FUMC New Albany | 207 East Bankhead | New Albany, MS 38652 | (662) 534-2206

The Pastor’s Pen

The following article is taken from a June 1 social media post from Brother Tim

Dear Church Family,

We’ve all been in somber reflection over the past week. As anger rages and cities burn, we’ve all felt many emotions as they come to the surface. As your pastor, I’d like to make three points about what our nation is currently experiencing.
1. Racism is a sin–no “if’s, ands, or buts.” Racism and discrimination are both repugnant to God and His Word. Paul writes in Galatians 3: 28–“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
Christians are people who treat ALL with dignity and respect. Period. Racism is an evil and scourge on our country, and it will have no place in the Kingdom of Heaven.
2. The death of George Floyd is a terrible tragedy. It was wrong, evil, and appalling. Floyd’s death was senseless and avoidable. And it has brought much pain to many in our country, especially in the African American community.
3. I’ll confess that I don’t know what it’s like to be black. I don’t understand what it’s like to have to worry about my children’s safety because they are of a darker skin color. And yet, the Gospel of Jesus Christ compels me to try as best I can to empathize with African American families and others who do have such worries.

Empathy has gone out of style these days. We need to bring it back.There’s lots of “shouting” going on in the public square as well as social media these days. What if LOVE was the only message we chose to shout? What if before every word we spoke or social media post we created, there was a question to be asked that served as a speed bump? A good speed bump might be: “Does what I’m about to say or post reflect the love and values of Jesus Christ?”

I remain convinced that the only thing that will heal our land is a fresh move of the Holy Spirit that melts hearts into loving Jesus and others. There is no other way. Our politicians and ideologies are bankrupt and have failed us. It’s time for the Church to be the Church.

I know that last phrase may sound nebulous and cliche, but it’s really not. There are practical things we can do to love radically and be the church during this time of uncertainty and concern.

Pray–Never under estimate the power of a faithful person praying. Trust that God is already moving, but that God also hears our prayers. And then, of course, remember that prayer changes us more than prayer changes God. Let’s put ourselves in the best possible position to grow in holiness.

Love–Love others. Do random acts of kindness and love. Be there for others when they need you. The world and social media have enough hate and vitriol, so let’s make sure what we add to the equation comes out on the side  of love and kindness.

Empathize–Seek to understand what our African American brothers and sisters may be experiencing during this difficult time. Let’s try, as best we can, to walk a mile in their shoes. And when we talk to one another, let’s be sure to listen well. For true listening is the most sure path to understanding.

The Church needs to be the Church. The Church must follow the Risen Lord. The Church simply has to be a fortress of prayer, love, and empathy during this time. And I have a hunch that if we are, we’ll be noticed, for these are such rare things in our culture these days.

Will you follow the Risen Lord? Will you be the Church? Will you help bring someone to saving faith in Jesus Christ? That’s the only recipe for healing our land. Trust that I’m committed to joining you in this endeavor.

May God’s blessings be upon you,
Brother Tim