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Hey friends,

It was great fun to be with you on Sunday to discuss our calling to bring about God’s vision for his church. Namely, that we would be a multi-ethnic community of people living holy lives in adoration of him. If you missed the message you can find it here on Facebook (the sermon starts 21 minutes in) or here on audio

As you ponder all we discussed, I encourage you to resist the temptation to fall into political alliances on either the left or the right. Our primary allegiance is not to any party but to the Lord Jesus. Faithfully following him will mean that we will advocate for some things that are near and dear to the right, but potentially troubling to the left (such as the Christian sexual ethic and the protection of unborn life). And it will cause us to advocate for ideas important to the left but which can arouse the suspicions of those on the right (such as advocacy for victims of injustice and poverty). So be it! We are Christians and we are called to love what he loves and be troubled by the things that trouble him. Here is a brilliant interview with Tim Keller if you would like to hear more on that. It is brimming with insights.

Part of growing in maturity in these ways involves understanding our own history. To that end, some of you asked about the books on race which I mentioned on Sunday when discussing Ephesians 4. I’d encourage you to read any or all of these. They have each been helpful to Kellie and me.

Also included is this great poem by our very own Bob Blecksmith as he has reflected on Ephesians.

Much grace to you as you consider how to take deeper steps to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called.

Tim+

Twelve Years a Slave. The 1853 memoir of Solomon Northrup who was born free in NY but kidnapped and sold into slavery. 

The Burning. A history of the destruction of Greenwood, Oklahoma in 1921.  It was the most prosperous black community in America at the time and was burned to the ground by an angry white mob.

The Help. A fictional story, about a black maid in Mississippi in the ’60s.

The Warmth of Other SunsA history of “The great migration” the decades long relocation of southern black Americans to northern cities.

Just Mercy. The true story of a lawyer who fought to rescue people from unjust racist criminal convictions.

Walk in a manner so worthy
of the calling with which you were called,
Maintaining the Spirit of oneness and the strength which He has installed.
Be gentle, humble and patient so that all contention will cease.
Live tranquil your life with each other and keep the bond of His peace.

Walk not anymore in your old ways, with futility set in your minds,
Hold fast to what is important, let go of the sin that so binds.
It darkens your deep understanding and causes a hard-calloused heart,
To undo your life as intended and keep you and God far apart.

Walk in Christ’s love as He loved us and gave up Himself as our price;
A sweet-smelling scent up to Heaven, presented as our sacrifice.
Following God’s perfect model to live life as His holy saint,
And not the life of your old self but one full of thankful restraint.

Walk in the light as God tells us.
Yes, walk in the light of the Lord!
Discern every act that will please Him and result in a mind thus restored.
Fruitless dark deeds that once held you,
prior old habits from youth,
Exposed by the light of His glory,
transformed into goodness and truth.

Walk not in the ways of the foolish, rather choose the path of the wise.
Keep watch for the things to delight Him, fooled not by the enemy’s guise.
Because of these days that are evil, redeem your time for the best;
Keeping a heart that is thankful and living a life God has blessed.