Summary: This series is designed to change the way the Church perceives and influences this broken world.
God of All Game Changers
VIDEO: TERRY FOX
Fox was a distance runner and basketball player for his high school and Simon Fraser University in British Columbia. His right leg was amputated in 1977 after he was diagnosed with bone cancer, though he continued to run using an artificial leg
In 1980, with one leg having been amputated, he embarked on a cross-Canada run to raise money and awareness for cancer research. He was forced to end his run outside of Thunder Bay when the cancer spread to his lungs. He ran 143 days and 3,339 mi. His hopes of overcoming the disease and completing his marathon ended when he died nine months later. Though the run ultimately cost him his life, his efforts resulted in a lasting, worldwide legacy.
Fox originally hoped to raise one dollar for each of Canada's 24 million people. The annual Terry Fox Run, first held in 1981, has grown to involve millions of participants in over 60 countries and is now the world's largest one-day fundraiser for cancer research; close to $500 million has been raised in his name.
I wish someone would have asked Terry Fox somewhere along the way, would you do this all over again? If you had a choice about the cancer and the leg, would you give it up for 500 million dollars worth of life saving research?
There’s something about seeing the results first that makes the journey worthwhile isn’t there?
In case you haven’t picked it up, we are in a series we’ve named Game Changers. It’s a reference to the type of event in the sports world that creates enough of a chain reaction that the whole trajectory of the event is altered.
This isn’t a series about sports though. It’s really about dealing with poverty and injustice in 2011 like we never have before in the history of this church. It’s about time. Did you know that there are almost 2000 verses in the Bible that deal with poverty and injustice?
If you want to know where an individual’s priorities lie, look at their calendar. In the same way, if you want to know where a church’s priorities lie, look at its bulletin. Look at the sermon topics. Look at the activities planned. Look at the amount given.
What if 96% of the American church actually decided they would stop robbing God and tithed? (only 4% do so nationally) It would literally change the world.
• It is estimated that it would take about 65 billion per year to lift the 1 billion people who live on less than $1 a day out of extreme poverty. That’s less than 5% of what the world spends on the military.
• Let’s be honest. We have been far more apt in this congregation to focus on honoring the military in our worship than honoring the poor. I’m not saying honoring the military is bad, it’s just not what Jesus emphasized.
When’s the last time you’ve heard a sermon series on poverty and injustice here? It’s been too long.
We need a game change. “We have shrunk Jesus to the size where He can save our soul but now don’t believe He can change the world.” The game has changed. We want to see Jesus change the world some in 2011.
It’s what Jesus set out to do in the first place. Jesus’ mission was described like this in…
Luke 4:16 He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” 20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. 21 He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
It’s interesting that he used that specific phrase from Isaiah “the year of the Lord’s favor”. That’s a very specific event in the Old Testament that Jesus is referring to. It was also known as the year of jubilee.
We read about it in
Leviticus 25:10 Consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you; each of you is to return to your family property and to your own clan.