This weekend we are going to take some time and celebrate this church, and what it’s been able to do over the last sixty years. I’ve been around for a little over a year now, but I’ve gotten to see some of the great things that have been done through this congregation. There is much more to be done, however, and it is going to take all of us to do it. We get the privilege of working in the Kingdom of God. He allows us the opportunity to be a part of His church. But with that privilege comes some great responsibility. There is only one way that we are going to be able to live up to that responsibility…and that is together.
In other words, we have to be united under one common goal. We have to be committed to helping move people, and by people that includes all of us here, toward Jesus. I’ve been talking about unity a lot recently, but in some very small ways. It’s time that I just come out and say that first and foremost, we have to become united under Christ. We call this a faith family, and that’s because that’s really what we are supposed to be. And like all families, we have our times of disagreement. Even during those times of disagreement, however, we have to realize that we have the most important things in common. We may have different preferences, but we should all have one goal. Serving God. Above all else, that is what this congregation has to be about.
There is a growing trend in the Church (worldwide) it seems like. And that trend is for people to look at everything like they have to get their way. People in general get offended way too often anymore. Part of this is caused by the consumerism that is running rampant throughout our American culture. And it leads to one of the greatest dangers I see to the work of the Church. We care more about individualism and what we can get out of everything we do instead of trying to work in unity to advance the Kingdom of God. That’s why through the month of December we are going to take a good, long, hard look at the difference between consumerism and being a servant. And that’s going to come straight out of the Biblical account of the Christmas story. If you want a head start on what we are going to be looking at, I challenge you to read Luke 2:14. That verse contains the jest of all three of our Christmas sermons this year. Read it. Memorize it. Meditate on it. More importantly, join us each of the next three Sundays as we talk about how Christmas is not about us, it’s about a servant at heart.
It’s no secret that this faith family has taken a few hits recently. There has been some disunity. There have been some disagreements. There has been hurt after hurt. I don’t want to dwell on that. What I want to encourage each and every one of us to do is to forget about what wrongs we have felt, and come together in unity under our mission. That mission, again, is to Move People Toward Jesus. The only way we are going to be able to accomplish that is together. If you feel that something or someone has wronged you, don’t let it fester. Go to them and discuss it. Work it out. And above all, let’s learn the lessons from the last few chapters of The Story. Following God is what we need to be doing. And we can’t do that divided. Division leads to chaos and destruction. Jesus even told us that himself. He said, in Luke 11:17, “‘Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall.’”
If we want to be able to have another sixty years of trying to reach this community for Christ, then we have to be united. We cannot fight and pull in so many different directions, only caring about our own preferences, and expect to accomplish our mission. I want nothing less than to see Central CC be a beacon of hope in this community. I really think we can be that, or I wouldn’t be here. But the only way that we are going to be able to be that beacon of hope is if we do it united under God. Forget our own personal preferences, and be willing to be servants. After all, Christmas (and our mission) isn’t about us. It’s about a loving God that sent His son to become the perfect sacrifice and bring us back to Him.
Because of Him, Kraig B