I thank God that 87 years ago, a seed was planted that would grow to be the Church of Christ on Marsalis Avenue. As we live in the overflow of the excitement of our recent Homecoming celebration it has me thinking about the next 87 years. If the earth still stands, the year will be 2102. I will be long gone, my children will be very old, my grandchildren will be members of AARP and my great grandchildren will be in their 30s. If you are reading this article in 2015, the odds aren’t looking good for you to be around here in 2102 either. But just like those who planted a seed in 1928 that would grow to become the church we are, what we do today will impact generations yet unborn.
What is the legacy that we will leave behind? What things do we need to be doing now so that there is a 174th Homecoming?
Over time, things in our families change. There are some people that we are closer to now than we used to be. Then there are those that we are not as close to as we once were. Disconnection within a family can happen for a variety of reasons. There are some people who just drift apart. Everyone is now doing their own thing. Someone takes a job in another state. The activities of adulthood like working, serving the Lord, marriage, parenting, and being a caregiver have taken much of your focus and energy. You are still cool with your family, you just aren’t as close as you used to be. You have drifted apart. To deal with the drift, you must be intentional about reaching out to family members. Try scheduling lunch together, or a weekend road trip. Worship together and share a meal after services.
There are some people within families who have grown apart. You grew up and they didn’t. They grew up and you are still trying to find yourself. You are a Christian now, and the things that your relatives do just aren’t good for a child of God to do, so you grow apart. When you are seeking to grow spiritually, family members may accuse you of changing, forgetting where you came from, or thinking you are better than others. Humility, love, and focus are critical. It is okay to admit that you are changing to be more like Christ. This can help your family members understand why you are different. If you are the one who that others are waiting on to grow up, it’s time to put away childish things. Become the Christian man or woman that God has purposed for you to be!
Thirdly, some families that are disconnected because they have been torn apart. Abuse, lying, infidelity, divorce, death, pride, abandonment, gossip, and mistreatment of others are some of the things that have ripped families apart. People are taking sides. Some are confused as to what to believe. Others say they don’t have time for the nonsense. If your family has been torn apart, look to God to touch hearts, heal wounds, and put the pieces back together. Forgiveness, realistic expectations, and patience are critical. It is also important to acknowledge when you have hurt others, and replace defeating habits with victorious practices.
On Sunday, October 25 we are planning to celebrate our 87th year as a congregation. Over the past 87 years there have been a lot of connections made. There have been hundreds, perhaps thousands connected to God through baptism into Christ. There have been countless lives touched by the members of the body of Christ who assemble on Marsalis Avenue. In our 87 year history we have celebrated life and death, endured tragedies, experienced disappointments, overcome obstacles, and rejoiced in victories.
We are praying that God moves among us and in us in an awesome way during our Homecoming Weekend, October 23-25, 2015. Our goal is to reconnect. Homecoming is about reconnecting with those who used to assemble at 2431 S. Marsalis Avenue. Homecoming provides us an opportunity to celebrate the favor that God has granted this congregation. It is also a great opportunity to reach out to those former members who are not worshipping with the body of Christ anywhere, and invite them to return home. Homecoming is also a great way to introduce non-Christians to Christ and His church.
Homecoming is not just about the past. It is also about celebrating what God is doing among us and through us at this present moment. This year’s inaugural Impact Awards will recognize those nominated by fellow members for the contributions they make to the congregation. Finally, Homecoming is about petitioning God to allow His goodness to shine upon us in the future. I am convicted that our best days are ahead of us and not behind us. As we approach Homecoming weekend, I encourage you to find ways to connect and reconnect. October 23-25 let’s commemorate, celebrate, and anticipate!
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Domestic violence is a reality for millions of Americans from every walk of life and socio-economic class. Women, men, and children can all be victims of domestic violence and both men and women can be perpetrators.
Domestic Violence is a pattern of abusive behavior in which a person uses coercion, harassment, deception, humiliation, manipulation, and/or force in order to establish and maintain power and control over that person’s intimate partner or former intimate partner.
Perpetrators use economic/financial, emotional, psychological/mental, physical, sexual, spiritual, stalking, pet abuse, and/or verbal tactics.
Legal Definition of Family Violence from the Texas Family Code states that it is an act by a member of a family or household that is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault, or that is a threat that reasonably places the member in fear of imminent physical harm.
Biblically, domestic violence is a sin that robs a victim of basic human dignity, disregards their identity as God’s child, and defines a person by the abusers’ need for power. If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence you may call 911 for immediate help or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-SAFE (7233). There is help available for abusers through the Battering Intervention and Prevention Program by calling 214-692-8295.
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