Making A Difference
“And of some have compassion, making a difference;” Jude 22 KJV
As 2021 begins, many people (including your pastor) are looking forward to the day we can reengage with one another, can worship face to face without a mask, and can gather for events and fellowship. We are not sure exactly when they day will come, but we are waiting expectantly for that day. When it happens, we want to be ready to make a difference.
What is true for our church, will be true for our community as well. People will be able to return to work, school, gyms, sporting events, concerts, and other activities that they have not participated in for weeks. We will be given many opportunities to make a difference in the community too.
As we begin to reopen, there will be some who will be reluctant to reengage. They may be hesitant to go to movies, restaurants, and other social events. For a lot of people, once they have disengaged its hard to reengage.
What is true for the community is also true for our church community. A lot of Christians will have a hard time reengaging when the church reopens. There are many reasons for this, which can include doubt, disappointment, sin, and even just a different routine or comfort zone.
The feelings of being disconnected from the church and each other may seem too hard to overcome. At the same time, for many in the church, there may be a sense of spiritual pride or judgementalism that can keep some people away. Whatever the reason, we need to be patient with each other as we regather.
The Book of Jude is a short letter written to an unnamed church by the half-brother of Jesus, who became a believer after Jesus rose from the dead. This church is facing persecution and false teachers. A lot of believers have disengaged. Jude is encouraging the true believers to make a difference in the lives of those believers who are struggling.
In verse 22(KJV), he exhorts: “And of some have compassion, making a difference.” The NLT translation states: “And you must show mercy to those whose faith is wavering.” The NIV says: “Be merciful to those who doubt.”
The pandemic has been difficult for so many people, and even to Christians. We cannot expect people to return like nothing has happened. We must be patient with people, especially those who are struggling with doubt whose faith is wavering. We need to show compassion and mercy.
It is my prayer, as we start the new year that we will be a church family that makes a difference this year in our congregation and community. Let us be known for our compassion and mercy. Let us also be known as a safe place you can return even if you are struggling with doubt.
I love you and it is a privilege to be your pastor.