world; we love the world by engaging them and offering them the bread of life. This week I talked to a well-meaning compassionate young minister that stressed the need to “love the world.” I talked to another one that said that we have to feed the hungry but if we just fed them bread they would go away eternally hungry and never satisfied. We must do both, give the needy a hand, and always present the truth. The truth is this: All have sinned and come short of God’s glory, and the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let’s experiment during the upcoming summer months. Let’s engage our culture, tell the truth, love all we meet, but never fail to let them know what we believe, all of what we believe. Do it in the right spirit and God will bless our efforts, but always know that the world will hate you. Jesus wrote in John 15:18, “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you.” Let me give you a truth; the world did not hate Jesus because He fed 5000 people, it hated Him because He exposed their sin, their love of darkness. We must not hide; if we continue to hide, to avoid the world, to stay out of the market place, our nation will soon be godless. And a godless world is a world not fit for life. It is time for all believers to say so, to speak up, to stop hiding what we believe. Christ in you is the hope of our world, our community, our children and grandchildren.
Remember that we are beginning our new schedule in the office on Fridays. The office is closed on Fridays but if you need to reach one of the staff you can call the church office or one of the numbers posted on the door. The phone will be checked regularly to cover all emergencies and ministerial staff will always be on call on Friday to meet any emergency need. At the end of the summer, and after a new pastor comes, the schedule may change, but for now it will help us reduce costs some. We appreciate your cooperation and your great spirt of understanding.
Remember also to pray for your Search Team. They are busy every week doing the work you have authorized them to do, sorting through over 200 resumes, and narrowing them down to a priority group so they can focus on one at a time. You have a great team but they need your prayer. We want God’s man for Crosspath!