““A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.“ (John 13:34, NIV)
It seems our country is more divided than ever…politics, race, even gender are issues that pull Americans apart. It’s even true in the church, to some degree.
A friend of mine pastors a church in Charlotte, NC – the community most recently divided among racial lines. My friend blogged about the church’s response to these issues attempting to answer the question, “What should the church do?” His answer was a biblical answer: the church must love.
That’s a great answer, but I don’t know what it means… Don’t get me wrong, I understand the concept, but I don’t know what this “love” looks like in our context, when there is deep-seated anger, when politics of division rule the day. HOW can I love my brothers and sisters?
This was the topic of a recent conversation I had with a local pastor a few weeks ago over BBQ sandwiches and sweet tea (By the way, I’m not sure how to solve all the world’s problems, but I know the answer starts with BBQ and sweet tea!). We talked about race and the church. We talked about the Denton area and what might happen were we to experience an incident like Charlotte. We both decided it was time the church got in front of a problem rather than react after a problem.
So I invited Rev. Christopher Respass to preach at New Life Church this weekend. His sermon, “Loving beyond Limits,” from the story of the Good Samaritan, will challenge us to think about what it really means to follow Jesus’ command to “love one another” even in – especially in – a divided nation.
I hope you’ll join us and bring a friend Sunday at Robson Ranch (8:30) or in North Denton (10:00). Check out Pastor Chris’s website, Antioch Christian Fellowship (http://www.godsgotablessing.com/ )
See you then! Pastor Jim
Rev. Chris Respass