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SHEPHERD'S LETTER

Revealing Christ Today

June 3, 2020


 
Dear Church Family,

I hope that you’re grieving. I hope that you’re angry. I hope that you’re heartbroken. I hope that you’re achy. I hope that you’re compassionate. I hope that love is boiling up out of your very being and looking for empty reservoirs in the lives of those around you to fill up. I hope that you’re active. I hope that you’re giving. I hope that you’re moving to stand beside someone who’s alone. I hope that you’re searching for groups of people who are afraid, in order to protect them. I hope that you’re seeing generations of people who have been hurt, and you’re hurting with them.

I hope all of these things because I hope that you are revealing Christ in your thoughts, words, deeds and attitudes. Glorifying God by revealing Christ is the purpose for which we were made, called, redeemed, empowered and united as His church. I hope that you’re living and loving and looking like Christ, because if you’re not, you’re actively distorting other people’s view of Him, which is essentially blasphemy.

Like you, I’ve been freshly wrecked in recent days by the evil, the violence, the injustice, the racism, the selfishness, the abuse of power and the corruption in our world. The most recent evidence of this is the brutal and unnecessary death of George Floyd in Minnesota.

The Scriptures are very clear about God’s perspective on these things. The Bible says that God shows no partiality and expects us to do the same (Deut. 10:17-19; Acts 10:34-35), hatred of our fellow man is evil (I John 3:11-15), that misuse of the justice system is wrong (Prov. 17:15, Job 34:17), ignoring the cries of the mistreated is wicked (Zech. 7:9-10; Jer. 21:12; James 5:4; Deut. 24:14-15), and that the Lord requires us to do justice, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with Him (Micah 6:8).

Church family, our perspective must be aligned with God’s in these matters. We must stand alongside historically oppressed, abused and mistreated people groups and demand that they be treated with honor, equality and dignity as befits those created in God’s image. We must condemn and combat evil, injustice and blasphemy wherever it appears. We must be committed not only to seeking justice this week or in this specific case, but living the rest of our lives committed to cultivating love, equality and understanding as a means to reveal Christ on earth and manifest generational change. We know this is what Jesus would do, because this is precisely what Jesus did in the incarnation, and during His earthly ministry.

Most importantly, we must repent. We cannot expect the world at large to repent of its sins until each of us individually repents of our own. I must ask God’s help to identify and root out the shadowy corners of my own life where racism, indifference, individualism and pride have been allowed to grow. God can change our neighborhoods and our cities, but He isn’t going to do it through divine intervention or supernatural wonders. He will change the world as He always intended to, by revealing Himself through the Christlike activity of His people.

Remember, our God is a redeemer! He can and will redeem this too. In that conviction, let us search our hearts, turn from our sin, turn toward our fellow man in love, and cry out to our Father for peace as ambassadors of His Kingdom where all are united in Christ by the power of His Holy Spirit. There’s obviously lots to be done, so please don’t delay!

For those members of our family who are living in fear or have been the victims of injustice and abuse, know that we love you, hurt with you and stand beside you now and forever. You are vital to the revelation of Christ through our church, and crucial to our flourishing as a diverse community. We commit to continue striving to make Fullerton Free a place where you are at home, and can worship, lead and serve as family. In this season, if you are struggling or have any physical, emotional or spiritual need that we can help meet, please don’t hesitate to let us know.

God bless you, give you courage, and heal our broken land.

Sincerely,
Darin

Darin McWatters

Darin McWatters
Lead Shepherd