Thursday, August 18, 2016


Matthew 22:36-40

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’  On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” many of you know about this text?  Oh, everyone?  So let's evaluate where we are as congregations to this point in life. Where are your victories as well as disappointing losses?  Too, are you perhaps a bit weary of trying harder to try harder which at times results in...well...not so much?
What do you think might happen if we were to restore (and you know we are all about restoration) the most basic of all basics of spiritual development?  What if...what if our members were obsessed with two things; (1) love for the Trinity and (2) love for all people.  Would this have impact on both the community and the church?
Impact?  It would revolutionize both!  
But here's what we have.  Generally speaking (fully aware there are grand exceptions, thankfully, within all congregations), churches love their format and their tradition far ahead of loving God.  And Jesus spoke to this directly.
And next, churches love those they love.  Hatred of others isn't the scene; but intentional avoidance/absolute non-interest is.  At our truest core, we want church to be meaningful to me in that one hour time-slot and we want to get to see our friends whom we dearly need.  
Our focus is anywhere but upon the above words of Jesus.  We are not pondering God and have no intention of meeting/reaching to strangers.  We have no intention of risking even saying hello and appearing interested in any whom we do not know.  Visitors.  See.  This.
You know that I'm not saying that reaching to others is never done.  It very much is; but only by a percentage of the gathering with little conscious-stirring-duty of the rest of the flock.  When this happens, and it does, the church slips into something Father never intended; a self-seeking, self-satisfying false form of spirituality.
It is the Gospel truth that Jesus changes people.  He changes us. He changes me.  In what way?  Jesus doesn't just flip our internal switch which moves us from Destination Hell to Destination Heaven.  It's more.  It's very much more.
Jesus calls us to follow; not just hope that we are right with him at our final breath.  He calls us to see, to notice, to touch both the lovely and the unlovely.  He assumes we will take on the whole world; not in finding our handy church niche only to operate from here or use such to hide from the "othernesses" before us.  
He calls us, those of us who are timid, uncertain, and afraid, to infuse His Spirit within that we might find love and joy in reaching...when we don't know how.  This truth is one of my most surprising kingdom discoveries.

My earlier days of faith were bulked with try harder coupled with someone else could do this reaching part much better.  But it is our God who uses our weaknesses to reach the world.  We are all qualified; never due to our own might, but because of His untameablilistic and wild imagination toward us.

This very old truth spoken by Jesus is still the secret that would cause the church to pop with renewal.


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