The Traveling Companion: episode 2
I just started my next to last class for my D.Min at Perkins – Spiritual Leadership in Missional Churches. One of our assignments is to keep a journal during the 2 weeks of class. I decided to blog mine…
It is so easy to forget how often Jesus withdrew to a solitary place. It is hard to remember that much of his time was spent walking from one town to the next, in conversation with a handful of friends or sitting at a table conversing with extremely interesting people. We remember the miracles. We remember the loaves and fishes. We remember the Sermon on the Mount. But we forget the wedding. We forget the nap in a boat. We forget the disappearing act that happened just before the walking on water. We remember the sweat-drops of blood but forget the garden.
It is so easy to forget how often Jesus gave away ministry. We forget the disciples being sent out, we forget the woman running to tell her friends, “Come see the man who told me everything I’ve ever done!” We forget that Jesus said, “It will be better for you if I go.” We forget that he said, “You will do greater things.” We forget that he said “Go and make disciples.”
It is so easy to forget that Jesus changed people’s lives because he was in their lives. He was typically around the hurting and broken people when he healed them. He could say he loved the poor, because he knew the poor. He could say he loved the sick because he touched their arms. He could say he loved the weak, oppressed and overlooked because that’s precisely the world he was born into. Its so easy to forget that sitting around talking about the poor or the kingdom or the gospel doesn’t mean that we’re inherently involved in those things. But Jesus was. Its easy to forget that we weren’t called to start a religion in his honor, but to live as he lived.
Its easy to forget that without me, the sun stays in orbit, the birds sing and the rain falls. Its easy to forget that I’m not God. Its easy to forget that those who frustrate us by saying, “I’ll be poured out for others, just not too much,” are still loved by God. Its easy to forget that the pastor who forgets to say, “I’ll be poured out for others, just not too much” is already loved by God. We don’t have to become a self-inflicted martyr to impress our Creator.
Its so easy to forget. And that is precisely why we must remember.
We must remember that Jesus announced, “Repent! The Kingdom of God is at hand!” We must remember because there are people on our block, just down the street or in the next office who have no idea that Jesus is even now creating and unleashing a new kingdom for them to experience joy and fulfillment beyond measure.
We must remember because Jesus taught us to pray, “your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” We must remember, because it wouldn’t be an appropriate prayer if Jesus didn’t already know it could happen at some level.
We must remember because we cannot hope to lead and participate in a missional expression of faith – that is as a church joining our missionary God in the ministry of reconciliation – if we can’t remember that God is God and we are not.
Its so easy to forget and that is why we must remember.