Dear CCF Family,
Our nation is anxious and torn by the tragic shooting of Michael Brown and the subsequent conflicting reports from the police officer Darren Wilson and bystanders. These events of course are painful and personal in their own right. They do not stand alone but are part of a larger conflictual tragic and frequently misunderstood story of race relations in our country. These sins are not one sided. Perfection in thought, emotion, or action is not necessary in order to carry valid points of view.
My call to all is to not let our perspectives start with the portrayal of events in news reports, commentary, or live footage. Rather our perspective starts with who you are as a daughter or son of God redeemed through the death of Jesus who suffered unjustly at the hands and hard hearts of the favored elite of the day. He did this with a heart of love and compassion for all even those who put him to death asking His Father to forgive them. Jesus did not take a side with the normal points of view in the issue divides of the generation but called people from every side and view point to realign with the truth and grace of his Father in Heaven.
The role of the church--and each one of us as part of the church called disciples-- is to align with the One who says " I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. And from this solid foundation to minister grace and truth in love into conflicts and loss of hope.
Several weeks ago as we studied Ephesians chapter 2 the dominant theme was that where the racial divides in the past is no longer the decisive dividing line. The dividing line is who is following Jesus and who is not following Jesus. This new group of Jesus followers are a family that is colorful and diverse. This transformed people then carry a message in action, attitude, and conversation that listens and shares the heart of Christ.
At CCF we have a unique opportunity to listen to one another and hear the pain and hopes. Will you join me in the following?
Let's pray for these principles to be present in our lives and all we influence:
Can we ask God to not let us speak unless we speak grace and truth spoken together with a heart of love?
Can we in the words of Francis of Assisi seek to understand more then be understood?
Can we plead with Jesus to activate his role as the Good Shepherd, Prince of Peace, and Lord of this world?
Can we walk with one another in bonds of peace and the unity of the Spirit in the name of Christ Jesus and reach across divides that usually alienate and separate?
Can we not be content with a pretense of peace because we avoid topics but rather cultivate a culture that seeks peace and pursues it by listening, loving, caring, and facing Jesus, and taking actions together that we know please the Spirit.
Can we express that "Jesus is Lord" is the dominant identification and reality statement in our lives. That there's no other identity that defines me more completely: not my race, education profession not even my name.
The Bible says: Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. (James 1:20) and also: Don't sin by letting anger control you. (Ephesians 4:26) The thought is emotional passion is not sin but of itself it does not bring about the reconciliation that furthers the plan and purpose of God. The passion is useful to press us into Jesus and his body the church so our responses and sustained with the power of the Spirit and produce enduring transformation.
Posted on Wed, December 3, 2014
by Caleb Kaye