Sundays at 10:00 a.m. at the Jefferson Center in downtown Roanoke
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Servin’ Up A Robust Cup of … the Gospel

    There’s coffee, and then there’s coffee.  There are places that add coffee to their menu and then there are Coffee Shops that specialize in it. Even where they serve good coffee, you can get a bad cup once in a while.
    The same is true of Christianity. It’s not monolithic. They may not always be serving up a robust cup of the gospel! I walked away from one version of it when I was in college because I was powerfully drawn to another, to some folks whose faith was full-bodied, aromatic and bold. These were not christians you sipped through a tiny little hole in a lid on their lives. Their faith wasn’t just a cup a’ joe, it was a strong brew of robust belief in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, the Authority of Scripture and how that made all the difference in their lives.
    There are many versions of Christianity that specialize more in fancy cups to serve it up in, or exciting new decor, or consumer paraphenalia all around the counter, but when you actually taste the coffee they’re serving, it’s just a thin, frothy brew with sprinkles of chocolate or drizzles of caramel on top. It’s no wonder that 20-30% of Americans get up and walk out and now classify themselves under church affiliation as “None”s. They walk away from legalistic church. They walk away from sensational church. They walk away from church where they are weary and heavy laden. [So sometimes, we need to re-gospel the church!]
      They SHOULD walk away. They’re not atheists, they just haven’t seen people who claim to be Christians actually denying themselves, taking up their cross daily and following Jesus.  But when they do encounter Christians like that, it’s like the aroma of a robust cup of coffee, early on a Saturday morning that holds the promise of a new day.
    This country needs healing. But let’s remember that Peter says God’s judgment will always begin first with the Church (I Peter 4:17), that’s where God will work His refining fires, and purifying prophetic ministry first. Healing this country starts with us. I believe that God is vacuuming deep down in the carpet fibers of the Church and getting up a long accumulation of stuff that has been tracked in over the years.
    But God is doing that because this could be one of the Church’s finest hours. We have an opportunity to stand for something in the midst of a population of people that stands for nothing at all but the latest titillation on the side bar of their computer screens.
    FOCUS. We’re not talking about uber-regulated discipleship, we’re just calling people back to discipleship, to walk with and follow Jesus 24/7. Gal. 2:20 kind of living.
    AND because this is COR, we are doing this with an abundance of GRACE, living IN the gospel of grace, ourselves, every day. Confessing to our neighbors, our spouses and our children: I’m sorry, please forgive me. I was speaking out of my idol of needing to be in control, I was acting out of my brokenness, self-justification and comfort seeking. I was still back there in my needy self.  Please forgive me. This is why I still need Jesus,to be my Savior on a daily basis. At COR, we want to live lives that are like a robust cup of coffee: full of flavor, but we also want to live those lives honestly, and leave behind the christian jingo and one-liners that we toss at other people in spite of it really not being true in our own lives!