I posted a mini-blog on my Facebook page that read, “This morning as I sat in our church all alone on my first official day as pastor (because we cancelled service due to hazardous weather conditions), I thought of an old Beatles lyric that states “Father McKenzie, writing the words of a sermon that no one will hear…”
As I reflected, I actually concluded that that’s not true in my case.
My sermon was written to glorify God so certainly He heard it as I researched, wrote and rehearsed, and perhaps I needed to hear its message “When We Hate to Love.” I will also deliver it in a couple of weeks to a much less sparse sanctuary, Lord willing. Yeah. Lord willing.” My post was flooded with ‘Likes,’ from about as diverse a group of people as you can imagine. From pastors and Baptist association executives to a young adult, who was recently released from jail and working diligently to turn his life around. Ironically, I thought “These are all my friends.” Not just on a surface level as seems to be the case with many Facebook enthusiasts who are determined to see how many friends that can accumulate via social media.
These are actually people that I know personally, have had meaningful conversations with, been mentored by, shared coffee or a meal with, prayed with and for, and in a few cases shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ with. As I begin my tenure as your interim pastor, it occurs to me that I need more friends. Not Facebook friends mind you, but more meaningful conversations with all of you, perhaps a cup of coffee or meal, definitely an opportunity to pray with and for you, and in a few cases share what Jesus Christ has done in my life and what He is doing in yours.
As a church family, ‘we’ also need more friends. When one of my daughters was younger, her favorite Bible verse was, A friend loves at all times (Proverbs 17:17a NIV) As I look around our community, I see a great deal of needs. It has been my privilege to minister with many of you to several of these families and folks. Our church has provided food and financial support, counseling resources, medical care and even shelter in the case of our CARITAS partnership. In the 25th chapter of Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus admonishes His followers to minister to others as though we are ministering to Him, and in many cases, we have done just that.
There is a greater need however. All of these folks need The Bread of Life more than food and Living Water more than ice tea and lemonade. If we are truly called (and we are) to be the friend’s of Jesus by befriending the lost and bringing them to the foot of the Cross we need to seek out “all the lonely people.” We need to pray that the Holy Spirit will guide us to those who will stand alone without Jesus on the Day of Judgment, and be the greatest friend they will ever have, by boldly sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ and what He has done in our lives.
Won’t you join me…friend.
In Christ alone,
Pastor Win Davis