From Genesis to Revelation, the scripture weave together a story of redemption of recovery.
God is in the business of recovery and so should be his bride the Church, you and me.
Recovery Church is attempting to be a family that is being a part of God’s Recovery of those that many of us thought were hopeless. The addict, the alcoholic, the junkie, the drunk, who at times you’ve probably thought of as “those” people. But the reality is “those” people don’t exist. Those people are our children, our brothers, our sisters, our coworkers. We are in a crisis as a nation. The #1 cause of death in our nation for those under the age of 50 is the overdose of opioids. Our children are more likely to die from an overdose of opioids than any other cause of death. That’s insane, and what more insane is typically it’s a horrible journey that devastates the entire family before they die. Addiction seeks and destroys families, communities, isolates us, isolates those sick and suffering and simply destroys.
The holly days of Christmas are some of the most difficult times for those in early recovery or are still in active addiction.
I want to talk to you first. Those of you who might be sitting in a 1/2 way house, just starting this journey of recovery, saying to yourself how did I get here? I want you to here this. You are not alone. God is going to do more through you then you can ever imagine. Do the next faithful thing, reach out to someone, more importantly bring joy to others who are around you, you might not have a penny to your name, make a card for your house mate. Make your job this Christmas, instead of sitting around licking your wounds, make your job to bring a little joy to others. This is life and death and I beg you spread life this Christmas.
To the family and friends:
The awareness of the pain, the devastation, the isolation that our choices, our actions, and the results of our addictions have caused are undeniable. Many of our Recovery Church family are sitting alone this Christmas. Their relationships have been devastated. Christmas is a time of year that is focused on family, focused on community, and the disease of addiction isolates us, destroys any sense of healthy community. The fellowship of Recovery Church, with your help, is becoming a family for hundreds of hurting people, being rescued, being restored, being redeemed. We are seeing people celebrate the Christ Child for the first time, recognizing His message of recovery, of salvation, of the newness of life.
I ask you for two things this Christmas.
First, Pray. Pray for those in your family, that have hurt you, that have caused you pain, that have been ensnared by addiction. No-one dreams of growing up and being an addict. In the story of the prodigal son. The son took his father’s inheritance squandered it on wild living. But when he returned the father met him with compassion. Compassion is a tough word, sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others.
He looked at his son and didn’t demand repayment for the inheritance, didn’t demand he get on his knees and grovel.
He looked on him with compassion. Compassion for the missed dreams, missed opportunities, the pain that he has gone through. I know the addicts and alcoholics in your lives have hurt you, but let’s meet them with compassion that leads to restoration this Christmas. Pray for them, pray that God brings his story of recovery in their lives and that God’s family the church meets them filled with compassion.
Second, Pray again. Please don’t stop praying. We need your prayers. God is building his Church and just like with the disciples, he is choosing the most unlikely people to do it. It’s messy, it’s difficult, but boy is it beautiful.
We are seeing people who have been caught in the slavery of addiction, not only starting a journey of recovery, but helping others, not only finding faith in Jesus, but sharing their faith with others, we are seeing eternity transformed, but we must do it standing on the prayers of others. So, we beg you, pray, and when you get tired of praying please pray some more.
Help us be the Church. Help us redeem the message of Recovery to people who have been ensnared by addiction.