A few months ago we got a letter notifying us that a sex offender was moving into our neighborhood. And everyone was abuzz:
“Can we stop him from moving in?”
“Is it safe for my kids to play outside?”
“Is it legal for him to live this close to children?”
Our homeowner’s association even had a meeting to discuss what to do once this guy moved in and had a sheriff present to calm the residents’ fears.
We were out of town so weren’t able to attend. But we weren’t sure if we even wanted to. The way things were going, we wouldn’t have been surprised if villagers showed up with torches and pitchforks to drive this sex offender out of town!
So here’s the problem: Didn’t Jesus die for this guy? Isn’t Jesus willing to extend grace even to a sex offender?
If we have been called to love our neighbor as ourselves and offer them the same grace which has been given us; how do we, as Christians, treat them?
Do you show up at their front door with a torch and a pitchfork, or do you show up with cookies?
Anthony Trask lives in Salem, Oregon with his wife Susan and his two beautiful children. He is a pastor at Fellowship Church in NE Salem. He is currently trying to figure out how to lead a community of grace, hope, and love within our culture. You can visit their website at www.fellowshipsalem.com