Wednesday night, our new church celebrated “Hope for a Nation”, a night of worship, prayer and speakers meant to ignite a passion for intercession and action amidst the Christian community of our city. Though we don’t believe in politics as a major means to social change, neither do we support much of the conservative political movement, we showed up out of curiosity (and to hear our elementary school students perform!)
Once again, this new tribe we are living and learning with, blew us away with a fresh look at what being a Jesus follower means.
The six local politicians running for city council were invited, and media members showed up too, to film what turned out to be a beautiful night. Seated in a place of honor in the front row, the city council members were asked to stand and greet the audience and receive a “Bethel welcome.” This means a full standing ovation complete with whistles of appreciation. They looked pretty overwhelmed, in a good way. Certainly many if not all of them have not been honored by churches before. It was a GOOD feeling to be amid the cheering, clapping crowd.
Why do we honor them?? Because we have embraced a new culture of honor that makes such stunning good sense that I can’t believe I didn’t think of it sooner. . . . .
Bill Johnson says,
“A culture of honor celebrates who a person is without stumbling over who they’re not.”
What a supreme little concept. This allows me too to receive honor in all my imperfection. It disconnects honor from agreement and allows honor to build many up instead of tearing many down.
How can we honor the imperfect? The politicians who may stand for the very things we stand against? Is it because truth is subjective and therefore honor can be too?? No. Truth is Jesus. Truth is an objective person.
Yet we honor the imperfect because,
“Our conviction in the grace of God says He can use anyone. (Even us) “
(Bill Johnson, again)
The house came down when the evening’s main speaker spoke directly to the city council members, thanking them for coming and citing their bravery to show up at Bethel, notorious for the unexpected. “But don’t believe everything you read about us,” she said ” and we won’t believe everything we read about you.”
We will believe the best, because we follow Truth, God made flesh. And we embrace Love, the infinite who became finite for us. And He teaches us to honor. . . . .