Yesterday morning, I was doing something very unusual. I was giving the morning devotion at the annual Executive Leadership Summit of the ECPA (Evangelical Christian Publishers Association). I led a large room full of the leaders in the Christian publishing industry in Anglican Morning Prayer. As part of that prayer time, I gave a short homily in which I talked about the Gospel reading from yesterday’s Daily Office.
Jesus said “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21)
This week I have been in many homes that have been damaged or devastated. But I haven’t been with a single person in our church community who is hopeless. Their earthly treasures have been destroyed, but their heavenly treasures endure. I got a chance to tell these publishers that. I praised the Lord for all the hard work and faithfulness that I am seeing in our community. Essentially, I got to brag about Christ in them.
So many people in our church have been out helping others They’ve not only been serving those in our church, but they're also helping their coworkers, neighbors, family members, and even perfect strangers. I’ve had several reports of people in our church who are working on one home that belongs to a church member, but then going next door to help a neighbor who has no one to help.
Over the next days and weeks, we will continue to help those in our church. But my vision is that we won’t stop there. As we finish up at a Redeemer home, I believe God will call us to the neighbor next door or across the street. We are a relatively small church. But the Holy Spirit is giving us grace and using us in mighty ways. I was just speaking to someone today who told me that just last week they were saying that they just didn’t see the universal Church in action. This week, they see the local church stepping into their lives and loving them like Christ.
There are at least a dozen families in our congregation who have had very serious flood damage. Some of them have lost almost everything they own. We have faithful elderly people who live in condos in Bellevue who have seen their entire material lives washed away. These are people who had no flood insurance because they don't live in a flood plain!
We now have a designated fund set up at Redeemer. Every dollar given to the Flood Relief fund will go to help people in our congregation. If you would like to give, you can write a check to "Church of the Redeemer," MEMO it to "Flood Relief," and either drop it off or mail it to 920 Caldwell Lane, Nashville TN, 37204.
Thanks and blessings.