By: Mike Massar Pastoring a church requires a delicate balance. At times, you're the good cop, compassionately meeting the church's needs. Other times, you're the bad cop, speaking truth when it can be hard to hear.
You don’t have to look far to see those who could use a little light in this dark, dark world. It could very well be that God wants you to be like the Baptist. You don’t have to deny who you are, just be willing to share your light when the darkness comes.
The crowds following Jesus saw him as more than doing God's saving work only through individuals. They believed salvation and redemption worked in religious communities, economic orders and political systems.
When we ask Jesus to come through our doors, do you think he would take us up on our invitation? And if he does, will we treat him as our favored guest? After all, he might just bring a few sinners with him.
You see, the expression “good news” was not an altogether positive word for the people of Israel... at least not in Jesus’ day. It is many years since Jeremiah uttered these same prophetic words, but once again the people of Israel are on edge, not to mention held captive. This time it is the Romans and not the Babylonians. And while they are allowed to remain in their own land – they haven’t been taken into exile – they have discovered that exile is not so much a place as it is an imposition. It is no less an exile for Jesus’ people than it was for Jeremiah’s people.
On Friday, April 4, the world remembers the 40th anniversary of the untimely and tragic death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. King's legacy is large, and much of the progress we have made in race relations, although still inadequate, is due to his unwavering belief and commitment to justice, freedom, and equality for all.