It seems there is so much going on in our world right now. We’ve seen unimaginably violent acts. We’ve heard expressions of extreme hatred. There’s a sense that things are fragmenting and breaking apart. It’s hard to know how we should respond as followers of Jesus. In times like these, we become more aware of our need to place our trust in God. What’s difficult is that we are also called to respond to others out of this deep trust rather than what our natural response might be.
The Scripture we look at in the sermon yesterday reminded us that we all have a need for Christ because of our sin (Ephesians 2:3). Next week during the worship service we’ll hear the strong claim that Christ is our peace, and that he has torn down the wall of hostility and hatred that divides us from one another (Ephesians 2:14). I encouraged those present at worship yesterday to read the Scriptures on peace in order to prepare for the sermon next week. I have the feeling it will be an important one for us as a church body. This week, let us actively pursue peace.
One other quick, but very important note. With all that is going on in our own country, I think it is important that we don’t miss what is happening in Russia just now. Christians there are facing new legislation that makes it more difficult for them to share their faith. You can read about this in an article by Christianity Today by clicking here. Essentially the legislation would only allow Christians to share their faith in recognized church buildings.
Obviously we need to be in fervent prayer for our brothers and sisters in Russia as they deal with these constraints and also work to continue to enjoy greater freedom. Given what I said in the sermon yesterday about our need to share our faith, it also left me with two questions I’m asking myself today. If I were to lose my freedom to share my faith with others, would it make a difference? Am I currently and regularly doing anything that I would be convicted for under Russia’s new law? If my answer is “no,” then my second question is: then what is the freedom we enjoy really worth? Are we making full use of the freedom we enjoy that is being taken away from our brothers and sisters in Christ in Russia? This is certainly making me think.
I love you all. Continue to be faithful in your prayers.