Q: I heard that you were a Christian. Is that correct?
A: Definitely. I certainly am.
Q: What makes you think so?
A: I prayed a prayer to accept Jesus when I was a kid.
Q: So, what church do you go to?
A: Oh, I don’t go to church very often.
Q: What have you been reading in your Bible recently?
A: I guess I haven’t read it.
Q: Well, do you give any money to God?
A: I really don’t think he needs any of my money.
Q: Do you pray?
A: Of course. Whenever I run into trouble, I call to God for help.
Q: How do you show Christ’s love to your neighbors?
A: Those pigs! I try to avoid them at all costs. I hit the button on my garage door remote and slip right into the garage. I don’t even have to look at them that way.
Q: Haven’t they ever had any problems that you could have helped them with?
A: Beats me. That’s not my job. That’s why we have government aid. Besides, they can always go to a counselor or a band or something. What they do is really none of my concern.
Q: Are you sure you’re a Christian? You sure don’t act like one!
I laugh, that kind of dry, sarcastic, “hit home” kind of throaty laugh when something is just too real. I had a conversation last spring, before Scott and I went our separate ways (if that is at all possible giving our joint connection to the children) that really depicts the last answer above. Our neighbor is a single woman, who works long hours, and lives alone. She’s a bit older (probably mid 50s) than me, yet never seems to let the sun set under her feet. She’s always doing something. And if nothing short she is offering prayers. So, she was brought in to this plant deal by Scott and some other neighbors, only she needed assistance in getting the plants to her home and put into the ground. There were too many for her to do alone, and she doesn’t have the strength to dig the holes necessary, as the root ball was quite large. Scott came to me complaining about her leaching off of everyone and said, “What has she done for us? She’s just going to use us to put in her plants.” I suggested that helping her should not have a price tag but just be a kind and neighborly thing to do without expectation of anything in return. His response rings clear as my morning clouds, “That’s not my job.”
Scott ultimately did help her while the boys and I were at church. And he said to me, “You know, that felt pretty good.”
What more of a reward do you need then the feeling that you were able to bring something good to another’s life, even if for a brief moment? And every time she walks into her yard she can look and say, “These were put here by the love of my neighbors.”
And God smiled because his message of light was delivered and continues to be delivered daily. Not just to the person who has the plants but to those that helped put them there.
You are the light walking through the darkness.
Pastor Bill, “Just as it doesn’t make sense to claim to be a Bears fan and not act like one, it doesn’t make sense to claim to be a Christian and not act like one. As a matter of fact, James says that faith without works to demonstrate that faith, is dead. One important part of the “works” that demonstrate faith is to care for those around us who are hurting.”
How do you know who is hurting around you that can use your light to building their strength?
It is not seeing with your eyes.
It is not hearing with your ears.
It is feeling with your heart
by trusting God to put you in the right place and allowing His hand to work through yours.
Pastor Bill, “As we consider “The Broken World We Live In,” we are going to see that the church we’ve always longed for serves a broken world..”
James 2:14 – 17 – Faith and Deeds
14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them?
15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food.
16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?
17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
Pastor Bill, “James was concerned that people understand what real faith looks like. Earlier in his letter James wrote, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says,” (James 1:22). For a few moments more this morning I want us to think about proclaiming and practicing our faith.”
Now we have a new word to consider in the remedy to heal our broken world:
Pesos, Credo, Venia, and Fides
Trust, Believe, Forgiveness and Faith