Friday, April 6, 2018


I am not sure where it started. I know my sermon prep for this week’s message at Gracehill had something to do with it as I was digging into Ephesians 2:11-22 and thinking about the truth that is in Christ we are fellow citizens of a heavenly kingdom (v.19). Then there was the conversation in the sauna on 2nd amendment rights and the responsibility that churches have to love and protect. (fascinating conversation by the way, with a Vietnam Vet who subsequently taught for a number of years.) There were also the many reflections on the 50th anniversary of the MLK assassination. Where are we as a nation 50 years later? What was the central message of MLK? How can I, as a member of the majority culture, listen and learn from the reflections of others? There were other strains too; the conversation through tears with a minority sister in Christ sharing pain, voicing questions, seeking her place in GR. Conversations in our own family about belonging. Conversations echoed with friends, one of whom intimated “is it OK as an adult to long for a best friend?”

While each these streams has its own course they converged for me while reading in 1 Peter 4:8–10. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace. Our privilege and responsibility as a church of Christ is to welcome others as we have been welcomed in Him. Fundamentally what we long for as humans is to belong; to be received, cared for, protected. When alienation occurs socially, racially, or personally we are set adrift and we flail about seeking purchase. What Christ accomplished in redemption was to bring those who were far off near, to make those who were not a people, a people (cf. Eph 2, I Peter 2). In Christ we do belong! We have found our footing. More than just personal forgiveness, we have come home.

My great desire, both personally and for Christ Church, is to steward well this grace we have received. Listening this week has reminded me how deep the longing is to belong.

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