Platforms are not where ministry happens.

Ministry happens in the neighborhood;

With life rubbing up against life,

With the sharing of the miseo dei,

participating in Christ,

seeing the imago dei in others.

You can’t phone it in.

–Michael Frost, PGF 2007 closing talk

What does this mean for us? Living as Jesus did, being incarnational as He was, “dressed in his cloak” takes on many different faces. How do we do it in our lives? Does this mean we all move to marginal areas of society? Do we abandon our comfortable, banal, middle-class, consumer driven lives?

How will you embody Jesus in your community? Imagine for a moment that you are staying in your particular corner of suburbia (or urbanhood). Imagine living your life counter-culturally with in that context. What does that look like? Do you have the courage for that? Do I? I know that I want to.  I want to start where I am and be faithful countering all the ridiculous cultural baggage that has been attached to the idea of following Jesus. I want to identify it all and burn it up.

Most of the time.

Sometimes, I’m lazy and give in the numbing ready-made society I live in. Looking around, I see my response is not the minority.

My prayer is that I will not close my eyes. I will follow Jesus in the midst of suburbia, taking the necessary risks of letting go…of the institution, of the baggage, of materialism, consumerism, of the creature comforts, of my sin of omission, of not caring for those suffering around me, of the fear of being rejected, ridiculed, ignored…

Will you join me? Can we take in God’s love for us and then live it out?

Advertisements

I am in the middle of reading The Shack and totally loving it. I love the creativity in its discussion of our humanity and the true nature of love–all set against the backdrop of a horrible tragedy.

This book has intensified my recent pondering on the love of God for us. It is a topic that I have circled around for many years. Once, over ten years ago, a guest preacher mentioned that he thought most of us had no clue about how much we are loved and this is the problem.

I tend to agree. We have head knowledge but not deep soul/spirit understanding.

The past year I have been going through grief counseling due to the death of my father, someone I love very much. We also have added a child to our lives, extending the circle of love. Pondering this immense love I have for our child helps me see a portion of God’s love for all of us. I’m sure this is a common experience for parents. My thoughts are still swirling around and I will post more on this topic as I think through the implications. As is learn to “be” in the place of being loved.

I think that grasping, however little I can, the love of God for all of us is one of the reasons I get angry when God’s beloved are led down a path that deepens the distance from God (like a path strewn with angel visitations and jolts of power that knock you out a la Todd Bentley and others). It is so unnecessary.

How can we be enveloped in the experiential assurance of God’s love without getting swept away by counterfeit displays of hype?