Sermon Snap Shot October 7, 2018

Sermon Snap Shot October 7, 2018

Last week we talked about the power of the tongue to let loose words that can have devastating, life-changing effects. Many of us who are mature – having been burned by others or having burned others ourselves – decided long ago to err on the side of saying nothing…or else saying only encouraging, complimentary words. We don’t want to be the wrong person at the wrong time saying the wrong thing, so we keep quiet.

Meanwhile, the very word that might bring life…
the very word that might give hope…
the very word that might help someone take that next step in their faith…is never spoken.

Speaking the truth in love is a daunting task. Who’s to say my truth is your truth? I’ve learned over the years from both female friends and friends of color that their understanding of truth can look very different from mine as a white male. And yet, haven’t we all experienced these words from Jesus, “The truth shall set us free.”

During my twelve years in campus ministry we sought, with God’s help, to fulfill the following four-fold mission of being a Christ-centered community where…

all are welcome,
treated like family from day one,
challenged to grow into faithful disciples of Jesus, and
encouraged to love God and neighbor in concrete ways.

The first two pieces of this mission came pretty easy for us. With a little effort we were able to connect with dozens and dozens of students who were looking for a community, a place where they could surround themselves with like-minded yet imperfect people who were trying to make healthy, life-giving decisions while in school.

It was the latter two pieces of this mission that were tougher. How do we most appropriately challenge one another? How do we most faithfully encourage one another to put our faith into action? Do we simply allow a student to stay on the periphery, semester after semester, year after year? If we see a student indulging in destructive behavior, do we turn a blind eye – you know, boys will be boys, college students will be college students – or do we reach out?

From Sunday October 7 message from Ephesians 4:1-15, “Watch Your Words: Speaking the Truth in Love”
Rev. Lane Glaze
Pastor, Waters Edge UMC
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