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To “love the Lord God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.”
And…to “love your neighbor as yourself.”
It cut through the rules. It challenged the religious “experts.”
It invited us to serve God…and one another.
Simple…clear… and good—
in a complicated world.
That’s when the early church found itself acting with courage to serve the common good.
When Christians in community became agents of
The faith of the church was its source. Faith offered the path to a simple “Way”:
Love God. Love neighbor.
And good things grew from it.
The church was a game changer. In education. In healthcare.
In fighting poverty.
In human rights.
and Showing up in the midst of disaster.
Many found their vocation—their purpose and passion—in answering God’s call... as the hands and heart of Christ in the world.
But not always.
Sometimes the church didn’t do the right thing...
Sometimes the church let us down big time.
The church is full of problems, right? Because the church is full of people.
And even the church is perfectly capable of breaking our hearts.
Maybe you’ve noticed?
Sometimes it feels like even the church has lost its Way.
Remember? “Love God. Love neighbor.”
Sounds good. But sometimes we don’t feel welcome,
Instead of real, it feels repressive. Instead of engaging, it feels empty.
So we have a right to ask:
“Is this still a place where I can make a difference?”
“Is this a place where my gifts and my voice will be honored
and where I can be a leader?”
“Is the church still a game changer…or has it just totally lost us?”
So, we are forced to ask the question.
Do we stay…or walk away?
...in spite of all its flaws…the church is still our church.
We can make it a place where we find signs of life. Of love.
Where something good might still be waiting for us and generations to come.
Where people—however broken and divided—find a way to come together.
The church can be a place where we ask the biggest questions…under a very big roof...
...and share the stories of our lives—across generations…and differences.
The church can be a place where our culture doesn’t define who we are…or what we live for.
So what do we do now? What will you do?
Maybe what we all need to do now is take a step back.
To the beginning. When things were simple.
When, once again, we bring heart, soul and mind to be agents of:
You and I can be leaders of the church. And together we can create a church where no one’s an outsider.
A church that cares for others. A church that serves the common good.
Where we’re still the hands and heart of Christ.
In the streets. The schools. The shelters. In the parks. The pulpit. The clinics. Standing with the abused. The neglected. The lost.
Love God. Love Neighbor. Sounds good to me.
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