For those of you that I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting, my name is June. I am one of your faithful staff here at Assurance and blessed to be able to call this my church home too.
I wanted to share a recent experience with you. Last week, I had the opportunity to go to Savannah, Georgia with two of my favorite people. We had three really fun days away. We realized shortly into the trip that we were feeling unusually extra outgoing, and figured it was because we really didn’t know anyone there and didn’t have a fear of being judged or criticized. Have you ever experienced that? Being in a new place gives you a bit of freedom to reinvent yourself…but that might be a blog for another day.
The most notable thing about this trip that I want to share is the amazing people we met. There were local musicians, tourists having fun like us, homeless individuals, history buffs, old people, young people, rich people, poor people, stranger, and friend.
“There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female, for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28
Throughout our trip we began to refer to all of the different people we were meeting as our “crazy” friends. Now I feel the need to explain that “crazy” in our vocabulary simply meant free-spirited, different, and lovable. It was truly a term of endearment. As we were meeting the “crazies” we realized we were attracting them…this is when we realized we were just like them and we added ourselves to the “crazy” population.
I returned home in time to come to church this Sunday, and I am so grateful for that! Pastor Lonnie shared with us a powerful message entitled “ReligionLESS.” At each point during the sermon I saw the scripture in vivid pictures from my trip the few days prior.
“Then Peter began to speak to them: “I truly understand that God shows no partiality, 35 but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.” Acts 10:34-35
There were so many examples of people doing what was good and right, it was overwhelming. We saw homeless sharing their gifts of music and crafts, local musicians offering an afternoon gathering at their home, other locals offering a ride for some very tired travelers, and tourists, who after dining, packed up their leftover food to share with people on the street that looked hungry. They may not have done it to please God, but I know He was very pleased. God saw this and said “It is good!”
I saw His love spread so far and so wide in that city, by people that probably had no idea anyone was watching. And they were certainly not concerned with the rules, regulations, and laws of the variety of cultures presented. They saw the chance to enhance a moment, create a relationship, or simply serve someone in need.
These people may or may not belong to an organized religion, I don’t know. Does it matter? Do they have to claim to be Methodist, Catholic, Baptist, or Episcipalian to serve Christ? I certainly don’t think so.
All of this reflection has given me a challenge…and one I’m going to extend to you. Let’s find the “crazies” in our local life, or maybe we should aim to be the “crazies.” I loved the tag Pastor Lonnie placed on all of us, the “Motley Crew.” Do you see these people around you? I’ll bet they are there. Have you seen anyone do something that his or her place in society might not see as appropriate, yet the result of that action was God’s love being made real? The “crazies” are out there… find them, or better yet, be them. Be crazy, motley, and/or weird for Jesus!
Now when you find a motley crew or crazy act out there, we’d love for you to share it on social media with #crazyforjesus.
If you didn’t have a chance to hear Pastor Lonnie’s sermon this past week, I encourage you to listen to it here.
There are also some reflection questions on the website that you might enjoy digging into. This is a new feature we’re now offering each week on the website and coming soon to the printed bulletin.
Here’s to a “crazy,” Jesus-filled day!