Too much is at stake to forget.

We are shaken by mourning as we hurt for those suffering due to the horrific events in Aurora Colorado on July 20. Yet even in our mourning the political and social debates have already begun to light up the air waves. And I am reminded of a most sobering reality.

No government, regardless of how strong or well-meaning can thoroughly legislate morality. To be sure, it can create laws that limit behaviors destructive to society (“You shall not steal”). But as a Christ-follower I am led to believe that what will bring lasting and systemic change is Jesus (“You shall have no other gods before Me”). And I do not mean in some ambiguous immeasurable way. I mean by how He lived–bringing peace through a life of sacrificial love that paves the way toward a humanity invited to live for a cause greater than self. His life gives breadth and depth to both how and why He died and was risen. It is His life, death, resurrection and ascension as Lord that makes possible eternal realities in our present world; God’s love, righteousness and peace, indeed God Himself, accessible to all of humanity in tangible ways. It makes these eternal realities present because it is a life that follows Jesus as Lord out of hatred into sacrificial love; out of violence into peace; out of judgment into mercy; out of darkness into light. Jesus as Lord and Creator shows us what kind of life really works when God is King.

The events of July 20 remind us that there is too much godless, dehumanizing, hatred and injustice in the world filled with lost hearts for Christ-followers to lose this focus. Too much is at stake to be tangled up (key point) in various debates (even the worthwhile ones). If Jesus truly is King of kings and the only hope for the world, we must live like it as everyday people in every day places in every day ways. As Christ-followers our lives must be the proof of our theology. Not just our words or persuasive arguments. For what cannot be up for debate is that “faith without works is dead” and the world will know us by our love. (James 2:14-26; John 13:35).

So we must go. Go into the public square, the city streets, the cubicle next to yours, your neighbor’s house, your child’s bedroom, and tell the story of the One who brought peace through sacrificial love, and not through violence. Offer them Jesus the Son of God and Son of Man, not just a plan. If Christ-followers want lasting change in this present world, then we must tell His story because only it can shine a light on where true hope, restoration, redemption and salvation is found.

May His Kingdom come and His will be done on earth, as it is in Heaven. And may God’s comfort be known in the hearts of those suffering due to the brokenness and depravity of this rebellious world.

About Fred

Fred came to serve greater Williamsburg and WCC as lead pastor in October of 2010 and is grateful to be a part of the family. He is a husband, father, certified trauma professional, S.T.A.R. (strategies for trauma awareness & resilience) practitioner, community organizer, TEDx alum, founder of 3e Restoration, Inc. and co-owner of Philoxenia Culture LLC. He received his B.S. in Ministry/Bible at Amridge University and his Master’s of Religious Education in Missional Leadership from Rochester University. Currently he is a candidate for a Doctorate of Ministry in Contextual Theology in at Northern Seminary in Chicago. Fred has also served as an adjunct professor for Rochester University and Regent University where taught courses in philosophy, ethics, leadership, pastoral care, intro to Christianity, and ethnography. He has also served as a guest lecturer on the subjects of racialized cultural systems, poverty, and missiology at various universities, such as William & Mary and Oklahoma Christian University. Fred has authored on book (Racialized Cultural Systems, Social Displacement and Christian Hospitality) and several curriculum offerings, including The FloorPlan: Living Toward Restoration & Resilience. Fred enjoys hanging out with his family anytime, anywhere. He is deeply grateful for how God graciously works through the Church in all her various forms, despite our brokenness. He is passionate about seeing the last, least, and lonely of every neighborhood, city and nation experience God’s in-breaking kingdom, and come to know Jesus as King. Oh, and his favorite season is Advent and Christmas. Fred is a founding member of the board of directors for Virginia Racial Healing Institute, a member of the leadership team for Williamsburg's local chapter of Coming to the Table, and a member of Greater Williamsburg Trauma-Informed Community Network's Racial Trauma Committee and Training Committee.
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1 Response to Too much is at stake to forget.

  1. Donnie Holliday says:

    It did not take long for Facebook to explode with political debates after news of the tragedy in Aurora. Lost in the midst of the rants was one simple fact: 12 people died. Twelve families are mourning the loss of a loved one, and lest we forget, one family is mourning the fact that their family member took those 12 lives. As the news has been filled over the last few days with more information about this man, people are already speculating regarding his behavior in court. I’ve heard notions that he was obviously medicated in court, that he had no remorse for what he had done, or that he was making himself look bad on purpose. Here’s something that’s not speculation: just like every other human being on the planet, this man needs Jesus.
    That’s what it comes down to. People need Jesus. We must indeed go, and as the Samaritan woman did, we must invite people to come and see Jesus.
    Interesting that this event happened in a town called Aurora which is also a display of amazing light in the midst of darkness. May that name ring true during this tragedy.

    Like

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