Newsletter – July 2020

Larry’s Lines. . .

By Larry Murphy, Executive Director

 A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Church

 Lewis McMullen with Tennessee Baptist Mission Board reminded me this morning of the story found in Acts 3 of Peter healing the crippled beggar.  We have all been bombarded by coronavirus, social injustice, politicians, media, and on and on and on.  As if we were not already facing serious issues before the ones I just mentioned.

As a result, I am afraid we have gotten more forgetful about our purpose in the church.  Someone titled the Acts 3 passage “A Sick Church, a Lame Man, and Two Broke Preachers.”

Three things Lewis reminded me of as he led a devotional time this morning for TBMB.  One is that in our excitement to get back to church, or the building, we forgot to look.  All many people were concerned with was getting together at the building. On your way back did you see anyone who needed help?

Peter and John were on their way to church and encountered the lame man.  He asked for help.  They saw him and stopped.  It was more important to help him than to get to church.  He asked for money and they gave him more.  They didn’t give him a mask, social justice, rights, or politics.  They gave him Jesus.

Secondly, they heard him and his need and therefore, they helped him.  The scripture said they took him by the hand and helped him up.  Have you in your hurry to get to church helped anyone up?

Thirdly, they reached down and got messy.  Their pew in church or position in church was not the important issue.  Helping someone come to Jesus was most important.  Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have but I do have something in Jesus’ name to give you.”  Acts 3:8 says that the lame man began to walk, jump, and praise God.  Verses 9-10 tell us that the other people saw the man, recognized him, and were filled with wonder and amazement.  This leads me to believe seeing what God could do in someone’s life was more important than watching me go to church.

Let’s pray for one another during these uncertain times.  Could we be less critical of each other? And while going to church is important, maybe let’s look, listen, share, reach down to others and by all means give them Jesus.