Yesterday morning I gathered with about five hundred people at Hulen Street Baptist Church. We sang praises to the Lord, prayed, and heard God's Word proclaimed. All across the nation, others were doing the same thing. Tens of millions of believers united their hearts in the unity which can only come from a relationship with Jesus Christ. Lives were transformed, broken relationships were healed, hearts were cleansed. The course of people's lives were reversed, turning from a downward spiral away from God to a full, purposeful life in God's will. Countless people accepted Jesus free gift of eternal life and began to experience the abundant life that God intended for them.
In Nickel Mines Pennsylvania, about 20 members of a fringe "church" from Topeka Kansas threatened to picket at the funeral of the five Amish girls killed in the school shooting last week. The protestors, from a church which was asked to leave the Southern Baptist Convention many years ago because of their un-Christlike rhetoric and methods, never actually showed up to picket.
But if you based your opinion of Christians on this weekend's media coverage, what picture would you get: people living out a renewed life in relationship with their creator and redeemer, or angry people invading the privacy of people suffering from a horrible tragedy?
The reality of the Christian life as experienced by me and by tens of millions of other believers is not deemed newsworthy. After all, it happens every day in every city and town. Every channel on your 200-channel cable box could not contain all of the stories of what an extraordinary God is doing in normal people's lives. But all you get from the media is coverage of a few nutcases who use this kind of tragedy to get attention for themselves through their outrageously inappropriate actions.
The media’s job is to report the unusual events, the exceptions, the fringe occurrences, not the common things which happen all the time. That is our job. On Sunday mornings we gather together in the church building, but on Monday morning, the Church of Jesus Christ hits the road. We carry the light of Jesus into our homes, communities, schools, workplaces, hospitals, grocery stores, and wherever else we go. A darkened and lost world needs to see that light in us, in our actions and our words, because they are surely not going to get it from watching TV.