it’s been almost two months since i declared i was having coffee — just coffee! — with jesus again, and not because i had some sort of devastating news to tell him or because i needed to borrow some money. (only one month of religious jubilance left, according to the law of patterns.)
so tonight seth and i sat with 18 different people from 18 unlikely paths (seriously — Bangs?! who DOES that?) who all haphazardly converged in one room. strangely, about 150 years earlier, Rutherford B. Hayes taught Sunday school in the same room, and i imagine that he and whoever sat with him weren’t entirely sure about how they were supposed to do it, either.
humans are at least consistent.
do you remember that night we all sat at 40 Moore and hashed out where we wanted to take our — gulp — ministry? it felt that like. only there were no students tonight, which was refreshing.
this is so cool.
did you know that we live in a time and a place and a country where we can freely walk about with our bibles in hand? we can meet in a room to discuss our religion, and we need not fear of someone busting through the doors and arresting us or hanging us up on a tree or denying us rights or anything of the sort. in fact, christians are powerful enough to deny other people rights. we can even create our own marginalized groups, or so it seems.
as a result, we’ve become complacent.
people in china have to cover their bibles in duct tape and sneak about and meet in secret, and i imagine they feel fear and excitement and urgency in a way that we in rural, conservative ohio will never, ever feel.
sometimes in saudi arabia, if you blog about jesus, your father will cut off your tongue and burn you alive. i’m not kidding. (i think that even though bush is mentioned, this is a mostly non-crazy website)
regardless, in this country, we have turned to awkward potlucks. and softball leagues. which aren’t inherently bad, but i think you get the point.
our pastor shared with us a story in numbers about the time that moses sent some dudes out to the promised land, and when they came back they reported, ”We went into the land to which you sent us, and it does flow with milk and honey! Here is its fruit” and then one of the dudes said “we should take this land as our own,” and then the rest of the scouts were like “crap! we can’t do that … the people there are strong and we are weak!”
and that doubt?
it’s still around. even 100 million billion years later.
and i think if we have anything in common with persecuted christians in other parts of the world, it’s that when you see the the milk and the honey and the fruit, and the gap that exists from here to there, and how much work there’ll be along the way, i think you get a tiny glimpse of that fear, and that purpose and that urgency. and it’s exciting! even in Knox County, Ohio!
i’m never going to be able to explain it to you, but there’s nothing cooler than strangers of all ages who are able to walk into a room and be vulnerable with one another, pushing each other not to be judgemental and prudish and hypocritical (now with 100% more meetings!) like the faith that exists out there today — but to serve and love and not be a jerk. and to feel better for it. and to fail over and over and over and to feel better for that, too.
isn’t that crazy!?
the serve and love and fail parts have been lost, but we’ve found some people who have been doing it a long time and have agreed to be patient with us!
it’s just that jesus is much more inspiring than john mccain.
and jon stewart makes me want to be a republican.
No related posts.