Two weeks ago, I got a call from a good friend of mine who told me that he had just invited out someone to Christ Church. Nothing too out of the ordinary right? Well, this friend happens to be an atheist who hates the idea of God. The person he invited out to our church was a Muslim who had never met a Christian before. My question was; what in the world is an atheist doing inviting a Muslim to a Christian church? His reply was that this Muslim was a good friend of his who was going through a really hard time and he didn’t know how to bring encouragement or help. He said that while he disagrees with what we believe, he can’t deny the love that he feels when he visits and he wanted his friend to be able to experience that. After picking my jaw up off the floor, I told him that I’d love to meet this person.
One of the things that fascinates me as I read the gospels is how Jesus is uncompromising about truth and yet unrelenting with his love. He calls out sin for what it is and he is very clear about who He is and that salvation is only found in him. Yet, while this truth is clear, his love is also clear. And so even though sinners were being called out, they still wanted to spend time with him.
Christ Church, by God’s grace, this is the reputation that we have. People hear truth when they come, but they experience love. And so the truth doesn’t drive away, but actually draws them in. My prayer is that this is what people would always experience from us. Even if they don’t believe like we do, I pray that they would feel loved and valued. I hope that we have a lot more atheist and Muslims come out to our church, so that by God’s grace these friends can become family through responding in faith to the gospel of Jesus.
Grace and peace,
You can connect with me:
On twitter: @Pastor_Jeff
On Facebook: Jeff Boettcher