Happy Monday! This week’s blog post topic was inspired by a sermon in the sermon series “This Is Us” by my pastor Shaun Thompson of Circle Church Boston. The sermon was so good, and this particular piece of it so mind-blowing that I felt I needed to write on it! As always, I want to give credit where credit is due and so everything in quotes below is quoted from Pastor Shaun and the idea as a whole is paraphrased off the sermon. Check out Circle Church Boston here, and if you are in the area on Sundays, come check us out at 10am!
“If we want to be safe, then we can’t be safe.”
The church today looks so much different than the church in Paul’s day. I wish I could say it is for the better, like the church is better off. Sadly, the church is not better off. In my opinion the church is worse. Christians and the church take one of two approaches to hot topic issues of today. We either:
- Take a stance that the church shouldn’t be involved in politics, racial protests or human rights movements.
- Take a stance that the church should be the judge and condemn any who oppose to hell.
There seems to be no middle ground, and as Pastor Shaun stated in his message, that is because the middle is messy and uncomfortable. It is unsafe to be in the middle, but yet that is where Jesus thrived in ministry and how the early church thrived through persecution. They stood right in the middle where it was unsafe and uncomfortable in order to make others feel safe.
Confused? Let me give an example that Pastor Shaun gave in his message. This was my paraphrase of the example: Jesus flipped the social norms of His day on their heads and ushered in safeness for His followers by being unsafe. The Samaritan woman for example, was unsafe territory for two reasons.
- She was Samaritan, Jesus was a Jew (Jews and Samaritans hated each other)
- She was a woman, Jesus was a man (gender equality was not close to what it is today)
However, Jesus jumped in the middle, in the unsafe zone, where society would have told Him to never stand because it was just wrong. He talked to a Samaritan woman and because He acted in this unsafe manner, He brought safety to the Samaritan woman, and gave her a chance to experience a life change, which she embraced. There are countless other examples like: Jesus having dinner with Zaccheus or Jesus defending the adulteress and saving her from being stoned, etc.
The church needs to follow the example Jesus gave us. Instead of taking up a polarizing position, like ignoring or condemnation, we should meet these topics and these people in the middle. We should be uncomfortable, so that others can be comfortable. We should make church a welcoming place for all, so that the people who NEED Christ, will actually walk through the doors. This is how life-changing revival comes to a dying world, by Christians jumping in the unsafe zone to bring others to safety.
The following quote from Pastor Shaun closes this thought out: “If we develop a lifestyle of avoiding the uncomfortable we will never see the remarkable happen through us.”
So I encourage you all (including myself) to get out there, and jump into the middle and learn to rescue those that need the safety of Jesus. Show love, not hate. That is how the Church and Christians will truly make a difference.
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