loren Eric Swanson: Everyone has a story of what they did

Monday, September 05, 2005

Everyone has a story of what they did

Yesterday I went to Faith Lutheran Church in Golden. Faith Lutheran is an externally focused church that is part of a Leadership Community that I am part of. After beautiful worship songs, Pastor Peter Morin and Director of Equipping Ministries Director, John Akers sat on a couple of stools and said they were scrapping the sermon to hear from the congregation...how they were processsing all that has happened on the Gulf Coast this past week. It was pastoral ministry at its best. Peter and John just asked told us that if we listen, God would show us what we need to do in response to Katrina. One high school student, from a Christian High School questioned the vanity and superfluity of selling coupon books to raise $20,000 for an after prom party in view of the needs of the world. Peter then asked this 17-year-old if he was going to talk to school officials. He was planning on it. Person after person processed what they sensed God was asking them to do. One college student from Mines posed the question she was asked..."How could God allow....?" You know the rest. I think in this age there may be an answer.

During times of disaster perhaps there is a healthy sense of agnosticsm that we need to possess coupled with a dogged certainty. "You know, I could give you some theories that philosophers and theologians have given to the question, 'Why would a loving God permit such tragedy?' but they are no more emotionally satisfying for me than they are for you. To be quite honest, I really don't know. BUT...what I do know with crystal-clear certainty is how Jesus would respond because there are four books of the Bible written about how Jesus did respond to pain, loss and hurt...and that's what I, my family and my church are trying to do."

As leaders we need to help everyone in our bailiwick give an answer to the question, "What did you do (as a Christ-follower) in response to Katrina?" It may be financial contributions; it may be going and helping; it may be opening up our homes to the disposessed; it may be collecting contributions from our neighbors. But everybody can do something as an expression of knowing Jesus.

Here's something to think about and act upon...
  • Every Christ-follower has a story
  • Every family has a story
  • Every church has a story.

When times are the worst it is time for God's people to be at their best. Everyone should have a story. What's yours?


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