By Fred Leist, Lead Pastor
In the 1930’s a spark ignited a cloud of natural gas in the basement of a Texas school. The resulting blast tragically killed 293 people, most of them children. The explosion happened because the local school board wanted to cut heating costs. They secretly bled natural gas from a neighboring oil company’s pipeline, and somewhere in the process of doing so, a significant leak occurred. As a result of the catastrophe, the government required companies to add a distinct odor to natural gas. Now, the smell of gas is so familiar that we recognize the danger of a leak immediately.
We human beings have an immediate way to recognize danger. It’s called the conscience. Like the smell of natural gas, a compromised conscience is uncomfortable and bothersome. But, when we attend to it, cutting off moral and ethical compromise when it leaks into our lives, we maintain the integrity of our souls. I can’t think of a more significant way for the church to be a beacon of light and hope for the world than modeling true integrity. What we say must match the manner in which we conduct our lives.
Alexander the Great was once called upon to judge several of his soldiers who had committed acts of misconduct. “What is your name?” he asked one man. “Alexander, Sir” the young soldier replied. The great general and king said sternly, “Young man, either you change your name or change your character!”
As Christians, we bear Christ’s name. Our highest calling is to maintain our integrity by reflecting what we see in the life and ministry of Jesus out into the world through our attitudes and our actions. We must embody, as Jesus did, the love and grace of God, extended to all.
This Sunday we continue our FREQUENCY: Tune In – Hear God message series. The message, How to Live Clean in a Dirty World is based on the letters to the congregations in Pergamum and Thyatira, and the basic theme is Christ’s call for us to be people of holy integrity.
By the way, you’re in for a treat this weekend! At 8am (Chapel Worship) and at 9:15am and 10:45am (Sanctuary Worship), Sarah Merrifield, a truly gifted vocalist, will be sharing her musical talents as an offering to God in worship. You will be blessed. I hope to see you Sunday.