Grace and peace to you in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
We are the called out. Christ commands that we show our faith in love. Love for God and love for others. Paul told us not to be of this world. Time after time, the Word dictates that we who are in God, and that only through the grace of his blood, be different. It is time that we live this out.
I must first confess my own short comings. All of the sins listed below our my own and for committing them, I sincerely apologize. It is out of my love for you, my brothers and sisters in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, that I warn you of these.
First, and the root of all, is apathy. It is in our own sinful nature to care only for ourselves. The thinking goes, "If it does not impact my life, it does not concern me in the least." But in the words of the martyr Martin Luther King, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Christ did not and will not stand for injustice. He comes to "preach good news to the poor" and "to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the opressed." Christ protected the adultress, cleared the temple, and forgave those who killed him. To be like Christ, we must fight our own self interest and our own apathy and cange the world.
Second, and very closely related, is greed. I do not need that new shirt or that new CD. It is worth food for fifteen days in Africa or another trinket for me. So instead of providing the basics for others, I cushion my own existence. This extends, though, beyond our affluent lifestyles. It goes on to the everyday spending of everyone. Businesses export jobs to take advantage of lower wages. They overcharge and overpay to maximize on profit. We have a responsibility to support humans worldwide. It is time for us to support Fair Trade and fight against poverty. It is time for us to go out and in the name of God help the poor, in the US and the world. Likewise, the planet belongs to the human race. Respect the creation of God, for he called it good. Support environmentally friendly companies. Pick up trash. Recycle.
We shold set ourselves apart by loving others. We are all sinners, we have all fallen short of the glory of God. Show our equality. Fight prejudice. We can start with our own. The term "gay" has become synonymous with "stupid". While I believe homosexuality is wrong, there is no reason to discriminate agaisnt or degrade those who are, in fact, homosexual, or those who are affeminate. Fred Phelps misrepresents the Lord and accuses God of hatred. We should not follow in his footsteps but instead actively work against him and love all. The crime of genocide is a travesty and it is our job to stand against it. We must follow through on the promise of "Never Again". Nationalism is a plague among the world. We are first and foremost citizens of the Kingdom of God. I may be from Georgia and I may be an American, but this is nothing more than where I live. As such, we should fight for freedom everywhere, not just at homre or for our "national interests".
Brothers and sisters, we are the children of God through the grace of God. It is time to act like it. It will not be easy. Quite the contrary, it will be very difficult and is only possibly through love, given freely through the death and resurrection of Christ. This is our challenge, our calling, our job.
May the grace and peace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ be with you now and forever.