I don’t want you to think that watching the Word actually come alive and impact people’s stories is a rare occasion… even though, sadly, it may be a rare occasion in your own life. But we’ll talk about that a little later.
On the night of Easter, when most church services had been completed, family dinners were over, candy and chocolate bunnies strewn around the house, I saw a short story on FB that brought me to tears and a reverent knowledge that God is working in so many others who are earnestly seeking Him out and staying steadfast (as much as possible) to Him.
The background is that it was in the late 80’s and early 90’s in the Middle East, a time of civil unrest - not unlike it is today. It was Easter, and there were a small group of Christians wanting desperately to worship King Jesus openly… Here’s the rest of the story -
Easter 1991 (a few weeks after Kuwait's liberation): a few people from the church decided it was time to come out of hiding and go to church on Easter. So, carpooling through destroyed roads, bomb shells and dead bodies by the road side, we made it to church- just about 20 of us happy to finally be in the house of God after 8 months. While singing, suddenly the church doors opened wide and in walked about 150 US marines also wanting to worship the risen Christ and filled the church. The Chaplain and the pianist of the marines took over the service and it was the most amazing Easter celebration of my life. Why? We finally had the freedom to worship the One True Lord and Risen Savior in Love and Unity (You can find it yourself on Facebook using this link)
I get chills reading this… I can see it in my mind’s eye (even though my friend saw it with her physical eyes). That’s what James 1:2-4 looks like!!!
I can’t help but wonder how many of us will long to worship Jesus when our country makes it more and more difficult for us to do so (and yes, I’m sure it’s coming). Will the church grow, or will the church wither (like the seeds in Mark 4:1-20)? It is then that the wheat will be separated from the tares… those TRULY longing to follow Jesus WILL DO SO, and those who are doing it just for a show or just to consume what the church can do or has done for them will fall away.
How do I know? Because King Jesus Himself said this - “the gates of Hell will NOT PREVAIL AGAINST [THE CHURCH]” (Matt. 16:18)
FIND STRENGTH in this!!
FIND COURAGE in this!!
FIND HOPE in this!!
FIND OTHERS BECAUSE OF THIS!!!
Just like Greg Terry (one of our Deacons) said Sunday morning, "what are you doing to lead others to Jesus?" Those who know, tell those who don’t.
You see, you don’t need a degree in Theology… it’s not required that you lead a Bible study… you don’t have to be perfect… you don’t have to have your life or all the deep questions of faith figured out… You just have to be willing to tell what Jesus is doing and has done for you when He gives you the opportunity. And to do it in YOUR way, using YOUR words (not trying to be like someone else, because that’s ingenuine)… be open. be authentic. be real.
Now, commUNITY church, LET’S DO THIS TOGETHER!!! There’s a world of people outside our doors who are COMPLETELY LOST!!! Let’s show them The Way!!