"And the King will say, 'I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!' Matthew 25:40, NLT
The month of January is rapidly coming to an end and the activities of February are already knocking on our doors. Things like the Super Bowl (Keep Pounding, Panthers!) and Valentines day are fun times for our culture and we have so much to look forward to. If I may, I'd like to hit the brakes for just a moment.
Two important emphases that we have chosen to recognize as a culture in the month of January are the Sanctity of Human Life and Martin Luther King Jr. holidays. These times of emphasis are notorious within our culture for a wink and a nod and then we move on to the next party. Let's not fall prey to the wink and nod attitude once again, but, rather, let's take time to consider these needs in our society before it is too late.
Considering the Sanctity of Human Life, we see that our culture is already comfortably numb (sorry for the Pink Floyd reference) to the reality of murder that is socially and legally acceptable in our society. I've been amazed by the many times that I travel among other cultures and religions who are known to murder people of other faiths and for other reasons on a regular basis, but they would NEVER consider aborting (killing) a child. Our society has even seen video evidence of wrong doing and turned a blind eye of injustice once again when the evidence is as clear as crystal. (http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2016/01/25/planned-parenthood-videos-grand-jury-indictment/79318450/)
What can we do to avoid the wink and nod when it comes to the sanctity of human life?
1. Reach out to crisis pregnancy situations. You may not like the circumstances. You may not agree with the morality/biblical view of the situation. Yet, we remain a people who present the better way of Christ who said to the woman caught in adultery, "Go and sin no more." (John 8:11)
2. Get involved in ministries that help people in need to know the love, grace, and mercy of Christ. Whether it is the direct ministry of crisis pregnancy centers, homeless shelters, or other mercy ministries, we can make a difference in the life of someone in need (and, in turn, their unborn child). (Matthew 28:18-20)
And then we have not even touched the issue of race relations and the removal of racism and segregation. Sunday remains the most segregated days of the week in many respects, but that is changing. The church needed to be leading the way in that respect, but instead we are woefully behind when it comes to bridging this gap. We cannot continue to give this a wink and a nod as we reach people. We need to let them know that they are welcome to worship with us and our churches should reflect a microcosm of what we will experience in Heaven. It will not be segregated as every tribe, tongue, and nation worships the Lamb of God together.
What can we do to avoid the wink and nod of racism?
1. Start with an evaluation of yourself and your family. Do you know and/or spend time with people of other races? If not, why not? Have you invited people of other races to your church? (James 1:23)
2. What needs to change about our churches if people of other races are not attending? The time of excuses has passed and it is time to tear down these walls. We need to have conversations with others races as well as other religions in order for them to know that our God loves them. (Revelation 5:9)
We are ending a season of extreme snow, aka blizzard conditions, that have hindered many people in the living of their daily activities. While many of us were rendered helpless against such mass quantities of snow, there were those who chose to make a difference. Whether it was hooking up a snow plow to a four-wheeler, using a snow blower, or just shoveling a bit and throwing out some salt...they did something. It may not have eradicated every snowflake, but it contributed to the process of returning to the needs of life such as work and school. How will you contribute today? Don't just wait for it to melt or hope for a random plow to come to the rescue. Make a difference today!