Summary: A sermon about the REAL JESUS.
"This Whole Scripture is Scandalous"
On Thursday at about one O'clock in the afternoon a counselor along with two social workers from the East Ridge School system came to see me at the church.
They looked really nervous and worried.
They came to us because they knew that you all have been working with the children living at the Superior Creek Lodge.
They knew that this church was actively involved in ministry with some of the precious children that they care for and they were concerned about.
The night before half of the Lodge had been condemned and folks were immediately, and without warning forced out of the homes they had lived in, in many cases for years.
And these representatives from the schools were worried.
They were scared to death.
You could see it on their faces.
They cared a whole awful lot.
They didn't know what had happened to a number of the children from the Superior Creek Lodge who had not shown up for school that day.
They were worried that they might have been forced to sleep in cars the night before...or in the woods...
They didn't know if they would ever see these precious children again.
So the four of us were talking, worrying, and trying to figure out what to do.
We agreed that these kids needed to be in school.
But how could we keep them in school while their homes were being yanked out from under their feet?
What would become of their already extremely precarious lives.
We had all come to love and adore these rascals.
Just then, Marcy Hall, who perhaps loves them most of all--texted me: All the text said was "They shut down hotel."
I immediately told the ladies.
We were in shock.
What in the world would happen to the kids now?
Immediately, I knew what we had to do...
...we had to open up our church to help house these families with children.
Now, knowing that you must do something and going ahead and doing it are two completely different things.
So, I bit my lip and thought for just a second.
I knew I didn't really have the authority, by myself to say we were turning the church into a temporary shelter.
But then I thought about you all.
"Would you support this decision? Or would I be in BIG trouble?"
Well, I've been bragging on you all week to my colleagues in the ministry about this.
I knew you would support the decision.
I have been working beside you all for over six years.
I have seen you in action.
I have seen your hearts.
I have watched you love on your community.
I have known your humble and non-judgmental attitudes.
We have served the poorest of the poor together.
You have welcomed everyone who has come through these doors--dirty, clean, black, white, poor, middle class, mentally ill, physically disabled--you name it.
Not only have you welcomed these folks; you go way out of your way to try and get them to come and be part of this community of faith.
Everyone is accepted and loved here.
All these things went through my mind in a split second.
Then I turned to the representatives from the schools and said, "We will turn this church into a shelter for the families and children who are losing their homes at the Superior Creek Lodge."
I'd never seen teachers in "professional-work-mode" jump up and down and praise the Lord--but I saw it then.
I saw it on Thursday, September 10, 2015 at 1:31 in the afternoon.
And you folks have exceeded all expectations.
"Who do you say that I am?"
"What does it mean to be a follower of Jesus?"
People have been debating these questions for 2,000 years...
...and the debate continues today on the news...
...in the political arena...
"Who is Jesus?"
"What does it mean to follow Him?"
"What is Christianity really about?"
I was riding in the back of a Funeral Home Limo one day on my way to do a graveside memorial.
In the backseat with me was a fine fellow who was talking a mile a minute saying: "The Bible says this and Jesus said that."
If you hadn't known better, you'd of thought he was an expert.
Finally, in good conscience I felt I needed to say something:
"No offense, but nowhere in the Bible does it say that and nowhere in the Bible does Jesus say that."
Apparently, the guy from the Funeral Home, who was up front driving the limo, got a real kick out of that.
He reminds me of that ride every time I see him.
Billions of people claim to believe in the Bible as God's Word.