Little Ones to Him Belong

Most of us who grew up in the church are familiar with the childhood classic of Jesus Loves Me.

Jesus loves me this I know

For the Bible tells me so

Little ones to him belong

They are weak but he is strong

This song reminds me of the story of the children who were turned away from Jesus by his disciples. They said that the Christ was too busy to be bothered by these children. But Jesus quickly dismissed the disciples in their folly and scooped the children up in his arms. He blessed them. He told them the great things that were ahead of them. He loved them.

It was less than 24 hours ago when I realized that the little ones this song refers to are not always little children. Little ones can be anyone that we would naturally dismiss saying we don’t have time for them or their circumstances.

There’s a core statement of our church that I hear often: We are most like Jesus when we serve.

This week I’ve had the opportunity to find out what it means to really live this out. To see what I’m made of. To take a really honest look at my heart, my motivations, and the depths of my sincerity as a Christ follower.

Let me tell you. This has not been easy. Serving like Jesus requires great sacrifice. In my case: lack of sleep, an incredible stretch to my comfort zone, expenses. Lots of tears, anxiety, stress and unknowns.

For me, it meant I didn’t get the meals I wanted on the table this week. It meant calling on the help of other friends. It meant lots of rearranging of plans. It meant placing my own children in uncomfortable environments. It meant not liking the thoughts that went through my mind while making this sacrifice.

Reaching out to the little ones in our lives isn’t easy. In our natural sin inclined ways, we see them and their circumstances and  instinctively say, “I don’t have time for this.” but if we listen, the Christ will step in, dismiss our selfish thoughts and move us to scoop them up in our arms and bless them. To tell them the great things ahead. To love them.

Life is Beautiful.

Patty

 

What is Truth?

Pilot said to him, “What is truth?”

There seems to be such a fine line these days between defending your faith and the T word. Tolerance. If I say too much I am encroaching on another’s religion. If I say too little, I don’t live what I believe.

I don’t want to be that C word though. Complacent.

It’s football season and everyone has a fantasy league or knows someone who has one. I find it so ironic that we can openly talk about our teams, can trash talk each other, and talk up a brilliant play (and a not so brilliant play/poor #71), but the mention of God, Jesus, or faith at all is met with resistance, hesitation and often times irritability.

I know this isn’t new though. I recall as a teenager the emergence of D.C. Talk’s Jesus Freak album. A friend shared with me a story of playing it on the basketball court while dribbling the ball with some friends. Someone came over very excited about the song asking, “What is that?” Their enthusiasm immediately swung when they realized it was a “Christian” song.

Hmm.

We are naming our son Dominic Truth Parker. The first question we get upon hearing this name goes something like, “So is Dominic a family name?” To which we typically reply, “No. It means from the Lord and we just love that meaning.” The follow-up question that is always thought but rarely verbalized is, “And the middle name?” This blog is the short answer.

Truth, as Pilot intimated in John 18:38, is fuzzy. Everyone seems to have their own version of it. Problem is: truth cannot be based on an opinion. It just can’t. What we have today and what Pilot struggled with even in the very physical presence of Christ was not truth but rather the feelings of a society.

My husband shared with me about a recent podcast he was listening to entitled: Grown Up Christianity* The pastor referred to the Apostle’s Creed. Here it is below:

The Apostle’s Creed

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
the Maker of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord:

Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, dead, and buried;

He descended into hell.

The third day He arose again from the dead;

He ascended into heaven,
and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Ghost;
the holy catholic church;
the communion of saints;
the forgiveness of sins;
the resurrection of the body;
and the life everlasting.

Amen.

That is truth. It is a confession of faith based on the word of God.

In Flood (amazing youth ministry of Legacy Church) we’ve been talking about sharing and defending our faith. A common fear? If I open up about God to my friends, it will turn them off and they may never open up to me again. I think that is a very legitimate fear. But what keeps us from having the same hesitation when we speak to our friends about every day ideas that we are passionate about? Remember that fantasy football league? What about childhood obesity? What about immigration? What about sex trafficking?

You see all the above are important in varying grades but they are also based on ideas.

Remember Pilot’s question?

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

Christ uttered these words with the intense knowledge that his life was literally days from being taken from him and yet the truth that resonated within him caused no stammer as he spoke.

What is truth? Jesus Christ is truth. This is not an opinion.

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*To hear this sermon, go to the iTunes store, type in New Life, Brady Boyd and look for the sermon Ephesians, Grown Up Christianity, Week 8