The Least of These 3/25/15

Good Morning,

“The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’”  Jesus, Matthew 25:40

When we minister to the “least of these” it is going to be messy.  We have talked so much about what God has called Angus Church to be and to do and it is obvious that God has called us to minister to our community.  That community isn’t always going to be nice and clean and “pretty.”  Sometimes it is going to get “ugly.”  Sometimes it is going to smell – sometimes it is going to mean that we’re going to get our hands dirty.  Sometimes it is going to be very, very inconvenient.

Sometimes God is going to test us to see if we really mean it!

I think that the last statement I wrote there is going to make some people very, VERY uncomfortable.  But I believe it is true.  Folks, if we are really going to minister to our community it isn’t going to nice and neat – in fact, most times it is going to be anything but that.  BUT WE STILL HAVE TO MINISTER.  And we are going to – the question is, are you going to?

It was during the time that Rome basically ruled the world that the black plague hit.  The elite, the well-to-do, the leaders and the people who could, fled the cities, ran away from the people who were dying because they were afraid, and they didn’t want to die.

It was the Christians who stayed.  It was the Christians, the followers of Jesus Christ who risked life and limb to stay and care for the dying.  Many of them, the Christ followers, many of them died too.  But still they stayed.

Have you ever noticed that the atheist organizations do not have nor do they run the homeless shelters, the orphanages, the places where the needy, the sick and the dying are?  If I were to ask you to name an individual who literally gave their life “for the least of these” many if not most of you would come up with names like Mother Theresa.  It is the church that runs the homeless shelters and food kitchens; it is the church that founds the orphanages and hospitals.

Now folks, the church is BY NO MEANS perfect – in fact it is popular today to bash the church and demean the church.  The church has made its fair share of mistakes and has blown it way too many times.  But God established the Church and Jesus said that He would build His Church and that the gates of hell could not stand against it.  For all of her faults, the church is STILL God’s and He is still in control.

It is going to be messy.  I can guarantee it.  We are going to be tried, tested and pushed to our limits – will you still help?  We are going to be slandered, mocked, perhaps even persecuted or prosecuted – will you still help?  As long as I am pastor here that will be one of my clarion calls and it will be one of the things that I will die for.  I am not trying in any way to threaten or draw a line at all, I’m simply telling you that I believe that this is God’s call for Angus Church.  Will we STILL care “for the least of these”?  Let me just give you one example of why I feel this way.

Over the last 6 months I’ve had two people come to me and tell me something VERY, VERY similar.  What they have said, in effect is this:

“I came to this church to satisfy a friend who kept asking.  I had given up on church and thought, ‘I’ll go once and then I can say I’ve done it and they will shut up.’  But I’m still here and I’m going to stay here because this church really loves people.  THIS IS MY CHURCH!”

And it has been and it will continue to be messy – and I thank God EVERY DAY that He has counted us worthy to be a place where messy people come.

Angus Church will continue to make this a priority – will you?  “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’”  Jesus, Matthew 25:40

Finally, I want to encourage you to make two phone calls today.  One is to our Governor, Susanna Martinez.  I would like to encourage you to call her and ask her to be sure and sign HB 463, the Barber Licensure after Apprenticeship bill, This is a very important call to make, letting her know that this program will help those in rural NM as well as those in Domestic Violence Shelters to be able to get a job that will help them to find a career and make a living.  The number for the Governor is 505 476-2200.  Please do this today.

Also, today is Feeding America Day.  Roadrunner Food Bank, the organization that we buy food from to give out food boxes, has encouraged us to call Congress in Washington, D.C. and say something similar to the following example:

As your constituent and supporter of Roadrunner Food Bank,  I am calling you today to ask you to vote against any efforts to cut or block-grant hunger-relief programs like SNAP when you consider the budget resolution.  SNAP benefits have already been cut twice in the last two years.  Our clients rely on these programs, and our food bank will be unable to meet the need in our community if these programs are cut.  Please find a more responsible way to balance the budget. 

Thank you for making the time to make these two calls.

I love you

Rick

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Upcoming Activities

Today, Wednesday March 25– Join us for our regular Wednesday evening activities tonight at 5:00 for dinner and activities following.

Friday March 27-Sunday March 29 – The NM District Church of the Nazarene Women’s Retreat at Bonita Park – Ladies there is information available in the foyer or you can call the church office 336-8032.

 Sunday March 29 – We will have our regular schedule with our 8:45 a.m. service in the gym and our 10:30 in the Sanctuary as well as the 4:00 p.m. Hispanic service.

Sunday April 5 – Our Resurrection Day (Easter) schedule will be as follows:  Sunrise Service at the Prayer Pond 6:45 a.m. – Donation Breakfast in the gym at 7:30 a.m. – Combined Celebration Worship Service at 9:30 a.m. in the gym!  There will be special activities for the children during this morning as well.


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