This morning I prayed and thanked Jesus for being here. I know He wants me here. I'm still sorting out what He's doing, and what I'm doing.
Our devotion time, we asked the questions: What is a city? What is Gods vision for this city? for us? How do the biblical writers describe Gods love for Jerusalem? What does the Bible say about sin in Jerusalem? What does the Bible say about Jesus' view of Jerusalem? What do these scriptures say about individuals called to live in the city?
Psalm 122, Isaiah 62:1-7,12, Psalm 55:9-11...and so on.
Jeremiah 29:1-14, Ezekiel 22:23-31, and Jonah talk about our responsibility as believers placed in a city. God does not call for us to be here and just waste our lives NOT moving for the gospel. He calls for us to be effective, infiltrate the city and represent Him. Show off His love. Care about people. Love people.
I'm still marinating on these scriptures. I'm still marinating on how Jesus calls us to do something. He calls us not to just sit by in the comfort of our own circles and presuppositions. He's calling us to reach out to people and show them His love. Be His hands and feet.
Over the past months i have realized something i do not want to become. One of the books we had to read for the trip called "Theirs is the Kingdom" which is one of the best books I've read on urban missions, had a beautiful quote, out of a gazillion others, that summed it up.
Matthew 16:25 "If you would save your life, you will lose it; But if you lose your life for my sake, you will find it"
"Mrs. Bailey hoarded every possession but life itself, and now that is gone. But her death actually occurred years before her heart stopped beating. Her death signaled when she first began to clutch at life. The church is engaged is a similar struggle. We are in a death drift that moves us from serving to preserving. We feel it carrying us along. Our spontaneous fellowship soon becomes a program. Bearing one another's burdens becomes a budget line item. Self-sacrificing friends become paid professionals with titles (counselor, minister, director) and salary packages, longevity gauranteesm and retirement benefits. Our meeting places turn into 'holy places' with stained glass, polished oak and locks. Taking 'no thought for tomorrow' becomes sentimental rhetoric as we build bigger barns and amass insurance and endowments and reserve funds against the unpredictable events of our future. But the church has no future. We have only the present. In this present moment we must spend, lavish, and give away our tomorrows for the sake of the kingdom today. In short, we must die. Today. That is the only way to save our lives. The church is called to live at Golgotha. If perchance tomorrow morning we discover that our depleted spirits have a new supply of energy, that the emptied offering plate is full once again, and from sacrificial dreams whole new dimensions of life have burst forth, then we will begin to understand something of what the resurrection is about. On the other side of death, each death, stands our risen Lord. And he beckons us." -Robert Lupton
Not sure what that has to do with anything but sure it has to do with everything..
Pray for me as I pray. Pray with me as i figure out what I'm doing here. That i learn the lesson, allowing God to stretch me.
-Monielle, CSM Washington DC Spring 2010 City Host