“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” Mahatma Gandhi
“Christians black and white, working in Africa, do heal the sick, do teach people to read and write; and only the severest kind of secularist could see a mission hospital or school and say the world would be better without it.
Matthew Parris, Times Newspaper, former British MP and staunch atheist
(He gave the quote above after seeing the work of Christian missionaries in Malawi. He goes on to say that, when he entered territory that had been ”worked by missionaries” he could even recognise the difference in peoples’ faces and eyes, and, ”They had not become more deferential towards strangers – in some ways less so – but more open.”)
Social justice. It sounds big but it is simply helping the poor, the destitute, the widows, the oppressed, the hurting and the defenseless. Churches have been in the forefront of providing social justice. Or are we? A good number of non-religious people think we don’t do a good job about it, citing non-religious people like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet as the champions of today’s fight for social justice. What if there is something more we can do about it and what if God wants us to do something about it? This week, we take a look at Isaiah 58:1-12 as well as Matthew 25:40 to see what the Bible says about social justice, worship and our Christian witness. Join us as we take this trip.
I’d Be a Christian If… It Weren’t For Christians – Part 4
Sunday May 6th 2012 – Pastor Edmund Lucido
May 7th to May 13th, 2012
And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to Me.’ Matthew 25:40
“Is this not the fast that I have chosen: To loose the bonds of wickedness, To undo the heavy burdens, To let the oppressed go free, And that you break every yoke? Isaiah 58:6
COME & belong
ICE BREAKER – Please ask a group member to prepare and deliver an Icebreaker
1) At work or play, what type of Christian would your co-workers or friends say you are?
2) The Bible says there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). Because of our sin nature we will never be able to be an absolute fulltime representation of Christ. Paul speaks about boasting in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:50) so that the power of Christ will dwell in us.
a) The humility of our humanity can in itself be a witness of the power of the cross. How do we balance our personal shortcomings with being a light to the world for Christ?
b) As Christians, our daily lives can be like a fishbowl with every move being watched so the way we interact with others is in itself a great witness of Christ. What areas in your life could benefit from added attention?
c) Share with the group times when you have lived a Christ-centered life and it had has a positive impact on those around you?
d) The prayer of a righteous person avails much. How can you enlarge your scope in terms of your prayer life to include people who are not connected with Christ?
THRIVE & become more like Jesus
3) “Some bring joy wherever they go – while others bring joy whenever they go” Although this statement does paint a picture, keep in mind that Christ in us can serve to make others uncomfortable. The reality is the world has made it politically incorrect to be Christian and stand up for what we hold to be true. So then, what “assignment” or “idea” to serve others have you been holding back on because you were nervous about what others might say?
GO & serve like Jesus through prayer & Action
4) Accountability Point – Read and discuss Isaiah 58:6? Are there areas in your life and in your community that needs God’s hand to move to bring about change? Does it matter enough to fast about it?
5) Go Opportunity- Talk as a group and discuss the possibility of serving as a Life Group in one of the activities that will be offered in the Summer Days of Service.
PRAYER POINT – The CMCC team in Poland and Belarus
Suggested Bible Reading Plan This Week
Day 1: Isaiah 58 Day 2: Matthew 5 Day 3: Matthew 25
Day 4: Micah 6:1-8 Day 5: Galatians 3
Interchurch Softball League- for interested parties please contact Aaron Meechem