Friday, January 10

They'll Know

They'll Know We Are Christians By Our Love.

Or they'll know about our Christ by the way we show love. To the world. To each other.

This is what I have been pondering...

On February 16, I will have the privilege of bringing the morning message to the congregation of Centenary United Methodist Church. It is not something I take lightly. Since the invitation was offered, I have been trying to decide what God wants me to convey.

I have reviewed the Revised Common Lectionary. It is the connected worship of many denominations. A great many pastors look to those four weekly scriptures to determine their message topic for the week. Of course, there are also a great many who choose other topics to "preach on."

If you think about it though...if even 1% of the Christian congregations in the world preach on the same set of scriptures...that is 37,000 congregations all focusing on a particular aspect of our relationship with God and with each other. That can be very powerful, especially if we are intentional in the way we communicate with God - and with each other.

They'll know we are Christians by our love.

I noticed at choir practice last night that the choir would be singing that song as the anthem. And tonight, the first pieces clicked. I know that my "sermon" (not sure if I'm allowed to call it a sermon...Methodists are mighty particular about these things. Let's call it a message.) I know what the topic will be.

They'll know we are Christians by our love.

The World...
Out there - those people who we were instructed to reach out to? Remember those guys? I'm gonna let you in on a little secret...they are hurting. They need us to get our act together. We have got to make sure that they'll know we are Christians by the love we put out there to them. At least a kind word to the people you encounter...

Love to them.

And from another angle - they are going to know what kind of Christians we the love we show to each other. In the church. We have got to get our act together. We can't have visitors and seekers come in to find our congregations not showing love to each other. Because they'll know - they'll see how much they can trust our "love" if we can't even show it to each other.

Mahatma Ghandi said "I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ." Let's make sure we love and support each other.

And then for the final point ( know me...don't pin me down.) - they will know we are christian by our love, the love we show to our Heavenly Father. (however you connect to him) (and yes, I know I'll get push back on that...) (and I still think it needs to be said - Christ met people where. they. were. Seriously.) Are we serious about wanting a relationship with him?

It is still in the development stage. I'll continue to listen and study and pray and listen some more. But I think that I know what my sermon title is. "They'll know."

And the choir had better bring it - pull out all the stops...

You were my inspiration.

(no pictures tonight kids...just focus on the words.)

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