A May Note from Pastor Rich

Making it Matter 

On the evening of April 3, we showed the movie The Passion of the Christ in our Worship Center and it was viewed by a fairly large group of people. As I watched the brutal beating that Jesus took, I sat there alongside my wife and couldn’t help but weep, almost uncontrollably. I almost couldn’t bring myself to get up and take Communion and finally, Carolyn brought it to me and we participated together. The only thing I could think is that I wanted my life to count for something; I wanted to make a difference somewhere. The whole episode put a new determination and desire in me to live for God and Him alone. I thought the least I could do in this life is to honor Jesus who gave up so much for me and my freedom.

General Martin Dempsey is the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for the United States. As the nation’s top uniformed officer he is in charge of counseling the President about military matters and especially about sending troops into combat. Positioned strategically on his desk is a wooden cigar box given to him by a fellow officer when they returned from Iraq in 2004. The ornately carved box has these words neatly engraved on the top: “Make it matter.” (Google: “general-dempsey-death.jpg”) Inside the box are 133 laminated pictures of the soldiers who died under his command in and around Bagdad during 2003-2004. General Dempsey says sending troops into harm’s way is “always the hardest decision.” That silent box speaks to him every day as he carries the burden of making the deaths of these men matter. Whether or not we realize it, God has prominently positioned a reminder of Christ’s sacrificial death in front of every one of us and it presses us all to regularly evaluate if we are making it matter in our lives in and in the lives of others.

Perhaps I need a sign on my desk which would read, “Make the Death of Jesus Matter.” Isn’t that what we as New Testament believers are actually about? I think I get so many other things on my mind, in my schedule, in my priority list, and in my agenda that I am unable to consider if life or actions actually make the death of Christ matter in my world. I become so busy at times with the “stuff” of life that it is difficult to even see where Jesus fits in. I am sure that when General Dempsey looks at the pictures in that box, he wants to make decisions that will bring honor to the memories of each one of them. When I think of Jesus and what He did to redeem me, the suffering He went through to provide forgiveness and eternal life for me, I can only think that I want my life to matter for Him, in honor of the incredible sacrifice He made. Further, He has not left us a silent box, but an instruction manual on how to live for Him in a way that will “Make it Matter.”

Let’s Make it Matter. Let’s find ways to make the death of Christ matter in our world, to make a difference in our school, our work, our family.

Serving Christ Together,
Pastor Rich