Calvary is a place of personal memories such as: my first job out of college, the place I married my wife, where my kids had their first day of school, and more. While the personal connection is deep, the reasons I love my church are much greater. I have never seen or been a part of a church that was more committed to serve its city. I’ve never been on a campus like ours. Truthfully, our city knows us by what we do to love and serve. We are known by what we are for, and not simply what we are against.
The local church is a physical expression of Jesus’ love to the world. We truly are the bride of Christ, as we read of in Ephesians 5:22-23. He gave Himself for us and we should give ourselves to Him in return, for the sake of the Kingdom!
What makes a church special is not the building, the campus, the music, or the coffee. Now I must interject a personal opinion here…the coffee does matter. Anyway, I digress. The Church has developed its own cultural subset and in some ways risks losing relevance to the culture it is commissioned to serve.
We are not defined by our style, our politics, our nationalism, our Bible translation preference, our denominational affiliation, or any other defining marker we may want to elevate. We should be and must be defined by our Savior and King. Jesus is our anchor and hope. Often we drift off course by making the church about ourselves and preferences, rather than the advancement of His Kingdom.
May we repent and turn to Him. We must humble ourselves and pray. We must turn from our wickedness and seek His face. When the church reads this verse we are quick to point out the sin of American culture and cry out for the idolatry and sexual disparity. We are quick to parallel Sodom and Gomorrah. While their homosexuality and sexual immorality were deplorable expressions of their sin (Jude 1:7), it was their pride, excess gluttony, and refusal to care for the poor that led to their destruction (Ezekiel 16:49-50).
Globally and locally the church must repent of our pride, gluttony, and refusal to care for the poor and needy. We must look to Jesus with dependency. We must love our neighbor as ourselves. We must walk humbly before our God as we do justice and love mercy (Micah 6:8).
I love Calvary Baptist Church. While I am proud of how we have humbly served in the past. We must continue to follow His leadership with hands of grace and a commitment to love. We must guard the truth of the Gospel without wavering while navigating a culture that has lost its bearing. We must stand for what is right while recognizing that we are redeemed and in desperate need of grace. We are not perfect and don’t claim to be. Let’s continue to follow Jesus as His church and on His mission! Jesus rules and reigns!
If you would like to read and research more about Jesus’ church, check out these resources: