This week we are going to continue on thinking about what it means to witness to Christ under pressure. More specifically, we want to talk about what it means when people in our congregation take faithful stands on different things.
Are we fine with everyone taking their own path? You think the environment is so important, so you are very careful about your fossil fuel footprint. Another person doesn’t bother with that, but they think that supporting the education of orphans is good, so they focus on MCC. Yet another person is very consumed with supporting the spreading of the gospel to people who have never heard it before. They support the Bible Society and Gideons. Each of these people lives out their faithfulness in their own way; it’s likely that we can all do this cordially in the same congregation.
But what about places where our witness is more controversial. You won’t pay your war taxes, and you want other people in the church to sign on to do this too. Or another person feels called by God to save the unborn babies killed every year through abortion, and they would like our church to have a service devoted to this.
We walk carefully in the community of faith, understanding that God lays different things on our hearts. At times the community joins together in solidarity. We put certain things in our budget, for example, or we work together to sponsor a refugee family. Other faithful endeavors are undertaken in a more private way.
These sorts of issues have led to deep divisions and anger in the history of the church. Hopefully today, our guiding rule is the love of Jesus. We want our community to be made up of love. Love before us, love behind us, love beneath us, love above us, love within us. Love will find a way, even through disagreement.
This weeks’ prayer: God grant me the serenity to be faithful in the things you call me to do, the peace to believe that other people have different callings, and the wisdom to know how to negotiate our differences.