Ephesians 5:1-2 Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. 2 Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.
He was a good minister with 9 years experience behind him, but new to this congregation. His wife and their three pre-school children had won the hearts of the congregation during the first 3 months of pastor/people honeymoon. The church embraced his children, shared their love with the pastoral family in very tangible ways, and listened with joy and receptivity to his creative "new style" of preaching. Life was good. It was heaven on earth!
But then, all hell broke loose. One of the children's workers made an unwise decision and, for a brief moment, lost track of one of the children in her charge. No one was hurt, and the children's worker, a new Christian, was deeply remorseful. The child's parents were gracious, understanding, and forgiving. Only a few people even knew what had happened. In an effort to protect the young Christian children's worker, the pastor, after putting several safeguards in place, chose to keep the children's worker in the ministry she loved. But Sue would not let it go. She wasn't even there when it happened, but she was sure she was right and this pastor was endangering the children... so she started her campaign. Board members were called and fed misinformation. District leadership was notified and an investigative committee was created. Lines were drawn and another permanent tear occured in the body of Christ.
Several months later, the church is much smaller, but, says Sue, they are stronger in spirit. The young Christian who worked with children is no longer part of that fellowship - or any fellowship for that matter. Rather, she is looking for love in all the wrong places these days, trying to drown the memories of a broken faith. The pastor is finding new life in a new church in a new denomination.
And they'll know we are Christians by our...
Soli Deo gloria