Matthew 5:40 (message)
"In a word, what I'm saying is, Grow up. You're kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.
"...Greater things are yet to come, greater things are still to be done in this city..."-God of this city
This world amazes me. The hatred, the anger, the hurt that is everywhere, the despair that people wear around their necks- it pains me to see. You can look into a person's face, and even through their smile, their hurt comes out. It's like there is no hope. People are living for this world, but how? How do they not know that this world is temporary, as temporary as a passing day? How can a person wake up each morning if they are living for nothing more than this world? How can they fight death, sickness, loss, brokenness, stress, how can they fight anything without the hope of something greater?
How can we as Christians live in this world without a broken heart for these people, for this world? How can we drive so happily to our schools and our jobs, how can we laugh so loudly and so heartily and live so freely when our neighbors, our brothers, our friends are desperate and drowning?
I know how. I know hope. I know joy. I know that we can laugh and live and be free because hope and joy are in the Lord which cannot be changed or moved, but how can we watch without screaming out, without running to them, without grabbing their shoulders and crying for them? How can watch a world be so broken and lost and angry and sit in our churches and read our bibles without doing more? How can we think that we are doing our part by going every Sunday to OUR church, hoping that maybe someone new will come through OUR doors, but being content in ourselves, even if they don't come through our doors because at-least WE were there?
How? Why? When will we wake up?
When will we realize that we are NOT the church; that we have become a building that wants to sit and wait for people to come through our doors so we can hand them a pamphlet and shake their hand and watch them leave, without even really learning their name. We feel good about ourselves because THEY came through OUR doors and we smiled at them. We feel like we've done our job when this happens. We feel like we are the church when this happens. We are NOT the church.
The church, the CHURCH went to THEM. The church didn't have doors. It didn't have a building. It had people. It had people who WENT to ALL NATIONS who reached OUT, who cried and begged and pleaded and gave their LIVES to bring the kingdom to the lost world. The church was not content with their membership. The church was not about a STEADY congregation. They were about a LOST congregation. They were about winning outsiders, not coddling insiders. They were about hearts broken with those hearts of the broken. They were about not being comfortable WITHOUT strangers. They were about OUTREACH. We say we are about outreach, but a hand shake is NOT outreach. A text message, a friend request are NOT outreach. Being comfortable with OURSELVES, IGNORING the strangers is NOT outreach. It is not what Jesus had in mind when he told us to GO to ALL nations.
OUR church is no church at all. Our church is an establishment that claims to advance the kingdom. I love our church. But when will we become THE CHURCH? When will we want more? When will we become uncomfortable? When will we GRAB the LOST? When will our hearts TRULY break for them? When will we be hurt for THEM who are hurting? When will we GET it? When will we get UP? When will we GO? When will WE become THE CHURCH?
Just wondering. My own convictions.