SentLocal Was Great, Now the Next Step
Sunday, August 27, 2017, will be a highlight in my journey in ministry. Over 550 people serving and praying for our local communities of Auburn, Opelika, and Beauregard, in 36 different locations, makes it real hard to ignore the impact and presence of the Holy Spirit in our local community. When we realize that we are a SENT people, and own our responsibility as followers of Jesus Christ to share the message of grace, hope, peace, mercy, humility, and love, God can and will show up. There is no doubt in my mind, God showed up in our community as the people of Cornerstone Church lived out their calling as a SENT people.
Meanwhile, in this world, across our country, even in our own community where we are invested, we face an amazing challenge. I am reminded that we (Jesus followers) are sent out like sheep among the wolves (Matthew 10). In stark contrast to the message we as followers of Jesus Christ are sent to share — grace, hope, peace, mercy, humility, and love — is a culture driven by un-forgiveness, fear, anger, cruelty, pride, and hate.
You see, as a follower of Jesus, I learn every day, moment by moment, that I cannot face this world alone as a sheep among the wolves. And I am reminded again of Joshua 1:5 — “No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so will I be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.” I am reminded that I am not alone in this difficult time, nor are you. When we see injustice, stand for those who cannot speak. When we experience cruelty, extend mercy. When we are filled with so much pride that we think higher of ourselves than another, I pray we humble ourselves.
And yet, in the midst of the divisive issues of our current day, where do we see hope? I see hope in the eyes of the next generation. I see hope in the caregivers of the abandoned. I see hope in the protectors of our freedom. I see hope in the most desperate mother and child being carried through the flooded streets to safety by an exhausted emergency responder. I see hope that one day we will rise above hate, despair, abandonment, and injustice. I see hope that we (the followers of Jesus) will humble ourselves, and serve our neighbor. We are a SENT people to shed the light of Jesus through faith, grace, love and mercy. You are sent not because the church organized an outing for a few hours during a time when we knew you were available. You are sent because Jesus gave you grace, mercy, hope, and love. Because you were freely given, freely give (Matthew 10). YOU ARE SENT!