Downtown Cornerstone Blog
Jun 4

A Prayer of Lament

Ethnic Harmony, Prayer

A Prayer of Lament

On Sunday, May 31st, we took some time during our morning gathering to pray and lament over the events that have taken place in the last several weeks in our nation and in our city. Below is the prayer that was prayed by Pastor David, and which we wanted to make available, as we continue to grieve and process the unfolding events in the days and weeks to come.


Father, many of us are coming to you this morning with very heavy, burdened, fatigued, sorrowful, lamenting, frustrated, and maybe even angry hearts.

It has been a rough week, really a rough few weeks—especially for many of our minority brothers and sisters—as we again see and feel the weight and brokenness of this world on full display.

From the heartbreaking and gut-wrenching videos of murder we witnessed in the killings of Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd, to peaceful protests for justice being hijacked for the destruction of our city and many cities around the country, to the ongoing pandemic and the racial targeting of our Asian-American brothers and sisters…

Lord, we can’t even open up our phones, turn on the TV, or even step outside some of our doors, without being reminded of the brokenness of sin in our world.

And if we’re honest, we’re tempted maybe to emotionally shut down, throw in the proverbial towel, and look for a way of escape.

And yet Lord, we know this season is not a surprise to you. In fact, you tell us in your word, that because of sin there will be “men who suppress the truth by their wickedness” and are filled with every kind of “evil, greed, depravity…envy, murder, strife, deceit, and malice” (Rom. 1:18, 28-29).

And our hearts cry out with the Psalmist, “How long, O’ Lord?!” (Ps. 13)

  • Father, our hearts long for restoration, for your redemption, and for your justice and righteousness to prevail.
  • We long to see an end to the racial violence that continues to separate our country and our world.
  • We long to see leaders, politicians, and those placed in power, rule with justice and equity.
  • We long to see your justice prevail in the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and many many more.
  • Father, we know, deep down, that what we ultimately long for is you!

And this season is a stark reality, that there is no hope in this world apart from you.

There is no hope for the human heart, except for it to be radically transformed by your grace.

So Father, our hearts grieve and lament. We lament, because our world is not as it should be.

And we lament because we are not what we should be.

And yet, this we call to mind, and therefore we have hope…“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end, they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lam. 3:23-24)

And we know that hope in you is not a vague feeling that we “hope things will one day get better”, but a confident expectation that your Gospel is big enough to heal the brokenness of the human heart.

It is big enough to free us from our own biases, our own blind spots, our own indifference, our own self-righteousness, our own unrighteous anger—and ultimately our rejection of you as Savior and Lord of our life.

So, Lord, we come humbly to you this morning and ask:

  • That you would comfort the black community that is hurting right now—whether that be in and through us as a church, or other churches in Seattle, or and maybe most of all, by and through your Spirit. Remind them that you see them, you know their hurt, their concerns, and their pain. And as Psalms 23 reminds us, that even though we go through the valley of the shadow of death, you are with us, and your rod and your staff comfort us.
  • That you would bring comfort to the families of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd, as they are deeply grieving right now. We ask that you would help them see that you are their ultimate vindication.
  • For repentance, salvation, and justice for the officers and others involved in these killings.
  • For wisdom for Minneapolis, Seattle, and other city leaders around the country. We ask that you would allow them to rule and lead with wisdom, equity, and justice, and that those in positions of authority would fight for reform where needed. And we ask that you would carefully guide every person involved in the judicial process of all of these cases—so that truth and justice would prevail.
  • That you would give us a deep love and empathy for our neighbors. That we wouldn’t write all this off as political, but be willing to listen and learn. Be willing to hear and console, and be willing to encourage and exhort.
  • That you would make us a bold people, who are willing to stand for truth, stand for justice, and stand with those who are oppressed—not because we’re supposed to, but because we love our neighbor.
  • For other area churches and pastors who are already knee-deep in pastoring through a pandemic, we ask that you would help them love and lead their people well this morning; that you would give them wisdom in their words, to point everyone back to you as the ultimate answer to the deepest problems we are faced with.
  • And finally Lord, we ask that you would protect the unity of the Church, our church, and not let another gospel of nationalism, personal autonomy, good deeds, activism, or even altruism, to strip the true Gospel of its Saving power.

Lord, we long for the day, where you tell us in Revelation, that your work will come to an end. Where there will be no more pain, no more tears, no more death, no more racism, no more injustice, no more Covid-19, no more suffering… and where there will be perfect peace.

God’s people, in God’s place, under God’s rule.

Until then, Father, protect us from wanting the Kingdom without the King. Protect us from not caring about the plight of our neighbors who are lost without you, and help us keep our eyes fixed on you.

Make us teachable and willing to learn, Keep us humble. Give us eyes to see, and ears to hear, the truths that free us from bondage to sin, and give us life in you.

And we pray all these things, in your name, the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Jun 3

A Call To A 24-Hour Fast

, Ethnic Harmony, Prayer | by Pastor Adam Sinnett

Pastoral Note


We are living amidst tumultuous times (e.g. ongoing racial injustice, protesting, violent rioting, exploitive looting, a once-in-a-century-pandemic, near record-level unemployment, deep political divisions, an inability to gather as a church, in addition to the every day trials and temptations of our personal lives) and one vital means of grace the Lord has given to his church amidst such storms is fasting and prayer.

Therefore, I am writing to invite you to join the elders in a 24-hour food fast (fasting from food, but not water) beginning tonight after dinner, Wednesday, June 3rd, and lasting up till dinner tomorrow, Thursday, June 4th (i.e. skip breakfast and lunch on June 4th).

If protests are an appeal to earthly powers, fasting is an appeal to the Highest Power. Peaceful protests and calls for justice are good, right, and have their place. But, only the power and presence of God can bring about the nature of changes that are most deeply needed in our city. That means, we must pray.

Ask yourself: Am I seeking God’s face with the same intensity by which I am seeking to remedy the injustices of the world? Does the heat of my prayer life out-do the heat of my protests? Does my pleading with God out-weigh my pleading with others? Does my virtue signaling signal that God is my highest virtue? If not, we must pray.

Racism, violence, and injustice are demonic at their core (Eph. 2:2-3; 6:12f), not earthly, and a spiritual cause requires a spiritual solution. Therefore, while there are many things we could do, the one thing we must do is pray.

One of the primary ways to bring focus to our prayers is to fast. The purpose of fasting is to express absolute dependence on God. It is a way to say to God, “This much, O God, we need you! We are not self-sufficient, but entirely dependent. We can’t sort this out on our own. You must act if anything is to change!” As such, fasting is always coupled with prayer as you allow every hunger pang to highlight your need for God.

Over these 24-hours, and beyond, let’s pray…

  1. That God would unexpectedly show up in His saving, life-changing, and heart-transforming power, in Jesus. That His local churches would be innocent and wise (Mt. 10:16), being salt and light in their spheres of influence (Mt. 5:13-16), and communities of love that shock the city (Jn. 13:35). That the gospel would be clear and central. That the unifying power of the gospel would be displayed in His reconciled, multi-ethnic people who are bound together by the Spirit, which is stronger than blood, as local embassies of the kingdom to come.
  2. That justice would prevail, especially in favor of communities of color. These recent events are not isolated, but are part of a long, unbroken string that stretches back hundreds of years. Shockwaves of past injustices continue to ring out into the present. Let’s seek to be a force for good, because we are gospel people. Further, let’s pray that earthly justice would not end there, but ultimately lead to gospel revival and renewal, and true reconciliation, throughout our city. Let’s pray that this city-wide desire for justice would lead those of our city to Jesus, the only purely Just One.
  3. That city, state and national leadership would have wisdom. These are complex times. Let’s ask our gracious God to grant favor, wisdom and mercy to decision-makers. Let’s pray that our leaders, and upright police officers, to humbly love truth, walk in the light, and leverage their positions of influence for good, not harm. They are under tremendous pressure and are finite, like us, so may God grant them mercy.
  4. That we would learn to depend and do good amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. This disease continues to kill people every day, plunder the economy, promote personal despair, and prevent Jesus’ people from gathering. Let’s pray this season will come to an end soon. That we would learn the lessons He has for us to learn. That our hope and joy, in Him, would not waver. That we’d have spiritual eyes to see how He is moving around us, so that we can join Him in that work.

Joining with you, in fasting and prayer. Let’s pursue Him together.

With you, in Christ, for the sake of the world—
Pastor Adam

P.S. If you are unable to fast for medical reasons, or your schedule does not allow you to participate on the dates above, please feel the freedom to adjust the type or length of fast you practice and/or the dates on which you practice it.

May 15

Longing for Justice in a World Gone Mad

, Ethnic Harmony | by Pastor Adam Sinnett

Downtown Cornerstone,

By now you’ve seen the news of the shooting of Ahmaud Arbery on February 23, 2020, outside Brunswick, Georgia. Travis McMichael, and his father, attempted to make an armed citizen’s arrest of Ahmaud, who they believed was involved in a string of residential burglaries, while he was jogging unarmed. However, an altercation ensued and Ahmaud was shot two times in the chest, resulting in his death. Since the victim was an unarmed African American and the assailants were armed white men this is understandably seen as another sad episode of racial violence in our nation’s history. Additionally, the fact it took three months for the McMichael’s to be charged has rightly raised significant questions about the just handling of this case by local authorities.

So, what are we to do with this news?


Regardless of the details, this is another deeply troubling manifestation of a world groaning under the weight of sin. This world is not as it should be—it hasn’t been since the fall (Gen. 3) and it won’t be until Jesus returns (Rev. 20-22). Relationships break down. Words are wielded to wound. Power is abused. Sexuality is distorted. Biases exploit. Emotions manipulate. Violence reigns. Justice is perverted. Unarmed joggers, made in the image of God, are shot in broad daylight. Unfortunately, this isn’t new; this is as old as humanity itself. It is right to long for justice amidst a world gone mad.

So, how are we to cope? The Bible’s answer is, in part, to lament. A lament is a passionate expression of grief and sorrow to God. The Psalms are filled with such laments (e.g. Psalm 12, 22, 44, 88). In fact, an entire book of the Bible is called Lamentations, which laments the fall of Jerusalem to foreign invaders. To lament is to express your pain, your struggles, your doubts, and your unresolved questions to God. Start with lament by directing your pain Godward.


The historical relationship between whites and blacks in our country is filled with unconscionable violence and unspeakable injustice. That history serves as an important backdrop for how events, such as this, are perceived. From one angle, this situation could look like an over-zealous attempt-gone-wrong to protect your neighborhood. But, from another angle, it looks like yet another incident of a young unarmed black man who is killed without due process (e.g. Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, et. al.). Was race a factor? We don’t know. But, it certainly doesn’t appear that ‘black lives matter’ when it takes three months and a public video release for the wheels of justice to get set in motion.

Regardless of the details, we must mourn with those who mourn (Rom. 12:15). Not every minority or African American processes such incidents in the same way—just like anyone else. After all, suffering isn’t monolithic. But, we can still mourn that such situations continue to be a reality. We can mourn that some may wonder if they’ll be ok if they go out for a jog. We can mourn that some little boys and girls grow up wondering how they’ll be treated in a majority context. To every African American, we express profound pain and sorrow with you. We join you in this time of mourning and stand with you.


These issues didn’t emerge overnight nor will they quickly go away. So, we must take the long view even as we seek to do as much good as we can today. If we are to love our neighbor as we love ourselves (which is the second greatest commandment, Mark 12:31) that means we must lean into areas we are unfamiliar with out of love for those who are different from us. As a church we continue to work to create a culture where we can lean into these issues honestly and openly, even amidst our many differences. To do so we continue to write articles, preach sermons, offer classes, and recommend reading. We must lean in together as we seek to bear one another’s burdens (Gal. 6:2). For example:

ArticleRacism is a Radical Evil
SermonsThe Racism-Crushing GospelA Gospel Forged People in a Divided AgeGod’s New Humanity.
ClassUndividedIdentity Politics and the Death of Christian Unity
Reading: We also recommend reading Divided by Faith and its counterpart, United by Faith.


It is easy to get caught-up in the emotional and politicized roller coaster of the news cycle. We want to take control. We want to do something. We want justice to prevail. We want leaders to propagate our vision for the world. We want the indifferent to wake up. We want to signal our virtue. We want this fixed now. This must not happen again. Enough, we think, and rightly so. There is much that is good, true and noble about such sentiments.

Yet, if we’re not careful, in our desire for justice, do we become unjust?

In our yearning for peace, do we create division?
In our passion to love, do we become unloving?
In our hope of righting wrongs, do we inadvertently add to them?
In our hunger for justice, are we also hungering for righteousness?
After all, only the poor in spirit, will enter the kingdom (Mt. 5:3)

We must be patient, but patience doesn’t mean passive inactivity. It means prayerful, God-centered, restraint in the face of opposition. It means being quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger (James 1:19). Why? “Because the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God” (James. 1:20). To be patient is to love (1 Cor. 13:4). Patience allows time for more answers to arise. Patience gives space for repentance to occur (Rom. 2:4). Patience is more likely to earn us a hearing with others (Pr. 25:15). We must be patient, even as we act.


Friends, let’s continue to humbly submit ourselves to God when we see events like this unfold before us. We know that politics, blogs, and social-shaming can’t ultimately change the human heart. We know that racial utopia is not possible in this life. We’re not naive. But, neither are we paralyzed. The world is in search of answers; we know who He is. While we long for justice in a world gone mad, we know justice is coming (Rom. 12:19).

We are in this city to know Jesus and to make Him known. Let’s build meaningful relationships with others who are different from us. Let’s engage in the discussion with wisdom, tenderness, and courage. Let’s passionately share the heart-changing, all-satisfying good news of Jesus. Together, let’s be a visible, albeit imperfect, local expression of Jesus’ redeemed and reconciled (!) people to a divided world in desperate need of healing hope.

My heart is with you, my prayers are for you,
Christ is all, always.
Pastor Adam

Jan 31

Mercy Ministry Update | January

Ethnic Harmony, Mercy Ministries, Mercy Update

The Mercy Ministry Updates are a regular snapshot of our Mercy Ministries in DCC, where we are working to serve and uphold the value and dignity of God’s most vulnerable image bearers in our city. Each update highlights one of our focus areas, as well as provide a listing of upcoming events, and current prayer requests across all of our focus areas.

Gospel Framework

The Bible, as God’s inspired word, displays God’s good design and our radical need for a savior, found only in Jesus, and calls us to live out our new identity in Christ as we engage the world around us.

“Thus says the LORD of hosts, Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another, do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart.”Zechariah 7:9-10

God speaks through Scripture to his people, calling them to faithful action to care for the most vulnerable people around them. Often in these instructions, we see four populations listed – the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, the poor – as a description of those who were most vulnerable in their midst. And we also often see these instructions intermingled with instructions to care for brothers and sisters (“one another”), which is to say, the love that we have for those who are vulnerable is not some “out there” love but a “from here” love that starts in the family of God, rooted in God’s love for us. We love because he first loved us, and has given us the commandment to love others. (1 John 4:19,21). This is good news for us because it means we can put the love of others into practice right here in our church and in our city.

Mercy Focus Highlight: Understanding Disproportionality

As a church we support and partner with several mercy ministries and want to share and highlight their on-going work.

Racial Disproportionality, that is, the underrepresentation or overrepresentation of a racial or ethnic group compared to its percentage in the total population, is a reality in every one of our mercy focus areas (Life/AbortionFoster Care/AdoptionJuvenile DetentionSex TraffickingHomelessness, and Refugees). This means that people, families, and communities of color are more affected than white people, families, and communities (in King County and nationally). So as we care for the most vulnerable populations in each of these areas, we should seek to understand this reality so that it can inform our care. Other types of disproportionality also exist in many of our mercy focus areas, such as the economic disproportionality of women seeking an abortion, and even some interdependencies between them, such as children in foster care and juvenile detention, or juvenile detention and sex trafficking. Similarly, those whom we seek to serve in these areas have, without question, experienced trauma, which likewise informs how we understand and care for them.

These factors lead us to understand the complexity and scope of sin’s impact on our world. In turn, this should also lead us toward increased empathy and informed care for those we serve and increasingly see the measure of Christ’s gift to us in our salvation. As we simultaneously see the depth of sinfulness and brokenness of the world around us and the height of God’s love for us in Christ, we will move toward others in love as he has loved us.

Upcoming Events

Not all events are sponsored or hosted by DCC, but serve those in our focus areas. See linked details for each.

Partner Prayer Requests

Please join us in praying for the people impacted and involved in each of these focus areas.


  • Praise God for answering the prayers of World Relief and others, as the federal government announced that it will continue working with all of the organizations that work to resettle refugees in the U.S.
  • Pray for those seeking entry into the US, with the recent drop in federally allowed refugees, and elsewhere – that they would be provided for and cared for by the church globally.

 Foster Care & Adoption

  • Kids in extended foster care – if a child doesn’t have permanency at the age of 18 then they can apply to be in extended foster care, a program for 18-21 year-olds. Pray they would learn the skills they need for independence, and that they might not lose hope of having a family and a place to call home. 
  • Kids aging out of foster care – this is one of the most vulnerable populations of kids. They leave foster care without support and are susceptible to a variety of different dangers from sex trafficking to drug and alcohol abuse to homelessness. Please pray that God would move in the hearts of those families that He wants to adopt the children aging out of foster care.

Sex Trafficking & REST

  • By God’s grace, REST has seen their ministry grow significantly over the last few years, and with that has come to the need for new office space. Please pray with REST as they search for office space in Seattle for their administrative team so that they can continue to serve the survivors they work with as effectively as possible.
  • As we enter 2019, let’s also be praying for God to transform hearts throughout our city and area. Let’s pray that God will bring many people out of brokenness and into faith and relationship with Him, and let’s pray that He works in and through REST for His glory and the good of many!

Homelessness & UGM

  • In 2019 we want to double the number of mentors in our men’s recovery program, going from 20 to 40. Please pray that God would call the next cadre of mentors to the Mission.
  • Safety and protection of our homeless neighbors during the wind, rain, and cold of the winter months.  

Juvenile Detention

  • Please pray for God to comfort the children that are away and have been away from their families and loved ones during the holidays and who may be feeling particularly lonely and without hope. 
  • Please pray that God would open the eyes and hearts of these children to see the real hope they have in Christ despite the circumstances in front of them and for the Lord to put people in their lives that can encourage them to place their trust in Jesus and grow to be more like Him.

Life & CareNet

  • Continued favor in the Communities CareNet is serving – For open doors with the social services agencies and health facilities, that these agencies will see the benefits they offer to clients
  • New Mobile schedule in 2019 – For direction and provision as they expand their schedule to include DCC and more hours in current locations 

Stay Connected

Join the focus area city groups in order to hear more regular updates, events, and opportunities to serve.

Aug 16

Racism is a Radical Evil

Ethnic Harmony, Global Issues, News | by Pastor Adam Sinnett

Our family just returned from vacation this past weekend. As we did, we watched the horrific scene in Charlottesville, Virginia unfold on Saturday. Many of you saw it. A group of so-called “white nationalists” held a protest that, in turn, spawned a counter-protest. The result? Three dead, at least 34 wounded, and a nation vividly reminded that racial issues remain unresolved in our country. Unfortunately, as we all know, this is not a stand-alone event. 

As Christians, we need to be emphatically clear that all forms of racism, personal or institutional, are radically evil. The essence of racism is discriminating against others based on their race. This discrimination is fueled by a wrongly-held belief in the superiority or inferiority of one race over against another. We need to be clear, however, that this belief is not merely wrong, it’s evil. Racism is sin. 

This is not primarily a political issue. This is primarily a God issue. The Bible reveals that every single human being—young and old, rich and poor, born and unborn, black and white—is made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). Therefore, every single human is equally worthy of dignity, value, and respect as an image-bearer of God. 

The Apostle Paul said, “[God] made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth” (Acts 17:26). The beautiful, diverse, multi-hued tapestry of humanity is God’s idea. Racial distinctiveness is meant to showcase God’s immeasurable creativity and boundless originality. 

Further, we shouldn’t miss that Jesus came as a middle-eastern man. God-incarnate was brown. When He returns again, His redeemed people will be comprised of a countless multitude, “from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages” (Rev. 7:9). In a word, God’s saving purposes in the world, in Jesus, are multi-ethnic. 

In light of all this, the racist ideology of groups such as the KKK, “Alt-right”, “white nationalists”, or others like them, is not merely a matter of poor politics nor bigoted ignorance, but of radical moral evil. Racism is fueled by a heart that has separated the gift of race from the Giver of race and distorted it for its own selfish purposes—and Satan couldn’t be more delighted.

Friends, let’s humbly submit ourselves to God when we see events like this unfold before us. We know that politics, blogs, and social-shaming can’t ultimately change the human heart. We know that racial utopia is not possible in this life. We’re not naive. But, neither are we paralyzed. The world is in search of answers; we know who He is. 

We are in this city to know Jesus and to make Him known. So, let’s ask Jesus to search our hearts and dismantle any residue of racism within. Let’s build meaningful relationships with others who are different from us. Let’s engage in the discussion with wisdom, tenderness, and courage. Let’s passionately share the heart-changing, racism-crushing, all-satisfying good news of Jesus with all who will hear. Together, let’s be a visible, albeit imperfect, local expression of Jesus’ redeemed multi-ethnic people to a divided world in desperate need of help. 

Christ is all, 
Pastor Adam

Jun 11

“What if no one else within DCC is like me?”

, Ethnic Harmony | by Pastor Adam Sinnett

If you’ve asked this, you’re not alone.

More than one of you have asked this very question – and it’s a good one. Maybe you’ve thought, “There is no one like me here.” Or, “No one is interested in the same things.” Or, “No one is in my season of life.” Or, “I’ve tried but just don’t seem to connect.” Those thoughts inevitably leads to other thoughts like, “Maybe I should go somewhere else.” Or, “I should be with people who are just like me.” Or, “Perhaps Christianity isn’t for people like me.” My concern is for where the initial question may lead, not with the initial question itself.

We have a new, growing and very diverse church.

We have younger and older singles; younger and older marrieds; couples with and without kids; college, post-college, and no-college; rich and poor; out-of-shape and in-shape; tattoos and no tattoos; healthy and sick; employed and unemployed; extroverts and introverts; mature and immature; consistent and inconsistent; faithful and unfaithful; recovering drug addicts and current drug addicts; Christians, non-Christians and I-potentially-want-to-be-a-Christian’s; white, black, latino, asian, and native american; and more. It doesn’t surprise me if you may feel a little different or out of place. I feel different and out of place.

But, don’t miss what Jesus is doing in you and us.

Only the saving, forgiving, reconciling work of Jesus Christ could bring such a diverse group of people together. Jesus is creating a people for him, out of all the people of the city of Seattle, and we get to be part of that work, together. The very thing we find challenging (i.e. our diversity) is the very thing that brings Jesus deep joy and glory. It’s the very thing that causes visitors and newcomers to ask, “What in the world is going on here?” I love that question. The answer? The gospel of Jesus Christ is at work. Listen to how the Apostle Paul describes this work in his letter to the church at Ephesus:

“[Jesus] came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. For through him we [all] have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.” Eph 2:17-22

When we place our faith in Jesus Christ, for the forgiveness of sin and life with God, we simultaneously become part of a new people, the church, with a new identity. Paul says we are “no longer strangers and aliens” to God and to one another, rather we are “fellow citizens”, “members of the household of God”, and a “holy temple” of living stones “being built together”. In other words, in Christ, we are now citizens of the same kingdom, members in the same family and living stones in the same building. We are a new people and our identity is found in him, and one another, before it is found anywhere else. Read this story that highlights this point so clearly:

“Listen to how the fourth-century Roman historian Eusebius described one early Christian named Sanctus, when Sanctus stood before his torturers in the year AD 177: ‘With such determination did he stand up to their onslaughts that he would not tell them his own name, race, and birthplace or whether he was slave or free. To every question he replied, in Latin, ‘I am a Christian.’ This he proclaimed over and over again, instead of name, birth place, nationality and everything else, and not another word did the heathen hear from him.” Jonathan Leeman, Church Membership: How the World Knows Who Represents Jesus, p32

You might say, “Ah, but Pastor Adam, does Jesus know what it is like to be so different, misunderstood?” Yes. God became man in Jesus Christ. God. became. man. Literally, there was no one like him. Talk about feeling out of place. Yet, he humbled himself for those who were very different and had nothing in common with, entered our story, died for our sins and rose again to new life in order to rescue and create a new redeemed people out of all the peoples of the earth. You and I are part of that great redemptive masterpiece of God, in Christ. Our diversity is a sign that Jesus is at work. Don’t run from that, embrace it.

So, practically speaking…

First, many of you are new to Downtown Cornerstone. That is great! Though we work to create a culture that is warm, welcoming and hospitable, you will also have to step out in faith to pursue others, start serving, join a community, etc. to begin to enter into the lives of others.

Second, we all have to work to create the culture we want – that Jesus wants. If we wait for our ideal church to appear, we’ll be waiting a long time (read: forever). So, if you wish folks would invite you over for dinner; start by inviting them over. If you feel misunderstood, try first understanding others. If you feel out of place, try making others feel at home.

Third, make a decision to embrace the diversity, and the accompanying difficulty, as good. The diversity within our church is from Jesus and he wants to use it to continue to form more of himself in you (cf. Rom 8:29) for your good, the good of others and His glory.

Fourth, demonstrate a holy violence against all relational bitterness, division or disunity. Our enemy loves to undermine the work of Jesus, particularly through the use of Jesus’ own people. Hebrews 12:15 says it well, “See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled.” Bitterness effects the entire church, particularly at our stage.

Lastly, remember we are all, individually and corporately, a work in progress. Above, Paul says we are “being built together” which means we are still under construction. This calls for grace, patience and prayer.