I was born, raised and now live in El Paso. El Paso is a great place to live if you like to run, and I do. My runs regularly take me up to a place where I can see all three cities and states that adjoin each other here.
A few weeks ago, while on a morning run on my usual route, I noticed two things at a distance I hadn’t realized could be seen from my vantage point.
To the left of my viewpoint was a thick black line in stark contrast to the natural colors of the desert landscape. This is a part of the border wall funded by private donations.
Directly across and above this wall is Mount Cristo Rey, which sits on both sides of the international border between the United States and Mexico. The mountain is named for the statue of Christ located at the top of the mountain.
The figure of Christ stands in front of a giant cross. His eyes gaze out over the borderland, and his arms are outstretched with his palms facing outward over three cities and two nations.
As we wait for healing and solutions to the distress of the coronavirus pandemic, we seek revival like the people of God sought during the time of the prophets.
We desperately search for stories of God working, despite the little we have or the sickness we are trying to understand.
How is the church responding? How should the church respond? Who are the prophets of our time, and how are they responding to the call of God?
Congregations around the country are seeking to answer these questions in new and unique ways. In Waco, as elsewhere, many institutions have responded to COVID-19, seeking fresh ways to love their neighbor like Christ would have us do.
Some see addiction as a disease that stems from biological factors. Others see it as a moral failing that stems from the choice to sin against God. Addiction, however, is formed through various influences in a person’s life, including biological, psychological, spiritual and social factors.
Addiction does not discriminate by color, background, status or gender.
Addiction to alcohol or drugs is characterized by the repeated use of the substance, despite consequences that include personal loss, harm to oneself or others, and damage to property.
The word “addiction” is derived from the Latin word addicere, which means to have no voice and to surrender oneself to a master.
Paul’s self-description in Romans 7 fits addiction very well. He did not understand what he did. He did what he did not want to do, even doing the very thing he hated.
In the evolving dynamic of COVID-19, we have witnessed our world turn upside-down. The normal routines of life, work and play look completely different than they did a few weeks ago.
As followers of Christ, our way of worship and of gathering together in a sanctuary space has shifted. As businesses close down and events get cancelled left and right, congregations are doing their best to press forward. They are restructuring their way of fellowship, teaching and outreach.
While our congregations may be closing their doors physically, I am deeply moved by how they are opening their hearts, arms and minds to new ways to reach their members and their neighbors.