Into the Wild: Called Out of the Ordinary
Apr 22–The Ends of the Earth (Acts 1:8, John 4:4-42)—Both in mandate and in example, Jesus invited his followers to join him in taking the love of God and the good news of his salvation to people at the ends of the earth. In Acts, he commands his disciples to go, geographically, to the places far away and the people who would never hear otherwise. And in John, Jesus goes himself to those that were socially “far away” from the heart of the Jewish religious world at the time. The Samaritan woman who had been divorced five times was a trifecta of cultural outcast-ness, and yet Jesus went to her, and took his disciples along for the ride. The invitation, even the command, to go to the ends of the earth is still at the core of who the Church of Jesus is supposed to be. May we fearfully and humbly pursue those opportunities to share the love of God with all of those who would be described as “far away”.
Apr 15–The Wilderness (Isa. 6:1–13; Jer. 1:4–19)—The wild is a beautiful and tameless, unpredictable, uncontrollable place. Pain and suffering (aka “The Dark Night of the Soul”) are a given, but they are also necessary teachers. Living in the present is probably our hardest spiritual discipline. Facing our own essential pain of inadequacy and rejection (and finding healing in Christ) will allow us to better understand the meaning of life and more capable of sharing God’s love and hope with others stuck in tough places.
Apr 8–Urban Jungle (Luke 4:14–30)—For Christians living in urban America, the host of systemic problems that need attention is myriad. All manner of community leaders and citizen activists work from the inside to try and improve difficult systems, and many Christians work professionally in those areas. But every follower of Jesus has the opportunity to invest in individual people affected by urban problems, be they poverty, lack of education, racism, job loss, mental illness, substance abuse, or any of the others. Sharing the gospel with people like this means walking with them over time and demonstrating the love of God and the truth of the Gospel by helping them find their way out of systemic or generational dysfunction and into the wholeness of life intended by God.