Advent is about longing. The longings of an exiled people for deliverance, for return to home; longings for things to be made right. As a people we connect to these longings in so many different ways. As a church, we seek to bring the Christmas lesson of "Joy to the World" into these longings.
One significant place we hear the groaning of God's people is in the cries of those victimized by abuse. What follows is an introduction from a newly formed coalition of folks at Christ Church who desire to shine Light into these dark places.
Did you know that 1 out of 3 women, and 1 out of 4 men, have experienced some type or level of abuse? Those are statistics from the CDC, as well as from the recent report of the Baptist Convention on Abuse.
This means that a significant number of us here at Christ Church either have experienced, or are experiencing, abuse in some form. God calls us to see the broken-hearted and vulnerable among us, to tend to them and protect them, just as He sent His Son to do.
After several of your CC brothers and sisters read Rachel denHollander’s book, "What is a Girl Worth?", God laid it on our hearts to work toward the goal of caring for the abused in wholistic and healing ways. We have been prayerfully asking ourselves, “What is God calling Christ Church to do?".
One of the first things we realized is that we all need some education / consciousness-raising to increase understanding of what abuse is, what is its impact, and how to respond to it as God does. The psychological, emotional, physical, and spiritual impacts of abuse are frequently unknown to the victims. But they may go through life with many wounds they don’t understand and about which they feel significant shame. How can we journey with victims and be God’s hands and feet in their lives?
As we journey together to shine His light in a broken world we intend to begin writing / speaking in short segments on this topic. Read. Listen. Think. Pray about what God may be saying to you about yourself, a friend, or someone you could journey with.
I am so grateful for this initiative. Abuse flourishes in the dark but loses power when it encounters the light. Be on the lookout for future updates.
This week Pastor Addison will be shining the light of Isaiah 40:6-8. It is a section that reminds us of the transience of humanity, but invites total trust in the Word of God, which stands forever. I look forward to our ministry together this Lord’s Day whether you are in person, online, or in the parking lot!
May the Light reach into all of your dark places.