Greetings Holy, Healthy and Happy People of God,
As I write this eNote to our faithful and devoted community of radical followers of Jesus Christ, I am thinking about who/what should be at the center of life. Contrary to what news, views and perspectives we hear or have heard about the demise of America, the violence that surrounds us, and the division within our own beloved denomination, we must hold true to our center, Jesus Christ. A recent article from James Howell, and posted on Ministry Matters, sparked some reflections for me.
Everything we say and do is grounded in our understanding of what/who is at the center of our lives in that moment. For many people, even Christians, we have a variety of centers and they are moving pieces based on the subject matter before us. Sometimes my wife, children, friends, and the church take the place of Jesus Christ as my center. So when we get disgusted about the matters in society, we respond, not from the center of Christ, but from the center of our personal view. At the cross we were invited to turn in our lives in exchange for a life filled with the love and grace of Jesus. For example, the discussions around fear, politics, bigotry, homophobia, race, class, police brutality, etc. are never going to be our center, but we can and do replace our center with them. Remember Christ lived, died and was resurrected so that we can respond with the power of love and justice. Love is never devoid of justice and justice is never absent of love! The missionary Paul reminds us about what having Jesus Christ as the center means,
“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39
Whenever Jesus Christ is displaced, our thoughts, conversations and actions are displaced. When Jesus Christ is our center, we NEVER default to judgment of others, killing, persecution, fear, and frustration. Knowing when Christ is at the center of the hearts of people is simple, we respond out of the fruit of the Spirit,
“By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things.” Galatians 5:22-23
I pray that we as followers of The WAY, we never lose sight of our center, Jesus Christ, but if we do, that we humble ourselves before God and one another and seek the mercy of a forgiving and loving Savior!
Hear the W.O.W., the Words of Wisdom: “Check your Center!”
As always, remember, God’s will for us is good, we must do the rest!