“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”
1 Peter 3.15 (NIV)
It is very easy for any of us to get lost in the woods. There are so many issues confronting the work of the Church of Christ. Do we feed the hungry? Do we devote more resources to Christian Education? Do we evangelize? Are there enough resources to ensure that the building is serving the needs of the congregation? Do we address the challenges of violence in our communities? Do we call for the government to be held accountable for decisions being made? What are the priorities of the church?
There are so many issues that we could easily get lost in trying to decide what issues to address. In all that we think about doing and believe that we are called to do, our focus should be on revering Christ as Lord. Peter encouraged first-century Christians to “be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” In these despairing days, we must be prepared to give people HOPE!
Hope can easily be given by meeting the basic and daily needs of people. Through our mission initiatives, we strive to meet the basic and daily needs of people. Why is mission work important? Mission work is important because it is one means of showing others that we revere Christ as Lord.
Our key activity is worship. We have been created to glorify God. We do that best through worship. We worship as individuals and congregationally. As baptized believers in Christ, we gather weekly to proclaim our shared belief that Jesus Christ is Lord! We proclaim the Good News. That is our personal and public witness. Through worship, we transmit this HOPE.
Beyond worship is the work of Tabernacle. A ministry that worships only and does not engage in “going into all the world,” misses the challenge of Christ. We are not called to build and maintain a building just for worship. From our building we find ways of engaging the community, of doing ministry. Fortunately, for us, our ministry continues to expand. We find ongoing ways of meeting the needs of the community.
We pray that the Holy Spirit will always prick our hearts to revere Christ as Lord. May Tabernacle always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks about the hope that we have. We will engage our community with gentleness and respect. However, we will never deny Christ as Lord. Amen.