This is not the blog I wrote this week. That’s is a pretty confusing way for me to start, right? What I mean by that is that I wrote another blog on another topic that I’m sure I’ll share with you all at some point, but I just couldn’t find peace with it. In fact, peace is something I’ve struggled with since late Sunday evening. See weekends are general busy, and this weekend was VERY busy for us. Between prepping for Hero Central Day Camp all weekend, getting ready for our daughter’s wedding in 3 weeks, sermon prep, mission team meeting and Young Adult LifeGroup, my weekend was full.
As such, it wasn’t until Sunday evening after LifeGroup that the events of the weekend in Charlottesville and the aftermath came to my attention. Honestly, I generally try not to allow the events of this world affect my spirit too deeply. After all 1 Peter 2:11(MSG) instructs us,
“Friends, this world is not your home, so don’t make yourselves cozy in it.”
Nevertheless, since that time, I’ve had a sad unrest in my spirit that I can’t adequately put into words. That unrest comes from a few different places. First, the events themselves were awful, just awful. And I don’t know about you, but much of the reactions and commentary I’ve experienced since then have been awful as well. Next, regret that I was unformed on Sunday morning. You all deserved better and I am truly sorry. You deserved a place to talk through your feelings, your questions and your fears at LifeGroup. And lastly, and most importantly, you deserved to hear from me during the sermon that LOVE ONE ANOTHER means loving all God’s children, regardless of the color of their skin, their nationality, their religious beliefs, who they love, who they hate and how they express that. That’s a hard truth.
But the good news is that the message doesn’t change – the love of God is the answer. The truth is that I hate the events of last weekend. I hate the beliefs of those who caused them. I hate that there are those in this world who want to hurt people that I love deeply, simply because of the color of their skin…BUT, as always hate is not the answer, love most certainly is. I’m not sure I can put it better than Christian musician Natalie Grant in her statement on Facebook when she said, “"Racism has no place in God's kingdom, and it has no place on this earth...And as a follower of Jesus, I pray that I live love so loudly, it drowns out the hate.” So as we work our way through this life, I’d like to invite all of you into actively seek to live intentionally in that kind of love with me.
"Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love." Romans 12:9-10
It is my greatest hope that you will join us this Sunday at Rock Church Amesbury to continue to walk through how we are to walk through this life together with “One Another.”
See you all then.
In God’s love and blessings,
Here are some events going on over the next few weeks that you’ll want to keep in mind:
MOTION AND DEVOTION – THIS SATURDAY, August 19th at 9am at Rock Church Amesbury come join us for Christian yoga! By popular demand this will be open to both guys and women! All experience and fitness levels are welcome to come as we exercise our mind, body and spirits together. If you have any questions, feel free to email me or our wonderful hostess, Joni Boggiatto at email@example.com.
WOMEN’S MINISTRY BBQ – On Saturday, August 26th at 5pm the Rock Church Women’s Ministry will hold the annual women’s BBQ at the Plaistow campus. There will be chicken, ribs and hot dogs and we’re counting on you for the appetizers and desserts! If your last name begins with A-M, please come with a salad or appetizer. If your last name begins with N-Z, please bring a dessert along.
MEN’S RETREAT – Men, there’s still time to join the retreat at Camp Brookwoods on Lake Winnipesaukee! Pastor Steve will lead in exploring why everyone needs Jesus. The cost to attend is $150 for the weekend, which includes all meals and activities. You can register and pay online at www.rock-church.org/ministry-to-men or you can place a check in the offering, made payable to Rock Church and include in the memo line “2017 Men’s Retreat”. Contact Jim Connors firstname.lastname@example.org or Jeff Raimondi email@example.com for more information.