Born For This: Time To Shine

George H. W. Bush passed into history last week.  The accolades, the review of accomplishments and personal accounts of encounters with our 41stPresident were glowing testaments to a public life well-lived. One aspect stands out in stark contrast to the political-social climate of today.  Even though there were disagreements, differences in thinking, clashes of perceived values, and hard fought political campaigns, President Bush embraced his opponents with respect, courtesy and a collaborative spirit.  There was no demonizing; no character assassinations; no garbage.  Many of us long for such discourse in the running of our communities, cities, states and nation.  Sadly, a survey of world history would reveal acrimony and division between people is the norm.  Christmas celebrates that into our “norm” a child is born and because of this birth, we sing peace on earth and good will towards men.

Fittingly for the season, we begin the  Born For This  series at GateWay.  Not to diminish the absolutely amazing fact that God chose to enter our world to redeem us, I wanted to focus on living out the five point characterization of our King, Jesus Christ, as related by Pastor Ed this past weekend.  Ed stated our King is inclusive, humble, unique, loving and liberating.  I as well as countless Christ-followers have experienced this in our personal relationships with Christ.  Into the midst of chaos, personal doubt, pain, anger or isolation, Jesus has stepped in. What is our response?  Gratitude absolutely; but also passing this love forward. In the Gospel of John, Jesus says to love one another as I have loved you.   

How different our community, our whole world, would be if we lived this out.  And we begin one person at a time.  Pastor Ed challenges us to take each aspect and look for someone with whom we can live out these characteristics.  Mental Health professionals often state holidays, especially Christmas, are some of the most difficult times for people.  Even in the midst of a group some feel isolated and alone. Instead of assuming inclusion, take the risk of inviting.  Instead of acting as if you have it all together, be vulnerable and thus express humbleness.  This may be key to unlocking a previously closed relationship.  Revel in your God created uniqueness and treasure and celebrate the same in others.  Such joy is contagious.  Random acts of loving kindness this time of year go a long way.  Remember Jesus came a long way to love us.  And when you put all of this together it can be the point where someone in the depths of personal bondage will find liberation in Jesus Christ.

In the coming days we will be reminded of the legacy of George H.W. Bush.  It is safe to say, he was born to be President.  Most of us were not born to become the President of the United States or many other super notable positions.  But I am convinced we were born for this – to be witnesses and proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ in actions and if necessary, with words. It is time to be lights on a hill. Let it shine!

Mike LorahComment