Well, 2020 has been the pits. Although we’ve learned things and slowed down this year, I haven’t met a single person who hopes the last three months of 2020 linger. 2021, here we come! May it be COVID- and mask-free and full of hugs, healing, and harmony.
Until then, we live in a place where there’s continued talk of unrest and pain. I need to have some more hope shining my way and I bet you wouldn’t mind some either.
Well… I’m grateful to have some to share.
Anyone who knows us knows that “love works” is a mantra that’s interwoven into both our vocabulary and our desires. The phrase was coined years ago after Chris and his team scoured the Scriptures for the most important truths in God’s Word.
As we know, there’s nothing new under the sun, but we often take the most basic commandments for granted. Scripture tells us repeatedly to love God and love people. Proving love works became so important that at the 10th anniversary of our first pastorate, a large sign was created to serve as a spiritual marker. Over the years, thousands of pictures were taken in front of that spiritual marker. It was a phrase we didn’t want just for ourselves, or even just for our church… but we wanted the entire city of Memphis to embrace it as its own. In 2017, prayers were being answered as plans were underway for it to become a Downtown mural… at the request of the city.
Almost everyone has a story of how a church has hurt them. The enemy is no dummy. He wants us to remember the bad and ignore the good. For the longest time, it’s been said that the enemy loves to tell us lies about God and lies about ourselves. I’ll add that the enemy also loves to attack the Church. If he can distract God’s people from focusing on God’s mission and instead start attacking one another, the enemy wins.
About two weeks ago, the enemy was dealt a severe blow as that Love Works sign was sent to us as a gift. One church loving another church. One family of believers loving another family of believers. For us, it was a huge surprise and a confirmation that the Lord didn’t want us to abandon a truth He had etched on our hearts a decade ago.
The sign is currently under repair, but when you see it, let it be a reminder that God has great plans for not just our church or your church, but for the city of Memphis. Together, may we be used to love a world that is in desperate need of seeing that there is no greater joy than proving love works.