The Gospel in Blue Jeans
The short Epistle, I John, has often been called, “The Gospel in Blue Jeans.”
It’s not about loving with words or speech but rather loving in truth and action.
“My little ones, let us not just talk about love. Let us not just sing about love. Let us put love into action and make it real!” I John 4:7 (Cotton Patch Version, Clarence Jordan)
Sermons are delivered from a pulpit but they are performed in the streets or at home, in prison or the playground, workplace or soup kitchen – wherever God’s children find themselves among those in need.
A good example of this is Otis Hardy.
Walking the streets of southeast Raleigh, Otis encounters human need everyday. One day he met a woman who had been abandoned by her husband. She was literally walking the streets alone with her children. They had no place to stay. Otis quickly helped her to find a place to live. He even brought her a mattress to sleep on that night.
With a collection of food and clothing from our church, Otis visited her and helped her to provide for her children. On one of Otis’ trips to visit the woman, Lee Viersen accompanied him. Lee and Otis were invited back to have supper with the mother and her children. She said that it was the only time that she ever seen a black man and white man do such loving things for someone like her.
I John 3:16 is just as important as John 3:16.
“Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.” I John 3:16
This Sunday I’ll be preaching in the pulpit.
Sure, I’ll have some words to say (preachers are never lost for words).
But it’s dawning on me that after the sermon, I really need to put on some blue jeans … and hit the streets with Otis.
Will you join me?
In Blue Jeans,
H. William Green
Pastor of Congregational Care