Synod 2017 Delegates Urged to Walk Humbly with God

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Delegates of Synod 2017, the general assembly of the Christian Reformed Church, joined the congregation of Crossroads Community CRC in Schererville, Ind., for the annual synodical service of prayer and praise. Crossroads is an exurban church about 35 miles south of downtown Chicago and about an hour by bus from the site of the synod at Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, Ill. 

The worship was contemporary and the tone was informal and welcoming. Pastor Drew Brown joked about the coffee, labeled “Reformed Total Depravity Blend, the coffee that chooses you.” 

Brown, the pastor of Crossroads, chose as his text Micah 6:8, focusing on the third requirement, a humble walk with God.

Wondering aloud why the third requirement, humility, should be added to the first two, justice and mercy, Brown came up with two reasons: to point to the danger that in the pursuit of justice and mercy believers become self-righteous, and to remind those who pursue these things that “authentic spirituality cannot be reduced to what we do.” He said, “God wants our heart. It’s not about the actions [of justice and mercy themselves], but about the heart behind them.”

“Humility,” Brown said, “is a submitted willingness” to be the servants. True service is difficult, he reminded the congregation. No one wants to be treated like a servant. But if you are to be a true follower of Jesus, “you must put yourself in a position to be humbled.”

Brown urged this humility on synod delegates. Humility constitutes the power of the church, he said. Borrowing from Bill Hybels, he said that “the local church is the hope of the world.” He reminded delegates that the church humbly following Christ has the capacity to bring healing and hope to a hurting world.

Urging the delegates of synod to pray every day for a humble spirit, he concluded his sermon with a quotation from the popular book by Robert Fulgum, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten: “When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.” Brown’s emphasis was on sticking together. For that, humility is required.

The service included the Lord’s Supper. Two more songs, the old hymn “When Peace Like a River,” and a popular contemporary song based on an older hymn, Hillsong’s “Cornerstone,” brought the service to a stirring conclusion.

Synod 2017 is meeting at Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, Ill., from June 9-15. For continuous coverage, download the Banner app on your mobile device or follow The Banner Magazine on Facebook or @crcbanner on Twitter. You can find more tweeting by following hashtag #crcsynod. News stories will be posted at thebanner.org several times daily. For CRC Communications releases and the webcast, please visit crcna.org. Unless noted otherwise, all photographs are by Karen Huttenga.

About the Author

Clay Libolt is a retired CRC pastor. He currently blogs at www.peripataticpastor.com

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