Just Like Jesus – SOTU: State Of The Union
Article II, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution directs the President to periodically “give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.” Finally, after much political wrangling with the majority leadership of Congress, President Trump delivered his State of the Union address this past week. I recorded the presentation as our Connect Small Group was meeting during the time frame of the speech. As I played back the SOTU, the video images of the members of the Senate and Congress from the floor and the people in the gallery, the commentary, and the Democratic response delivered by Stacey Abrams, former Democratic legislator from Georgia, I wondered how all of this would be received. The next day, much as I expected, not much had changed. Minds were still made up, lines continued to be drawn in the sand, and distrust had not been lessened. One thing stood out. Despite lofty words by all sides, calls for unity, good goals and claims to want the best for all, everyone seemed to have a cynical opinion about what was really the SOTH – state of the heart.
The state of our hearts does matter. It mattered 2000 years ago. Jesus approaches the SOTH through the Parable of the Sower. The soil type directly relates to our State of our union with Christ. Rocky soil, shallow soil, weed-infested soil, or good soil; what is condition of your heart? A heart restored by the blood of Jesus, resourced by the Father and regenerated by the Holy Spirit, in the hands of Christ can change lives, families, communities and nations. The question is: Is my heart a hardened heart? Pastor Ed challenges us to be responsible for our own hearts.
Modern society and culture have rendered its opinion on the church’s State of the Heart. The designation of our current era, Post Modern, essentially meaning the church is no longer relevant, says it all. I wrote in April of 2018 in this Blog column, I wonder if the post-modern age flourished because American Christian Churches and their membership failed the soil test starting in the early 1900’s and continued failing through the 1960’s resulting in several new generations of “truth is relative or optional” thinkers and believers. Of course, such sociological shifts are complex and not the result of one “thing” but the idea that the “salt” lost its “flavor” is compelling in my mind. Let this not be said of GateWay Church of Visalia. What is GateWay’s State of the Union with Christ? GateWay is only as good as its people. Again, as Pastor Ed has challenged, we are responsible for our own hearts. Why is this critical? Almost a year later in 2019, people everywhere still are seeking; they still are searching for what is real.