How They See
This post is from my church’s newsletter that’s going out in July.
How They See
I’m thankful that Jeff’s first Sunday here was also Father’s Day. His message was powerful and thought-provoking. I want to be a Cedar in my family’s lives; for the sake of the pine trees that might be watching (Zechariah 11). I hope you caught the vision that this idea doesn’t end at families and Father’s Day messages, but it encompasses our every day relationships with the world around us; both the ones we’re aware of and the ones we aren’t.
No pressure, but somebody’s watching you. I was talking recently with my morning discipleship group about the song “Every Breath You Take” by the Police (They didn’t know that song and thought I meant “Every Move I Make” that we used to sing at church). The ‘older’ song is one of my favorites but the lyrics can be interpreted on the “creepy” side of things. ‘Every move you make, every step you take; I’ll be watching you‘. I’ve heard it jokingly described as “the stalker song” and you can maybe see why.
But it illustrates an even creepier truth. The people in our lives that know us as “church people”, “Christians”, or whatever other names they give us are always watching us. Sometimes they’re watching out of curiosity. Sometimes they’re watching, respecting us for our faith; sometimes not. Sometimes they’re watching to see if we mess up. Sometimes they just want ammunition to use against us. Sometimes we give it to them.
I need to clarify: I don’t care all that much (maybe a little bit) about how the world sees me. I do care how the world sees Jesus.
That brings to my mind a certain degree of pressure; even tension. And I hope that we can live with it! Right now, the world’s most common thoughts about Christianity are not flattering. But in many cases; they’re at least partly right. We get a lot of press for all the wrong reasons these days. When we do Ephesians 4 backwards and speak the truth in hate; we effectively crush the power of the truth to change people’s lives.
It’s my hope that this church body will continue to go against the flow of the more infamous and unloving groups that seem to stand for Jesus. We have a small voice here in our small town; but we have big hearts and open arms. I always hear from visitors that one of the best things about our church is how welcoming and friendly we are.
We can never water down truth. We can never water down grace. Remember in John 1:14 how John described Jesus as coming to us from the Father, full of grace and truth? Somehow, he is 100% both and that’s where I left off in my last sermon. I didn’t have time to express much about how we also need to live and emulate this ‘bad math’ that teaches good theology. So there it is. This should be a major part of our legacy as a church body; that we “speak the truth in love (Eph 4:15)” and people that watch us will see it. There’s really no room for any grumpiness or discord among our people because they’re watching; and because HE is watching. There’s really just room for God’s Word and God’s Grace.