Gleanings… March 2020
Why? Though it has been several years, I can still hear that question coming from my son. It was his response to any and everything I said during his early years. Nothing was too powerful or too lame to be challenged with this one-word question. In some ways, I suppose it was good for me to have to struggle with justifications or expansions on what I had just said, but after a while, it would wear me down to where I could only respond with “Because.” Interestingly, that question has a lot to teach us about the struggles that the church (any church) is going through.
Think about it for a moment. When was the last time you thought about why you do certain things with your time? Everyone has the same amount of time; it is just that we choose to use it in different ways. This is particularly true when it comes to deciding how to serve God and work to further the Gospel in our daily lives. Many of us have long practices of attending worship, reading the Bible, praying, sharing out of our gifts, volunteering, and living as we believe a disciple should live. But if you had to explain or justify your words, thoughts, and actions, what would you say?
Suppose you invited someone (a non-Christian) to attend worship with you one Sunday. What would you say that would convince that person to go with you? Now, expand upon that event to include any activity that has a religious connection. Who, what, when, where, and how are easily answered, but “why” does not so readily spring from our lips. All of you have chosen to attend this church. When you can answer why you worship here and not somewhere else, you have the beginnings of an answer to the questions of others.
In this way, the question “Why?” is a blessing to us. Only by looking intently at why we do the things we do are we able to offer another person the help we have received, the healing we have known, and the hope that sustains us through every trial. These are the gifts of God to creation. Nowhere has it been written, and no one has ever said that we would be able to do everything and know everything so as to avoid hard times in our lives. Instead, the message is that if we will look to the creator, the redeemer, and the sustainer, we will have all we need. Why? Because God loves you. And that is something I believe the world
wants to hear. See you Sunday.
Grace and peace,
Pastor Braxton ><>