Wednesday, July 17, 2013

the church of the ages

The first followers of Jesus probably couldn't fathom what has become of this "Jesus movement" - they were not prepared for this to be something different from what they knew (the Jewish faith); they were not prepared for life to continue 2000+ years, for they assumed they would see Jesus' second coming within their lifetime.  They could not have predicted what has come from the faith that came out of a single man with some pretty new ideals.  No one knew it would turn into a large collection of churches with theology and ideals that are so complicated that most "church goers" cannot see the difference. 

And Yet here we are.

When the pioneers of what became the Huron church came together, they probably were not concerned with what the church would look like in 200 years, or even if there would be one.  There concern was in the here and now - worshiping God. 

And Yet here we are.

As the church statistics look grim and as our finances continue to be shaky there is always the question as to what will happen to our future.  We cannot predict what our church is going to look like or even what our ministry is going to be in the future, but we do know one thing...I'm sure it will be here!  If history has told us one thing that is that churches - God's church - continues to survive despite the ages.  

Let us rejoice this week in our past.  Let us honor our present with all the wonders that are around us and let us hope in the future that we may not be able to predict but know is good. 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

true compassion

One of the things I have learned to realize is that there is a very big difference between compassion and pity.  And pity is not near what God is asking from us.  The problem is we often let pity be the drive our of mission instead of compassion - something that I think drives our church to enable the our countries problem's instead of actually fix them.

The definition of pity is:  sympathetic sorrow for one suffering, distressed, or unhappy. While the definition of compassion is:  sympathetic consciousness of others' distress together with a desire to alleviate it.  

When we pity something we can still feel the same level of sorrow but when we have compassion we can feel the distress and sorry on a deeper level.   Jesus is asking us to show compassion!  We are called not just to feel badly for someone's situation but to understand and know their situation.  

On a mission trip once, I brought an interesting mix of youth.  Some were pretty poor while others were truly wealthy.  One of our assignments was to help in a soup kitchen - a pretty run down and poor kitchen that served some pretty question looking people.  Those who were of the upper class, they pitied these people and that is what drove them to help.  They felt better because they feed them and took away from the mission trip that they had done something that had made a difference.  While the poor kids (some of whom had gone to soup kitchens themselves) had compassion for the situation.  They had discussions with me afterwards as to how the community could go about helping these people to better themselves or how the soup kitchen could be better used.  The fact that they could truly put themselves in these people shoes allowed them to understand to a deeper level the problems. 

God, became human in Jesus not to pity us as a human race unable to stay away from sin but with compassion - so that Jesus, walking in the shoes of a human would know with
sympathetic consciousness what it means to be human and bear our sins.  

As we strive to have more compassion then pity let us remember that we don't have to experience the same situation in order for us to have compassion but we do need to want to on a deeper level come to know and understand where the person is coming from.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Our Roles

Recently I've been thinking about the whole reality TV situation and I am some-what pleased that it seems to have died down a bit.  I personally like sitcoms a LOT more.  But the whole reality TV crazy is to fulfill a persons desire to take the spot-light. 
We don't want to get lost in the trap that everyone needs to be the star or that everyone needs to be the leading role.  It is important that we remember that we are all special - no matter what our "role" in life is. 
Let's look at two very important people in the New Testament - Elizabeth and John the Baptist.  Both take supporting roles but both were very important in paving the way to Jesus. 

Let us take some time this week to think about what role is God asking us to play right now?