What I want to reflect

Many of us grew up playing a game using your fingers with the following words:

“Here is the church, here is the steeple, open the doors and here are all the people.”

This past Sunday a trio at First United Methodist church made up of Ron Bean, Cindy Hotzclaw and Penny Wood sang a song with the following lyrics in the chorus:

When anyone looks at me

let them see Jesus.

Let me be a reflection

of His love and mercy to them

When they start to read

my life story.

I want it to bring my Savior

glory.

When anyone looks at me

let them see Him.

While the lyrics are of a more personal nature, they also speak to the body of Christ here on earth. They speak words which most of us should strive to achieve. However, I use the above words in terms of the church, because the church is the living and breathing “body of Christ” here on earth. The church is not a building, an organization or just a group of people trying to tell everyone else how they need to live their lives.

The people in the church are those who seek to reflect Jesus to the outside world. Their desire is to share His grace, mercy and love to the entire world. Only by doing this are we able to fulfill the great commission:

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” Matthew 28:10 (NIV)

We as a church should not come across as being judge and jury to those who seek guidance and are struggling with life’s issues. I remember asking a former pastor why he never preached “hell and brimstone” sermons. His response was “I would rather love someone into heaven than scare them out of hell.” I can remember those sermons from my younger days and they did work for a while but the intimidation factor wears off many times.

One of my favorite verses in the Bible also speaks words that we should all remember as the church; when we are reaching out to someone or in the way we live our lives and how our lives reflect what is truly inside of us. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, so that WHOSOEVER believed in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16. So when we are going about our lives we need to remember all are His children and Jesus died for all people, so in our words, actions and example we should strive to be the reflection of His love within us.

When we as a body of believers are willing to love all of God’s children as He unconditionally loves us, blemishes, sin and all, then we can be the church that without a doubt reflects the love of Christ to all. We should live our lives as individuals and as His church so that no matter how dark the day is; His light can shine through even sin’s darkest attempts to dim His light.

I have a long way to go, it is a daily struggle to present yourself to others in a way that acknowledges your blessings, your faith and where your future lies. But thanks be to God for His unending grace.

All things are possible through Christ and He is waiting to clear up all of our reflections so that His love can shine through His church and as well as all of His children.

Randy Garrison is the president and publisher of the Hartselle Enquirer.

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