Are we Religious people? I sure hope not. Because unfortunately many, many people think of religious people as judgmental, stingy, grumpy, self-righteous and hypocritical. That is how many people would define the religious. But how does the bible define religion? In his letter to followers of Jesus, James, defines religion like this: "True religion is this", he says, "to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep ourselves from being polluted by the world.” In that sense, I would like to be counted. I want to be defined as someone who does that. I want to be someone who befriends and cares for those whose dreams have been broken. Why? To be a good person? No, no, because something much more has gotten ahold of my affections. I have encountered the presence of something much bigger than myself. It happened by discovering a friendship, a personal relationship with someone I had long thought was dead and gone. And there he meet me, when I wasn´t even looking. Do you know, when I was in college, I felt like an orphan. When I felt all alone. He spoke life into my heart and rescued me.
You know, orphans don´t just live in an orphanage. I am sad to say that we are surrounded by the many orphans walking around on our streets. People with broken dreams, broken relationships, broken hearts, and broken spirits. And for many of these it is all to enticing to try to patch up the brokeness with a bit more drink, a bit more food, a bit more nicotine, a bit more porn.
Sandnes Vineyard is becoming a community welcoming the orphan, the broken into a life with Jesus. We are everyday people trying to follow Jesus. Jesus said a lot and he also did a lot. We get together to read what he said and we spend time practicing “doing” what he did. The bible shows us clearly that what he did on the earth, he clearly modeled for us to do. When his kingdom is living in our hearts, his kingdom spreads to others hearts.
Better together. Together we can bring more of God´s way into our city. Together we can work to redefine what religion is for every type of orphan.
Are you looking for a home? We are having dinner together every-other friday night. Come as you are you will be loved. We exist to provide encouragement, inspiration and training to love God and people. Because to love people is to love God.