“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” – Matthew 5:14-16
So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law. – Galatians 5:1
It’s another Sunday morning at WFPC, and I feel it’s important that we all show up at church so we can grab a little perspective before we move into the coming week.
- Life is good.
- We live in an amazing – dare I say “great” – nation.
- We can choose to attend worship and sing our hearts out in praise of God.
- We can also choose to skip church, and to make absolutely anything we like our priority in life.
- We are free to voice our opinions, to dissent, and to disagree without fear of reprisal.
- We have amazing resources at our disposal, and – even though it’s not always easy (maybe because it’s not easy) – opportunity is always in abundant supply.
However, even though I live in these most amazing United States, where freedom and liberty are written into the DNA of our lifeblood, I am making the choice to attend church today. Why? because none of the good life referenced above means much of anything at all outside of squaring away the most essential question of all – and that’s the question of meaning, the raison d’etre at the very core of who I am.
Because what we all need, before wandering into another week of political small-mindedness, diatribe, invective, and the abuse and misuse of the freedom of speech, is to realign ourselves with the teachings of Jesus, who put absolutely everything on the line in order to make real liberty something that cannot ever be taken away.
Nothing can compromise the freedom we have in Christ. No bullying, no threat of violent reprisal, no defamation of character, no undermining of trust, no mob, no civil unrest, no specter of breakdown of government; nothing.
I believe the only way any one of us can be appropriately equipped to engage the three weeks running up to November’s election with any sense of hope, promise, peace, and assurance, is from the perspective of following Jesus, of living in the light, and of loving with his radical kind of love.
So come to church. And then go back into this crazy world with your light shining brightly, with grace, with purpose, and with integrity – DEREK
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Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.