As I sit down to write this we have just begun the Lenten season, and with the beginning of Lent we have also begun a series of sermons based on the movie “Woodlawn”.  The movie is based on the true story of a high school in Birmingham, Alabama in the early 70’s when schools were being integrated.  The movie details the path of the school's football team who, along with other students, went through a radical change from division to unity based on the students' commitment to follow Christ no matter the cost.  The issues of prejudice, racism and injustice are unfortunately part of the history of our county.  Wouldn’t it be awesome to be able to say that they are just a part of our past and we’ve moved on?

A lot of what the movie focuses on is the possibility of change when we unite behind the power of Christ - the power that defeats division and draws people into a relationship of unity with Him and one another.  In John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.”  The simple truth is that in God’s plan of salvation, He sent His one and only Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins, and Jesus restores our right standing with God as He cleanses us of all unrighteousness and mediates for us; and that is the only way, through Jesus, we have to be with God.  Period!  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Darkness cannot drive our darkness; only light can do that.  Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”  When we as a people gather in unity and trust in the truth of who Jesus is and what He has done for us, then there is no darkness that can extinguish that powerful light.

Prejudice, racism and injustice can only be defeated by the power of God’s love shown to us in Christ Jesus.  There are no programs of government or other entities that can change the human heart.  Only through the power of the Holy Spirit will true change of heart and attitude ever take place.  The world will be a better place if we follow Jesus and live to glorify Him in all we do and say!  Period!  He knew this when He prayed for you and me right before He went to the cross to pay for our sins.  “My prayer is not for them alone.  I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you.  May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.  I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one - I in them and you in me - so that they may be brought to complete unity.  Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”  John 17:20-23.

This Easter let’s celebrate the risen Christ and imagine the possibilities of change that He can accomplish in our lives, in our families, in our community, in our country, and in our world.  This is what happens when God shows up!  “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world.” John 16:33  God is good, all the time!  And all the time, God is good!  Happy Easter!

In Christ’s Love,

Rob, Romans 12