Last week, my heart broke as I saw the results of the shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. This act of terror should break the heart of every believer in Jesus Christ! Let me tell you why you should care about this incident…
We are commanded to-
Acts 11:29. The believers in Antioch had never met Jesus’ followers in Judah. They were from two different races, two different parts of the world, and they probably had two different colors of skin.
There was a famine in Judah- Jesus’ people in Antioch heard about the famine and suffering in Judah. God’s Spirit compelled his people to help by giving their money. They gathered a large sum of money to help brothers and sisters whom they had never met. This is how God’s people are supposed to act toward one another.
We’re commanded to live in harmony with each other. 1 Corinthians 1:10 says that there should be no division in the church. This verse takes no denomination into account, it doesn’t allow for geography, or culture, or race, or ethnicity- it simply commands us to let NOTHING divide us.
We are to live like Jesus-
I often want to ask people, ”If Jesus were hurting in front of you- would you reach out to help him?” Most people would answer, “Of course!” Because this is what Jesus is teaching about taking care of his followers.
In Matthew 25:40 Jesus says that by serving each other, we are serving Christ. When we take an active role in serving others in Jesus’ church we are actually serving Jesus. When we come to the aid of those who are in need, we are ministering to Jesus.
We are family-
Perhaps, the strongest reason to care about what happened in Charleston, South Carolina… Is because we are all equal in the eyes of God. Matthew 23:8 teaches that these brothers and sisters in Charleston are my equal.
In fact, the Bible takes it one step further. Ephesians 1:5 says that we are all part of one big family. Since God is my Father – and God is their Father – that makes us brothers and sisters. That makes us family! I love my family. I want what’s best for my family. I hurt when my family hurts. I suffer when my family suffers.
We are not just family… We are even closer than family. All believers in Jesus, worldwide make up one body (Romans 12:4-5). When one part of the body hurts, the whole body hurts. When you stub your toe on the coffee table, in the dark late at night, it hurts all the way up to your head. This is how it is with the body of Jesus Christ.
I care deeply about Emanuel AME Church- I hope God’s Holy Spirit is moving in your heart to pray for, or reach out to your brothers and sisters at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C.