Walk The Talk
By: Steve Hable
We are all familiar with the following verses in Mathew 25: 34-35, when Jesus said, “Then the King will say to those on his right hand, ‘Come you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in….” The remainder of the passage also covers the sick and the imprisoned. Jesus tells us that we must show compassion to those in need as if we were showing compassion to Jesus himself. He emphasized that it is important to live the teachings contained in the Scripture.
Recently, I attended a multi-denominational meeting. A friend of mine told a story about a young man, in his mid-20s, that had decided to attend a local church service even though he did not know anyone in the congregation. The young man wore a short sleeve shirt that allowed his arm from his wrist to the middle of his bicep to be seen. It was very easy to see the young man had a “sleeve tattoo;” a solid series of tattoos from his wrist to the top of his shoulder. The tattoos were not offensive and he had never been in trouble with the law. When he attempted to enter the sanctuary, he was told by those at the door that he was not welcome to attend their services. The young man told my friend that his experience with “so-called Christians” had always been difficult. The rest of us at the meeting hoped our own churches would react differently.
A few weeks ago at Foothills, our faith and our pledge of “Open Minds, Open Hearts and Open Doors” was put to the test. Prior to first service, a middle-aged man approached the sanctuary pulling a small cart. The cart contained a basket with personal items including a sleeping bag and he was obviously homeless. The ushers welcomed him to Foothills and gave him a bulletin. He sat down in the back of the sanctuary, probably in “someone’s normal seating space.” At the time of introduction of guests, a member of the congregation introduced him and the congregation responded with applause. He remained in the sanctuary for second service and received the same warm welcome. He found out about the upcoming Homeless Shelter program and may be eligible to attend.
I am often asked what makes Foothills such a growing and spiritual congregation. I think part of the answer is our commitment to “walk the talk.” This commitment results in a dynamic and nurturing atmosphere that continues to draw us back each week. See you on campus.