Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
-- John 14:6
This Sunday marks Velocity Christian Church’s 5th Anniversary as a community focused on helping folks in the Richmond, Virginia area accelerate their faith journey toward God. But what is it that Velocity – or really every Bible-believing church in the world – will celebrate this Sunday…and every Sunday to come?
It comes down to the radical notion that God loves His creation so much that He sent His only Son to personally pay for the mess we’ve all made of our lives and a once unspoiled creation. With this immense price now cleared from our individual accounts, every believer, through faith in Jesus Christ, is free to serve as His hands and feet throughout the community. Ultimately, it’s a universal body of believers sent to show the world that it’s nothing less than a Church on the Move.
So how’s the church done over the last 2,000 years? The story goes that a missionary once asked Mahatma Gandhi – the pacifist Hindu leader called the Father of India – why he so often quoted Jesus but refused to become His follower.
"Oh, I don't reject your Christ. I love your Christ,” replied Gandhi. “It's just that so many of you Christians are so unlike your Christ."
Yes, we Christ-followers find ourselves in a predicament. Relativism seems to rule America, and what’s obviously right and wrong is no longer considered so black and white. Popular culture brands those who believe in Jesus and His teachings as old-fashioned and intolerant. And those who dare to point out our nation’s retreat from God are called bigots and hate merchants.
The world really is upside down. For many celebrities, musicians and sports stars, breaking the law and going to jail is just a career move. But if a Christ-follower – real or in name only – slips up and does something wrong, the words hypocrite and judgmental quickly follow in the media.
It’s true: Christ-followers really do hold some narrow and politically incorrect beliefs. One is that Jesus is the one and only way to God. Ultimately, the world’s false philosophies and religions fall far short of God’s standards. It’s Good News that the world curses and can’t tolerate.
“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil,” responds God, “who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.”
(Talk about having friends in high places!)
As we celebrate Velocity’s 5th Anniversary of being His hands and feet in Richmond, Jesus encourages us to be salt and light to a distorted world in need of guidance, truth and character.
A skeptical world is watching. May it be that Velocity celebrates our Good News through changed lives marked with love in action!