I want you to know that I love you.
No, I don’t love the walls, the pews, or the big projector screens.
I love you... the church.
I love each of your stories.
I love hearing how God has redeemed your life from addiction or made you whole despite a broken home.
I love hearing how God saved you at a young age and you never wavered in your faith.
I love you, Church.
I love that despite our differences, we all come together and operate as His body.
I love how we join as one and claim Him as our savior, our Lord, our Hope,
I love how simply reading that Word, we all felt the sovereignty of that name. It is the very name of the body to which we represent. We are His hands and we are His feet.
I love you for that.
I love you for helping me be who He created me to be and for pushing me to walk in it.
I love you for allowing me to admit when I’m weak and for helping me to maneuver through that weakness.
I love every face that represents the whole of who we are.
I’m proud of you.
I’m proud of us.
I also know that we are fighters. The one we live for is the same person who fought death and the grave and was victorious. We all carry that victorious bloodline through adoption and I know that when we fight, it doesn’t take place between flesh and blood. I know when we see an area of weakness within our body, we come together and do what we can to do better. Yes, the world may say we are divisive, but at the heart of who we are, we carry the love of the Father and we truly want to demonstrate that. So although I may only be the index finger on His right hand or the middle toe on His left foot, please hear me when I say that I see a weakness within our body. Please hear me when I say that I speak this in love because I want us to function to the best of our abilities as a whole. I want to say:
Do you remember what He told us?
He told us to go.
He told us to carry His Truth to all of creation.
He told us that although the world may hate us, it hated Him first.
He prayed for us.
He demonstrated for us.
He lived for us.
He died for us.
He showed us who to be so when we were given the privilege to represent Him, we would know what that looks like.
So as part of the body, I need you to stand. I need you to not fear, but to spread the Truth with His love and His firm backbone. I need you to find yourself down on one knee and extending a hand to the loss while teaching them the concept of sinning no more through discipleship. I need us to look at the teenager struggling with his or her identity and not be afraid to have the hard conversations. I need us to be the bridge that Christ has called us to be and reach out to the LGBT community. We need to show them that there is grace within the tension and freedom in the midst of chaos. I need us to not grow weary if there is push back because we have to remember that as a bridge, there will be times we get walked over. Jesus was walked over with hate and accusations to the point of death, but He never swayed on carrying His message.
We need to put a face to our efforts for those who don’t know Him and not only share our truth behind a keyboard. People shouldn’t know our fruit by our statuses, but by how we live. We were made to walk with these feet and demonstrate love and the miraculous with these hands. Let us show that! We are more than shared articles of our beliefs. We are action in motion.
Help me to not be one of a small handful reaching a community that needs His love more than ever before. Help me to stand boldly even when the world is trying to pierce our side. Help me teach other members of our body what it looks like to demonstrate authentic love to those who feel as though they encompass every faucet of it. Help me to show other members of our body that lashing out in the face of opposition will never produce the fruit that loving these individuals will. Help me to not be afraid of standing for Truth even in the moments where standing for His Truth could have consequence. Remind me that I’m not alone, but that He is with me, that you are with me, and that we are all in this together to accomplish His great commission.
Help me, so together we can help those who need Him. Please, don’t be fearful to have the hard conversations. Don’t be fearful to preach the hard sermons. Please, don’t be fearful to preach His whole truth. Don’t be fearful to the point that it changes your convictions. We must stand and hold firm. We must love, but stay true.
I love you, Church. I love you because when I see you, I see Him, and He is worth more than what this world could ever offer.
Remember that. With all my love, - C P.S: John 17:20-23