Walking into the Grand Ballroom for Movement Day 2019, I had no idea what to expect, as I had only signed up a few days prior. I quickly discovered this wasn’t meant to be a simple meeting of a few churches. This was a call to action; an attempt to ignite passion for maintaining the unity of the church by and through serving the city and community that we call home. The entire day was spent in worship, prayer, and listening to leaders from not only Charlotte, but across the country, get real about the church and the city.
Casey Crawford, CEO of Movement Mortgage, shared a story of his father who owned a hardware store in Washington DC. It was considered a more “unsafe” part of the city. His father felt called to keep the shop there, even after lying face down on the floor with a gun pointed at the back of his head while being robbed.
All of this was a pre-cursor to the main idea of his message: Repaving the Jericho roads of the city. Looking to Luke 10:25-37, Christ speaks of the parable of the Good Samaritan. The road from Jerusalem to Jericho was dangerous and difficult. Those of high standing, like a priest, moved to the other side of the road to Jericho and passed by the man, it was the Samaritan that had compassion for the man.
He stopped, and he helped. He took action.
All of this culminated to a simple question asked by Casey:
“What Jericho roads do you walk, but choose not to repave?”
It was a piercing question, no doubt. But the beauty of it is that it makes you stop and think. It demands a response. It may even result in a next step. Personally, it brought me to these verses in James:
"What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead." James 2:14-17
At first glance, this seems like an odd verse. Let’s be clear - works do not justify you or make you righteous, and James is not saying that either. He is saying, however, that if we are truly being filled with the Spirit sent to us by Christ and have been engaged at the core of our souls by the Gospel message, then we should ultimately be showing love to others as the outworking of our faith.
So now here I stand, at the intersection of James and Jericho. But not only I, but thousands of other followers of Christ who are learning and discovering what the deep-rooted struggles and often saddening realities that Charlotte faces, but who are also rejoicing and champing the power and calling of the Church to change it.
Here are just a few take aways of other Redemption Members who attended Movement Day.