Can Churches of Christ be saved?
KRESS, Texas — "Oh land of rest, for thee I sigh.…
ROUND ROCK, Texas— When we think of saints, we think of people like the apostles: St. Peter or St. John. We think of St. Francis of Assisi and his vow of poverty or St. Teresa of Calcutta and her devotion to the sick and poor in India. We think of people who are extra holy, more holy than we are or ever will be.
But that’s not the way the Bible talks about saints.
In Scripture, all followers of Christ are called saints, literally “the set apart” or “the holy ones.” To choose Christ is to choose to be a saint. Clothed in his righteousness, washed in his blood, we are made and are being made holy.
At the Round Rock Church of Christ, where my husband, Justin, preaches, we recently began a sermon series called “Everyday Saints.” As part of the series, Chris Reynolds shot portraits of members in the style of saint icons. The portraits have been up in our building, and we’ve pushed them out online with accompanying captions describing the way each person is being made holy by God. The response has been incredible.
First, we intentionally picked people who wouldn’t necessarily describe themselves as saints. Once we persuaded them to participate, the shoots themselves were so moving.
People cried. We prayed over each person and thanked God for what he was doing in their lives. Then, seeing the images — it was such a powerful moment. I’ve received messages from several of the participants telling me how they see themselves differently now, thanks to this experience.
Our church has been receptive to the images in a way I couldn’t have anticipated. They’re sharing them on social media, spending 20 minutes after church reading the captions and meditating. It’s been beautiful.
JENNIFER GERHARDT is the storytelling minister for the Round Rock Church of Christ. Her most recent book is “Swallowed Up: A Story About How My Brother Died. And I Didn’t.”
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