This is the Good News Too!
Luke 4:18 (NIV84)
18“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed,
On June 17, 2021, President Joseph R. Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act into law, making Juneteenth a federal holiday. This law recognizes the nation’s history of slavery which set in motion a succession of gap widening disparities including, but not limited to wealth, health, education, life expectancy, and political power. History lessons have long downplayed the effects of slavery and the damage left in its wake. This suppression is not only valid for the secular community but the sacred community as well.
In both the North and the South, Black people were not considered eligible for salvation through Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, many believers have a “salvation and church membership” eligibility criteria when sharing their faith with others. Current models of evangelism have little interest in the plight of people. They often begin their evangelistic effort with an attempt to match the sins on the pages of scripture with the experience of another human being.
In Jesus’ effort to redeem and liberate, God’s Grace is always superior to the human condition, especially since the human condition is a level playing field. i.e., all are equally sinful and in need of grace.
As Pride Month comes to an end, perhaps there is liberation work to do. On June 21, 2021, Carl Nassib became the first active NFL player to publicly declare that he is gay. Kudos and congratulations to him. The entire church should celebrate because (1) the social conditions finally permit him to live openly with no foreseen threat to his person or livelihood and (2) because he is presumably honest.
We can never effectively share the love of grace of God with a person who cannot be open about who they are. The responsibility of the witness is not to reveal the sin but to reveal the Savior. The Savior has already addressed the sin. This is the Good News Too!
Our faith calls us to recognize, repent and repair damage to others. In our work as The Fountain Church, let’s do more than feed the hungry. Let’s feed the person. Let’s be interested in people. Let’s earn their trust so that we might hear their stories; stories that will cause us to laugh and others that will cause us to weep. A story told to a trusted friend is liberating, and I think liberating is what Jesus is trying to do.
Pastor Wayne Lomax
Happy Pride Month