Thursday, November 01, 2007

Coming and Going

Matt. 28:16-20: “Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

Luke 14:23: "Then the master told his servant, 'Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full."

The church today is enamored with programs. If we choose the right program “they” will come. We need to have a “good” praise team; we buff up everything physical and spiritual. We hope people will be impressed by our church. They come and they stay until they see our warts. (Yes, we all have a flat side.) They come and stay until they see the good and the bad. Then they leave to visit another “buffed up” church and the endless search goes on for the perfect church, one they will never find this side of Heaven.

Jesus told us to go; go to all the world; go to the world’s turf. It is rarely done today in the “real world” or “the street”. The world sees us (the church) as irrelevant and out of touch; distant and afraid.

But when we go to a hurting world, we meet them where they are—no preconceived notions here. When we meet the world on their turf they will wonder “they must be different because no one has come to us before.” When we go to the world, they are comfortable with us. We see them as they are and they see us as we are, warts included, in the midst of pain, suffering, mourning, hassle, and dirt. They see us for who we are, no buffed up image here. In these situations we do not impress, we minister.

When we go to the back roads, the out of the way places and share Christ, the “street” and we (the church) don’t have any buffed up image to maintain. Their expectations of us, the church, is real. We see them for who they are, we remember who we once were; we are not puffed up, and pumped up “suits of hot air.” We live out our compassion. We are to live our faith and they see it.

The “street” is smart; it sees a fraud a mile away. They have had to be “street smart” to survive and survive they will. But if they don’t know Christ, they struggle and survive this life only to spend eternity in hell. How sad.

How will they know Christ? When we go to the street and the world and reveal Christ to them. When Christ graciously chooses them, He says: "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30)

To the world He says come. He tells us to go…

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Way to go, Jerry. You have put my thoughts (exactly) down in black and white.