Hope everyone is having a great Thanksgiving week. I’m currently on my way to Ohio with my family to spend Thanksgiving with my grandparents. In seasons like this where I’m reflecting on all I have to be thankful for I can’t help but think about t
hose in need who may be having a difficult time.
Last week, Ryan Bult, our missions pastor, led a team from Cross Point to NJ to help with hurricane relief and he wrote a great challenge for us all.
Call me the eternal optimist, but I whole-heartedly believe that the church can and will change the world. We talk a lot about that around here at Cross Point, but we know that world change must happen one community at a time. Last week, a team of 14 from Cross Point traveled 16 hours to Somer’s Point, NJ to serve alongside the people of New Covenant Church. Their pastor, Brendon Wilson, started organizing teams to serve almost immediately after the wind and rains of Hurricane Sandy subsided. Their immediate response in some strange way reminded me of the way Cross Point and other churches responded to the needs of people following the devastating Nashville Flood in 2010. As we contemplated sending a team, we were reminded of how many of you gave up work weeks and weekends to come up to Nashville and serve people you had never met before. Your support meant everything to us!
You lifted up the local church and made it a shining beacon to those that were hurting. Of course, we went to serve those impacted by Hurricane Sandy, but we also wanted the local church to feel encouraged and supported during this time of relief.
How should the church respond in times of disaster? I am always drawn to one of my favorite passages in Matthew that calls us to be light.
Matthew 5:14–16 (NIV)
14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in Heaven.
Hurricane Sandy was a powerful storm that left great destruction up and down the Eastern Seaboard. Our team and others have done amazing amounts of work, but there remains much to do. Recently I saw this tweet from Pastor Matthew Barnett from the L.A. DreamCenter: Government response to disaster will never catch up to the quick mobilization of churches. Never! Ever!
I tend to agree.
So today, I hope you will find a way to go and love the people of New York and New Jersey that were impacted by Sandy.