Prophet Edd Branson of Jesus Generation International Ministries Church in Harare, Zimbabwe posed as a homeless man and tried to interact with congregants outside his church venue, before services one Sunday. This became a backdrop to a powerful practical sermon.
Members of the Jesus Generation International Ministries congregation Harare encountered someone they thought was a homeless man at church one Sunday. What they did not know was the man was Prophet Edd Branson the leader of this vibrant prophetic Church. At least five elders of the church asked the incognito Prophet Edd to leave the church property and most were indifferent.
He said he disguised himself as a homeless man to teach his congregation a lesson about compassion. To make his appearance more convincing, he had a very convincing bearded. Whoever did the makeup to transform his familiar face to that of a stranger did a great job not even his family recognised him.
“The main thing I was trying to get across was we don’t need to be so quick to judge,” Prophet Branson said.
He received varied reactions to his appearance at church, he said.
“Many actually went out of their way to purposefully ignore me, and they wouldn’t even make eye contact,” he said.
The lesson taught was practical and it is perhaps one of those unforgettable moments and lessons.
Following in the footsteps of Jesus Christ should be more than just talk. It ought to be a lifestyle that others around you can love about you and share in. Be a Christian all you want, but at least follow the teachings of Christ if you’re going to claim the title.
It is worth remembering what Jesus says in Matthew 25,
“I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me a drink, I was homeless and you gave me a room,
I was shivering and you gave me clothes,
I was sick and you stopped to visit,
I was in prison and you came to me… I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.”
When we love others and engage in kindness and mercy, we, in turn, engage with the essence of God’s Kingdom. We actively bring heaven to earth. And this joining of humanity and divinity brings along with it a profound sense of joy and belonging. Our highest ‘call’ has nothing to do with career and fame and fortune. Weaved into us at the beginning was the ability to “do justly, love mercy, walk humbly”… We can never be fulfilled until we outwork the things we were designed to do.
Christian life is not just lip service
As the story goes in the book of Micah, the people paid lip service to God; their connection with Him was little more than ceremonial. They visited the temple, went through the motions, offered the sacrifices, did all the things, but left their hearts at home.
Have you ever lived like that?
It’s easy to slip into “life-by-numbers” and live like you’re checking things off on a list.
Attend the church activity? Check.
Sunday Church? Check.
Give offering? Check…
Be a good Christian? Check.
Don’t rock the boat? Check.
For most Christians it about ticking boxes and not offending the church leaders the pastors or prophet. However, Christianity should challenge us to be Christ- like. Part of that challenge is for Christians to as themselves what would Christ do? How can you be of service to others?
Indeed, our goal should be to improve and change the lives of people as we live like Jesus. As Christians, we should not look at the outside of others and make judgments. God looks inside at our heart and sees the truth.
I pray that we become more charitable, more loving, less judgmental and more Christ-like. Stay blessed.