“Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer…” (v28)
Ponder the church where a missionary must say, “Stop stealing.”
My brother is a pastor in downtown Independence. A once wealthy middle class area now blighted. Many churches struggle to make the transition. Many churches change locations. But this church is as diverse as the community.
The local legend is that the church was full of folks dressed in their Sunday best. A typical middle class church. A normal Sunday. When a famed drug enforcer, just released from prison, walked into service. Tattooed and muscled. Intimidating. This man walked down the aisle and sat in a pew.
I am sure the whispers and looks began. Then an older gentleman, in a pressed suit and tie, got up from his pew. Imagine how this could play out…
The older man walked down the aisle. He sat beside – welcomed – embraced.
These acts. The man’s faith to arrive. Another’s faith to embrace. Transformed the church. More and more “sinners” arrived. More and more lives were transformed. Faithful acts allowed the movement of God!
Now imagine our church. Please join me in praying that we will be a church to embrace EVERYONE who arrives. We are already ministering beyond our walls. Pray those very people will start to come on Sunday!