Pete’s Blog

 

Mondays with Pete

October 16, 2017

Good morning;

For many of my years in ministry, I spent at least one week each summer at junior and senior high camp as small group leader and many times dean of the camp.  Some of my fondest memories of ministry come from these experiences.  From the beauty of camps set in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains in northeast Oklahoma, to the canyons of western Oklahoma, to the lake shores of southern Oklahoma, to sharing a cabin with 14 seventh grade boys, God seemed to touch me at each place and each event.

West of Oklahoma City about 50 miles you’ll find Canyon Camp set in the red-dirt plains of western Oklahoma.  From the ground, you would not even know it was there.  The land stretches out to the horizon in each direction.  From the air, you would see the five canyons of the camp property spread out like on outstretched hand.  The road grows narrow as you approach the twisted, one-lane road that drops you into the canyon.  The sheer limestone cliffs, carved by water centuries ago, surround the camp like an impenetrable wall.  As you walk away from the central camp area and back into one of the canyons, there is a magnificent cliff-face of red, layered limestone soaring at least a hundred feet from the canyon floor.  It is not just straight up, but hangs out over the canyon floor creating natural roof.

Many times I stood there wondering what those rocks would say if they could talk.  What would they say about generations of people, young and old, who gathered in the wonderfully quiet spot to be in touch with nature and more importantly, be in touch with God.  If only they could be verbal witness.

As Jesus entered Jerusalem the last time, he was told by the Pharisees to calm the crowd so the Romans would not come thinking there was a riot and disperse the crowd.  Jesus said he could not calm the crowd because even the rocks and stones would cry out.

There are silent witnesses all around us.  I wonder what our church building would say of it could relate the happenings within its walls over its years of history.  What would be the good things they could tell us?  What would be the bad things they would not let us forget?

There are other silent witnesses to the goings on of the church and its people.  They are the people who see us in our everyday existence.  They judge whether or not our actions and attitudes match what we say we believe.  They watch carefully and silently from the outside, seeking a true understanding of what Christianity and the Church is all about.

If those witnesses would speak to us, what would they say?  Would they say what we proclaim and how we live match us both as individuals and as a church?  Would they say what we proclaim is only a proclamation and not a lifestyle?  Oh, if the rocks and silent witnesses would only speak to us.  Would we want to hear what they say?

In a world where Christianity and the Church are under scrutiny by people seeking the faith and a relationship with God, and those who would criticize our Biblical stances, what is our witness?  The world is watching.  Yes, even the small worlds that are our everyday lives see our witness and the witness of our church.

What is your witness?  What is the witness of your church?  If the silent witnesses could speak, what would they say about the Christianity you proclaim and live?  Something to think about this week.

 

REMEMBER, YOU CAN WATCH COMMUNITY CHURCH LIVE EACH SUNDAY MORNING AT 10 AM BY CLICKING ON THE LIVESTREAM BUTTON ON OUR WEBSITE OR GO TO LIVE.SRBCC.COM. OR YOU CAN WATCH PREVIOUS SERVICES ON SRBCC.COM CLICKING ON THE VIEW SERVICE BUTTON.

 

Mondays with Pete will be away next week.   See you in two weeks.

Rev. J. Pete Hyde

Pastor

Santa Rosa Beach Community Church
850-267-2599