When Jesus left this earth, He left many things for His new found followers to ponder. Through His Great Commission, He instructed us to make disciples. Through His teachings, He taught us how to live our lives until either He returns or He calls us home. The greatest lesson, however, was included in His Great Commandment.
First, “love the Lord with all you heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. Second, love your neighbor as yourself. (Matt. 22:37-40) Therein lies the real opportunity for Christians, especially the church, with its spirtual and financial resources, to show our love and compassion in a world that believes only in “me and mine.” This is the opportunity for churches to contribute to their communities–communities beyond their three (3) mile radius of ther church.
As a nation, we are facing enormous financial and social challenges. All “indicators of life” are operating at “record” levels—the highest unemployment, the greatest number of homeless and the largest increase in crime (which includes the cost of food and gas), just to name a few. But where is the care and concern for the needy, the weak, and the unprotected. The proverbial “crack” people fall into is already full of the first casualities of our fragmented and fractured society. I’m not surprised by the “society”–it’s a fallen, sin-sick place doing what it does best–endulging itself. BUT WHAT ABOUT THE CHURCH, ITS MINISTRIES AND OUTREACH PROGRAMS? Jesus told the “masses” (similar to today’s church congregations of believers, seekers, and ‘others’)
- Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. (Matt. 5:13)
- Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. (Matt. 5:14-16)
So what’s the problem with the “salt and the light”? What do you think about the findings in the Barna study? I really want to hear from you “good church folk!”