When the Duke University chaplain was invited to preach in an inner city church, the service ran two and a half hours before it was time for him to preach! “Why do these people stay in church so long,” the exhausted chaplain asked the pastor.
The pastor answered, "Unemployment runs nearly 50 percent here. This means that when our people go about during the week, everything they see, everything they hear tells them: 'You’re a failure. You’re nothing because you don’t have a good job, you don’t have a nice car, you don’t have money.' So on Sunday, I must get their eyes focused on Christ. Through the hymns, the prayers, the preaching I say to them, 'That is a lie! You are royalty! You are citizens of the kingdom of God!' It takes me a long time to get them straight because the world perverts them so terribly." Wow! That’s a sermon right there!
I have been here in the inner city for more than 60 years, and that’s precisely what children and adults alike have been told all their lives. Many adults on these streets never knew their biological father because he’s serving a life sentence for murder. Others never knew their mother because she is in prison. Many of them have served time in prison themselves. One can almost see a great big “L” tattooed on their forehead, for LOSER.
Why go to church? Because that’s where we take time to hear God’s Word, and let Him clear our minds and hearts of all the filth and trash that surrounds us in this world. One of our young inner city girls said it this way, “I like to go the Mission’s Chapel services, because that’s where we get all of garbage out.”
Friend, please pray, and help us proclaim forgiveness and salvation through Jesus Christ here in the garbage heap of Skid Row. Use a major credit card to donate online, www.fjm.org. God’s Word will “get the garbage out” of precious lives.
Willie L. Jordan