“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.” George Orwell

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Kingdom of God in your neighborhood

I had the distinct priveledge this past week of speaking briefly at the Amos Fellowship in Riverside, California. Pastor Julio Andujo was interested in ways in which the church could engage the community, so I was invited. I must admit I was exhortive in my comments but the church was open and receptive. Pastor Andujo compared my comments to someone telling you you have crumbs on your face or that your clothing doesn't match...that is caring enough to point out ways you might improve what you are doing. Several congregational members approached me between services to tell of their experiences with persons with disabilities, some of whom were actually parents of children with disabilities. Many expressed appreciation that the issue of disability was raised in their church.

Paston Andujo's sermon had to be one of the most powerful presentations of God's word that I have heard in recent years. He spoke about the Kingdom of God, specifically referring to it as a place where we level the playing field. We provide access to God's saving grace through our leveling of the playing field. Although he was not speaking specifically to issues of persons with disabilities in the church, his comments were obviously applicable.

He then challenged the congregation with the question, How is the Kingdom of God doing where you are? How is the Kingdom of God in your neighborhood? How is the Kingdom of God in your home? How is the Kingdom of God in your school? Great questions!

As we level the playing field so people can have access (not just physical access) we give people access to God's word, to God's people, to the church. As a point of evaluation, we can then ask ourselves, How is the Kingdom of God doing for people with disabilities in our sphere of influence. I would ask you, how is God's grace begin shown, being demonstrated in your sphere of influence?


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