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Where Brokenness Lives…

January 27, 2017
  • 27% of Hempstead County residents live below the poverty line
  • 47% of children in Hempstead County live below the poverty line
  • 53% of children in Hempstead County live in a single parent home
  • 21% of the population in Hempstead did not have access to a reliable source of food in the past year
  • Per capita, Hempstead County has sent more juveniles to DYS than any other county in 2016.
  • 12% of teen mothers (ages 15-19) in Arkansas receive late or no prenatal care at all
  • 34% of pregnant women in Arkansas ages 20-24 have induced abortions.
  • 46% of teens will engage in sexual intercourse
  • Dads abandon their role as head of home so that the mom has to lead
  • According to statistics, in 2000, over 9,600 residents of Hempstead County identified as Evangelical Protestant. In 2010, that number dropped to 7,340
  • According to a survey done in 2010, 49% of the residents in Hempstead County claim no religious affiliation at all.
  • Marriages exist but don’t thrive
  • Men trade in the reality of marriage for a virtual fiction
  • Women self medicate on shopping, prescription drugs, or escapism
  • We display a constant need for excess and more and better; we are materially discontented, thinking that if I buy this, then my brokenness will go away.
  • Children disrespect every type of authority with outright rebellion or the more passive but just as subversive eye-roll
  • What was once risqué for an adult woman to wear is now worn by our young daughters as high fashion, to the great excitement, encouragement, and joy of every young teenage boy.

People do not have to look very far into their own culture to find brokenness. It lives all around us. And yet, brokenness has become so normal and acceptable, that sometimes we find it difficult to identify brokenness.

But I am a very hopeful person today, even though I live in the midst of brokenness, and contribute my fair share of brokenness. I am hopeful because Jesus did not move away from brokenness. Rather, he ran towards it. He was the friend of sinners. He ate and drank with the outcasts of society. Those who knew they were broken begged Jesus to hang out with them.

Jesus entered into the brokenness of our world, and yet remained unbroken himself. He walked with broken people everyday, pointing them towards…himself. He said he was the door, the bread of life, the great shepherd, the true vine, the way, the truth, the life.

I am hopeful today because Jesus healed my brokenness. He made me see my sin and desperate need for Him.

I am hopeful today because I have the privilege of pastoring a church that runs towards the brokenness of our city with the arms of grace and truth spread wide open.

So come on to the table. There is enough room for you…and your brokenness. But when you dine with Jesus, be ready to abandon your brokenness and embrace his death and resurrection. That is where healing lives and new life begins.

 

http://www.point2homes.com/US/Neighborhood/AR/Hempstead-County-Demographics.html

http://www.healthy.arkansas.gov/Pages/default.aspx

http://www.indexmundi.com/facts/united-states/quick-facts/arkansas/percent-of-people-of-all-ages-in-poverty#table

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