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Personal from the President: March 25, 2021

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Personal from the President

March 25, 2021

Last week on our Inside United podcast we featured a discussion between North Carolina pastor Dan Preston and deacon Ernest Grier. With the trial concerning the death of George Floyd in this week's headlines, Grier talks about his experience as a person of color and how to approach issues of race from a Christian perspective.

Here are a couple of comments that we have received at podcast@ucg.org regarding last week’s Inside United podcast:

  • “Thank you so very much for showing your black brothers and sisters much love by facing today’s racial issues in society brought forward from the past. I look forward when this madness is over and Christ reigns! As noted in the podcast, praying is always very effective in bringing all members as one body in Christ.

    “Being a black male, I pray for us to understand our diverse cultures, and honestly getting to know the ‘true’ history and emotional feeling of people of color. Learning what it means economically, socially, environmentally and politically. Not that the Church should be of the world, but to obtain accurate knowledge of our nation’s diverse communities.

    “We need to be communicating, listening . . . reasoning together, asking about our thoughts. We should also be volunteering in culturally diverse communities here in the U.S.; letting our light shine as an advertisement of Christ’s soon-coming Kingdom. Let others see that we do represent the Kingdom of God. God Bless, and thanks very much for your platform.” —Sherman F.
     

  • “Very inspiring interview with Mr. Grier. I appreciated his candor and sincerity very much!” — Jan G.

As I was writing my column this week, I came across what my predecessor, Dennis Luker, wrote for the eNews almost 10 years ago. He focused on the foot-washing part of the Passover service that we will be partaking in shortly.

God raised up Denny Luker when the Church of God needed love and assurance at a time of fiery trial in early 2011. Denny stepped up to the call with his personal example of love, care and selfless service.

As I read what he wrote, I decided to set aside what I wrote and share his message with you again. It is so applicable to the Church, especially at this time of year when we need to focus on what Jesus Christ sacrificially did for us in order to forgive our sins, reconcile us to Him and grant us eternal life. He did that for us while we were still behaving badly: “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8 Romans 5:8But God commends his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
American King James Version×
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At the foot-washing, can you extend that same forgiveness and desire to reconcile with a brother, any brother? We have prided ourselves sometimes on being members of the “True Church.” Are we also true Christians as well? I conclude with the words of Denny Luker:

April 7, 2011
Foot-washing and Christ-like Service

Dear fellow elders and wives, deacons and deaconesses, and staff members,

The foot-washing ceremony is an important part of the New Testament Passover service. Jesus Christ washed the disciples’ feet at His last Passover with them and said, “You call me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example that you should do as I have done to you” (John 13:13-15 John 13:13-15 [13] You call me Master and Lord: and you say well; for so I am. [14] If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; you also ought to wash one another's feet. [15] For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.
American King James Version×
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Washing the dirty feet of arriving guests, who mostly walked and wore sandals, was the duty of a lowly household servant. Yet, here is Christ, the prophesied Savior of the world, the Son of God, humbling Himself to set an example of love and service for His disciples, and for us today. Later on this same evening He said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35 John 13:34-35 [34] A new commandment I give to you, That you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. [35] By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one to another.
American King James Version×
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This Christ-like attitude of deep, godly love and sincere humility is what we all are striving to emulate. This can only be accomplished as we yield our hearts and minds to God and let Christ live in us by the power of the Holy Spirit. We all fall short but want to keep learning and growing spiritually, so that we can be better servants of God, just like Jesus Christ.

Christ-like Service is the theme (or motto) chosen by United’s Council of Elders to help us focus on and work together in the ministry and membership for the development of Christ-like service at every level of our church and work. This is for everyone, not just the ministry. We will be writing and speaking more about this as time goes on. We genuinely and sincerely want to encourage, promote and inspire greater spiritual growth for all of us in becoming more like our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He set the example for us, suffered and died for us, and now lives in us to help us become more like Himself.

At this coming Passover and foot-washing service, let us remember Christ’s great sacrifice and perfect example of love, humility and service, and let us rededicate our lives to God in Christ-like service.