In my preparation for Sunday’s sermon I was impressed by how much the Christian life is not only about believing things, but also about doing things. While belief is necessary for salvation, it begs the question of what you are going to do with the life that’s been saved.
The writer of Colossians has some suggestions.
He tells us to “put on” compassion, for example, and as I explained in the sermon yesterday you can’t put it on without doing something. I said, “Compassion—as Steve Blanchard often reminds us—is not just seeing the suffering of the world, and not just feeling it with those who are suffering, but seeing it, feeling it, and doing something about it.”
Which brings me back to New Year’s resolutions.
What are you going to do in 2013? First Baptist Church is 114 days into its mission to bring the Kingdom of Heaven to Richmond, Virginia, and if you are a member of the church I hope you will strengthen your resolve to do that. But if you aren’t, and you don’t live in Richmond, there is no reason why you can’t resolve to bring heaven to earth right where you are. You can make up your mind to get involved at your elementary school, to visit the local jail, to help out at a homeless shelter, to pick up the trash in a city park, to visit a nearby nursing home, to share the good news of Jesus, to donate food or clothing, to pray for your city council. As I often say, “There must be a thousand ways to bring heaven to earth.” Find one. Do it.
I have to confess: the holidays have interrupted my mission trip. I’ve been celebrating Christmas and spending time with my family and taking a few days off from work. Tonight is New Year’s Eve. Tomorrow is New Year’s Day. But on January 2 I’m going to hit the ground running, eager to get back to the joyful work of bringing heaven to earth.
I hope you will join me.