From Pastor Jim – 10/10/2018

NOUN – an extremely strong reaction of anger, shock, or indignation.
“her voice trembled with outrage”
synonyms: indignation · fury · anger · rage · disapproval · wrath · shock ·
VERB – (be outraged) arouse fierce anger, shock, or indignation in (someone).
“he was outraged at this attempt to take his victory away from him”
synonyms: enrage · infuriate · incense · anger · scandalize · offend ·
Outrage is rampant. From all sectors of our society. Strong feelings abound. A simple scroll through social media, clearly reveals a nation divided. As a “follower of Jesus” how should I respond? The best and simplest answer was given by a person on staff at Sanctuary as we discussed the current climate of outrage. Their answer: with love. BRILLIANT
Certainly my calling is to lead Sanctuary as a Pastor to all the people. Not needed from me is to be yet another political pundit. What is needed is for me to remember this simple childhood lesson: “Stop, Look and Listen”.
Too often things are unclear when news is emerging. Too often things are said without knowing all the facts. Too often love is missing from the tone of rhetoric. Proverbs and James both have much to say about being cautious with words. Clearly we are to use our words wisely, and used for building up, not tearing down. “A deliberate word spoken in due time is infinitely better than a hasty word spoken simply to have the appearance of cultural engagement.” Not my original words, but I can add my Amen.
People are hurting and unfortunately the adage is true: Hurt people, hurt people. There is a whole lot of hurting going on. Especially when considering the proliferation of those who have been sexually assaulted. I am quite sure, all the stories that need to emerge have not yet been told. All allegations need to be taken seriously. Base joking, and dismissals are never appropriate.  The stories of sexual assault are real and heartbreaking. We need to provide “Sanctuary” for people so that “they” can feel safe in sharing their stories. Healing and restoration are desperately needed.
Likewise we need to be cautious in not rushing to conclusions, when the whole story may not be clear, and may never be clear. For us in the church, Jesus has given a very sound principle to follow. You can read about it in Matthew 18. It is as relevant today as when Jesus shared it with his disciples over 2,000 years ago. But perhaps even more profound are his words, spoken as a command, “Love as I have loved you”. Certainly his love is both undeserved and unconditional.
Silence is never an option. Accountability is essential. Wisdom from above must be sought. And as I read in my devotions just this morning, Paul in speaking to the church said: “You love, love even more”. Pray with me: Lord Jesus, give to each of us who call ourselves by your name – your love, your perspective, your wisdom, so that we as Your people we will model You to our hurting and broken world. Amen.
Posted by Pastor Jim Carver – October 10, 2018

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