In the March 1982 issue of Atlantic Magazine authors James Q. Wilson and George L Kelling introduce what they called the “Broken Windows” theory of crime fighting. Their theory was that if a city were to take seriously the enforcement of normally minor infractions such as aggressive panhandling, graffiti, and turnstile jumping that there would be a reduction in overall crime, including major felonies. Rudolph Giuliani used this theory for crime fighting to clean up New York City and greatly reduce the crime there.
In our upcoming sermon series we are going to be talking about the things in our life than can become broken if they are grounded in the person of Jesus Christ. If the “broken window” theory holds true for crime then it should hold true for our lives. I see this parallel in that we often let the “small things” in our life unravel which leading to the unravelling of much larger things. Often those things involve some of the issues that we will be touching on in this series: relationships, money, and sexual issues.
Broken lives often begin as broken windows! What is breaking down in your life that might seem small but if left unchecked could lead to greater problems later?
We all have done it or know people who continue to do it. There is that one thing in our house or on our car that we know is broken but somehow we have managed to “jimmy-rig” it so that it still “functions” but in reality it is just busted. The other extreme is that we choose to ignore it and when someone else notices that it is broke we come back with, “oh yeah! I have been meaning to fix that!” Why do we choose to either ignore or “jimmy-rig” the things in our lives that are broken? Dealing with what is broken and is not working is hard and requires some work on our part and we have either become lazy or apathetic in taking the steps to make us whole again. It is my prayer that through our upcoming sermon series, we would see broken people who are struggling with real issues come to Christ and walk away with a new heart and mind!
We are beginning a new sermon series on Sunday called “Broken” and my Bible reading this morning was from the book of Jeremiah. In Chapter 51 the prophet retells of how the city of Jerusalem was invaded by Babylon and the temple of Solomon was destroyed by the Commander of the Armies of Babylon.
He burned down the Temple of the Lord, the royal palace, and all the houses of Jerusalem. He destroyed all the important buildings[h] in the city.
This is the epitome of Broken; the hub and center of the Jewish faith was now destroyed. The place were “religion” was practiced had been taken away from the people of God. What were they to do now? As we learn in other places in scripture, the people of God learned to worship God in a new way and their worship of God was based on faith not religious practices. Turning to the book of Hebrew, the writer of that book looks back at the temple system and comments,
This is an example for the present time. It shows that the gifts and sacrifices offered cannot make the conscience of the worshiper perfect.10 These gifts and sacrifices were only about food and drink and special washings. They were rules for the body, to be followed until the time of God’s new way.
The Hebrew writer is saying that the sacrificial system is broken! It was always broken! Why do we cling to the things in our life which God has said are broken! Our biggest problem as Christians is that we cannot cling to the one thing that is not broken and will never be and that is the person of Jesus Christ! We place all of our hope and trust in things that ultimately will not last.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Amen.
Beginning this Sunday we will be starting a new series called, “Broken.” We will be looking at our finances, our relationships, our sex lives, and our human condition and if they are not grounded in the person of Jesus than they are broken. Here is the promo video for the series:
Yesterday we finished our “Zombies” series with me preaching a message I called “Faking Church.” My big idea was that “when our reputation does not match with reality there is a disconnect.” The message was about hypocrisy and how we must repent of it and make adjustments to our lives so that our reputation as the body of Christ can be restored in the minds of the unchurched. This was a message preached as much to myself as it was to the masses. I know that I am not perfect and I have blown it on my levels but I am covered by the grace of God and I need more of God in my life every day. In this spirit, I am asking my readers for their feedback:
Is hypocrisy a problem in your life or church? How are you dealing with it? Do you think that it is important that we deal with it as pastors and church leaders?
Tonight at Velocity we are gathering our leaders together for our first leadership community. I love it when leaders get together, celebrate and dream about the future. I pray that tonight’s gathering will be the first of many to come.
They say that attending a conference like catalyst is like drinking from a firehouse and it had been that and more. God has shown up here in a big way and he has been speaking to me. In fact he rocked my world at 4am this morning! Can’t wait for day 2.