If you weren’t at Access on Sunday night, you really missed a great sermon. Rev. Jonathan Grace was our guest preacher, and he brought a great word of God. Jonathan works at City Square, which is a non-profit organization working to fight poverty in East Dallas. Jonathan is a wonderful preacher, which is not surprising, since he is literally Rev. Grace.
On a daily basis, Jonathan works with people that live on the margins of society, particularly the homeless. On Sunday Jonathan said two things in particular that caught my attention.
“People on the margins understand certain things about God better than we do.”
I have never been hungry. I mean, not really hungry. I have looked at the clock and realized that it’s 2pm and I’m late for lunch, but that’s about the extent of my experience with hunger. Christ spent most of his life and ministry with those on the margins, with those who knew true hunger and need.
I always want to think that I am more like the disciples than anyone in scripture, but truth be told, I am probably more likely to be like the Pharisees; religious leaders that often miss the point because they are never around the kinds of people that Christ lived with each day. It can be harder to understand many things about God from the comfort of a 72 degree church office building than on street where faith is required for survival. As church people, and especially as a pastor, it can be tempting to think that I have God figured out, but Jonathan reminded me on Sunday that quite often those on the margins understand more than I do about God.
“We are called by Christ to share the Gospel message with those on the margins, who are in turn called to share the Gospel message with us. So who is really on the margins?”
This really gave me pause. As church people it is so easy to feel that we are always the ones in ministry, the ones with the answers and the ones who need to solve the problems. While we are called to spread the message of Christ to others, sometimes what we need the most is to be preached to by those who have nothing and are seen as nothing by our societal standards.
Jonathan asked us to imagine a world in which we worked together with those on the margins instead of viewing them as the ones in need of our help. Jonathan humbled me on Sunday and reminded me that it is not my job to save the lost, but rather to join those marginalized by society, learn from their wisdom and work together to spread the Gospel message of Christ to all the world. May it be so.
Have a wonderful week my friends,