What Really Matters
“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” - Micah 6:8
What really matters?
Over the past twenty centuries, followers of Jesus have had many, many, many conversations about the essentials of the Christian faith - about our theology and practice. On Sunday, we welcomed in new leaders, elders and deacons, who agreed to follow in their footsteps, being guided by the confessions (statements from historical Christian communities that tried to explain the Christian faith as they understood it) and scriptures and Holy Spirit.
I’m excited for them stepping in to these positions of service and leadership and I’m grateful for the twenty centuries of faithful women and men who preceded them, who have helped pave a way for us to be faithful today.
But I also want to throw up a caution flag. Because as much as the conversations about faith and practice over this time have been helpful, they’ve also presented some real challenges for us today. In many ways, they’ve obscured God’s directives, which are pretty clear if we look through the whole of scripture.
Simply put, we cannot be reconciled to God through personal and private practices while ignoring our brother and sister. We can have all of the right doctrines and worship practices and still miss the point - which is to love others. If our religion is not working itself out in love of others, it’s not right - no matter how much else we may have figured out.
That was part of the point that Jesus was making when he disrupted the temple worship. It’s what the prophets said over and over again. It’s what John wrote in his letter to the church.
I’m all up for a healthy conversation about what should and shouldn’t be included in our worship services, what is and is not an appropriate theological position and even what may or may not be God at work in the world around us - but if they don’t propel us to love the people around us - sister, brother, neighbor and “enemy” then we have completely missed the mark.
As Peter instructed the church in his first letter, “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8)
I’m certain that when we finally face Jesus in glory that we’re going to discover that many of our firmly held convictions, the theological ideas and worship practices that we were so convinced of, were missing the mark. I think we’ll all have a good laugh about it. And I’m equally certain that every act of love, even the simplest and seemingly least effective act we participated in, will be revealed as a bullseye!
Welcoming You to Grow in Jesus, one act of love at a time,