A Starting Point
I hope that as an individual and also as your pastor, I will always strive to improve and grow in what it means to be a faithful Christian living in the modern era. With the recent events in our nation, I’d like to express my grief with you. The violence and injustices that have been coming more clearly into the light have been one of the many issues that have burdened me heavily as your pastor and as a Christian. It’s something that I have sought guidance and clarity from a wide spectrum of people, especially over the last several years, from within and outside of our denomination. And it’s something that clearly will require a lot of reflection, dialogue, repentance, humility, and love.
May our eyes, become more aware and opened, not only to the injustices that have been highlighted during these recent weeks, but also to the many other ways that we lack empathy and kindness. I would ask we seize this time as an opportunity for all of us, both individually and collectively as the church, to really think about the heart issues of our own personal sins and prejudices and how that manifests in our interaction with our neighbors. I especially urge you to pray--even repenting for a lack of prayer by trying to evoke change by the might of our own wisdom and hands, without relying upon the Spirit of God. Are we not Christian? Then let us trust and turn to God more than ever, especially now during these turbulent times. The resurrection of Jesus from the dead gives us a real hope of the incredible power of God's transforming work. If God can make something out of nothing, life out of death, "is anything too hard for the Lord?" Let us seize this time as an opportunity for all of us to really trust in this redemptive power of Christ's gospel. Let’s use this time to better understand our Christian identity as those who are living in two kingdoms to be a powerful testimony to this world as the tangible proof of the peace and reconciliation that comes through the gospel. I am hopeful that as we intentionally, in our homes and in our communities and within our church, pray and seek the Lord’s will, that our good and powerful God can and will, work through his people, yes, through you, to be that visible demonstration and witness of Christ's transforming power to all the corners of the earth.