Thursday, February 3, 2011

#7 & 8 – We Give the World a Truer Picture of the Church
and We Give the World a True Picture of our Lord

It won’t surprise you to hear that
today’s media typically colors the Church in harsh, dark colors.

We’re often painted as judgemental,

But when churches welcome people with special needs
(and a myriad of other challenges),
people realize that the media’s stereotype is a false one.

When they watch us
accept children, teens, and adults,
regardless of the challenges they face,
and regardless of the challenges they bring to us,
they see what the Church truly is –
a welcoming place.

They see that the Church is an all-encompassing,
differences-can’t-separate-us kind of place.

When individuals’ lives are touched,
and they see people’s lives changed
because people in the Church have cared,
all the negative stereotypes in the world
can’t refute their experience.

More important,
when we welcome people who have challenges
(which means all of us),
we show the world what our Lord Jesus,
Whom we believe in and love,
is really like.

We show everyone that Jesus
is still the gracious Teacher, Healer and Friend
in the New Testament Bible stories.

We show them
that He is truly accepting,
and forgiving.

We show the whole world that Jesus
really does welcome everyone into His Family,
that He does have a special place in His heart for those who are weak,
living on the fringes.

And we show them that He’s real.

We don’t have to shout from the rooftops.
We don’t have to rent flashing billboards.
We just have to do what Jesus told us to do.

We need to take care of those who are sometimes considered unimportant,
but whom the Bible calls “indispensable”.
(2 Corinthians 12: 22,23)

We need to widen the door,
save a seat,
set a place at the table,
and reach out a hand in friendship.

It’s not always easy,
but it is that simple.
-- Reenie

Next up -- "Filling Up With Joy"

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