Lessons From Life
As part of a workshop I once attended, participants were all given an empty bag. The bag was made of a stiff plastic that made a lot of noise when it was handled. The workshop leader shared that the only negative
feedback he got from earlier workshops was from a woman who complained that the bag was too noisy. I leaned over to the person sitting next to me and whispered, “Maybe that was intentional. The Church should be making some noise.” I kind of said that in jest, but the more I think about it, the more profound that statement seems to be. One consistent message throughout the New Testament is that the Church should be out in the world proclaiming the gospel message. Individual believers are encouraged (dare I say “expected?”) to spread the Word and to tell others about Jesus. In other words, the Church should be making some noise in the world.
One of the complaints I hear, and sometimes make, is that the world is the way it is today because the Church has too often been silent when it should have been making noise. Perhaps if the Church had spoken up more when prayer was being removed from the schools, that decision might have gone differently. Perhaps if the Church had been more vocal about the dangers of promiscuity and the evils of substance abuse, the teen pregnancy and drug abuse rates might be lower now. Perhaps if the Church had been more intentional about telling the good news, more of the last generation and their descendants might be in churches today.
So, let’s not complain about the Church making noise. Instead, let’s join in the commotion! This is especially true today given the noise hate and other such groups are now making. As the Church, God’s voice to the world, we need to be speaking up for God and speaking out against those who oppose God’s message of love for and to all people. I commend and am proud of those of you who have already raised your voice on behalf of God and the Church.
Here in the Harrisburg District, and throughout the Susquehanna Conference and the general United Methodist Church, let us be committed to making noise for Jesus everywhere and any time we can. Privileged to be serving with you as we strive to make our churches be places that are more like Christ (holy), more welcoming (home) and more life-