Sunday morning I had the privilege to share God’s word with the people of Senoia UMC once again. I shared my thoughts and understandings about Christian marriage based mostly on a passage from Ephesians 5:21-33.
Before you quit reading — I don’t plan to re-preach the sermon. I chose this particular message since Valentine’s Day was the next day. After worship I rushed home, changed clothes and swallowed a couple of hot dogs and rushed out of the house.
The basic purpose of the National CMA effort is sharing and showing the love of Jesus Christ to motorcyclists, and supporting the overall ministry of CMA. In this, there is a three-fold purpose:
Provide and encourage members to be active in testimony and Christian
- witnessing to all motorcyclists.
- Provide a Christian fellowship ride group.
- Provide an evangelistic association for motorcycling.
One of their primary missions is providing terrain specific transportation to persons sharing the Gospel around the world. This could be a motorcycle, a bicycle or even a boat motor. One pastor used to have to walk 7 hours from his place of residence to the “town”. With the gift of a dual sport bike with dirt tires he road home in 5 hours. What could you do with 2 hours if you could get it back each day? And what would you gain in physical resources if you didn’t have to walk 7 hours but could ride (riding 5 hours in that terrain is still physical but nothing to walking it).
This was my first ride with this chapter. I arrived at the designated location, topped off my fuel tank and joined the gathering of 19 bikes and 29 persons I think. I was warmly greeted by various member and made to feel very welcome.
We had a prayer right there in the parking lot, where everyone could see us, before pulling out for a ride through the country. We left out from I-85, exit 41 heading towards Moreland. In Moreland we turned off on a road — and that was the last I knew about where I was. Somehow, someway, we made it around Newnan until we arrived at the Red Robin over near Bullsboro. We ate a good late lunch and began to gather back out by the bikes.
There a member suggested a “second” ride. A number of the members had to head out — most had responsibilities in their churches. About 7-9 of us headed out on a new route. We headed out the opposite side of Newnan past the hospital and down Smokey Road to — well, I really don’t know after that. Eventually, after riding through some VERY beautiful land with pastures, and fields and homes we wound up back on the other side of Newnan just short of the junction of Highway 16. Again, I have no idea how we got there. I used to know my way around Newnan, but after 20 years things have changed a little.
I then headed back towards home with a member that was riding the same way. He split off to
his home and I continued towards mine. It was a great day of riding and fellowship.
So where is this thought heading? It was a great day to be riding a motorcycle, with new friends, sharing words of encouragement in the faith, good food, good times. Does there always have to be a “point”? Well, most of the time there is when you tell a story.
One point is people dressed in black leather, with motorcycles, with rags on their heads, some with tattoos, piercings, and boots are not necessarily there to rob, maim or otherwise do you harm. This group would do anything but that. They blessed a couple of bikes in the Red Robin parking lot. Unashamed to be standing with arms around each other, heads bowed in prayer that God would watch over the rider and their bike , that God would help them stay alert and watchful for safety’s sake.
There were hugs, even some manly hugs, even for this stranger that had come into their midst. It was enough that I was a Christian for me to be welcomed as a member of the family.
Wouldn’t it be nice if this happened with every group we encountered? They stepped out to great us, even if they had never seen us before? They greeted us a member of the family and embraced us as such? They offered to pray for us — wherever and whenever? They were concerned with our relationship with God and our physical safety?
That is the role of a Christian community of faith — a church. A church is not the structure but the persons that gather inside the structure. The church was standing in the Red Robin parking lot praying. The church was riding in a group obeying the traffic laws and setting an example of safety and courtesy for others on the road. The church was on its knees with an air compressor making sure a rider’s tire was properly inflated so it would be safe.
The church sometimes wears a dress or a coat and tie. The church sometimes wears leather chaps, boots, leather vest, helmet, rag on the head, tattoos, piercings, and scars and wrinkles, and — well you get the idea. We try too often to make the church the building, the appearance, the image. If we would spent that time and energy on helping those we have the resources to help — my how the world
could would change.
Until the next time….The Hog Father
- Posted in: Uncategorized