I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t go fill in one more blank on my sermon notes. I couldn’t listen to one more sermon. Not this Sunday. I felt full to the brim of being edified, pumped up, praised up. I thought……what if. What if I devoted that hour to going out and asking God who He wanted me to help that day. Who he wanted me to pray for.
What if I gave Him full permission, power, control. What if I gave Him his authority, his Lordship. His rightful place in my life. I wonder how different my walk with Him would look?
I dreamed of what would happen if I stopped doing church and took the church out to the world. I dreamed of thousands of people spilling out onto the streets. Churches set up in parks feeding the homeless, and places where the lost and lonely gather.
I dreamed a dream of empty pews.
And then I dreamed of people streaming back into church with new purpose. Remembering why they were there. I dreamed that churches would look more like hospitals and a place where you could always feel welcomed, loved, accepted.
I remembered how Jesus sent them out two by two. I imagine how excited they all must have been, buoyed up by a fresh dose of Holy Spirit power, looking forward to doing and seeing wondrous things, miracles. I wondered at Jesus’ timing when after he got done instructing them He added this dire footnote:
“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. Be on your guard; you will be handed over to the local councils and be flogged in the synagogues. On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.”
“Wow, Lord…..I can’t wait to go now!” Jesus can be a little scary. And honestly? A bit of a wet blanket at times. But He’s also never boring. Following Jesus is anything but boring. And follow is just what He asks of us. No matter where that road leads.
There’s a time for everything in its season, and sometimes you need to go to church and be built back up after the world has used you for its punching bag, I know, I’ve been there. There is a time for being mended, and I have had holes in my heart mended in church more times than I can count. But then I get comfortable. I get complacent. And I sense Jesus tapping me on the shoulder and saying, “Now that I have mended you, go mend someone else.”
Sometimes the best way to stay afloat yourself is by helping someone else.
I think if the gospels and Jesus are not just a little disturbing then I wonder if you have really grasped the full message. If Jesus is not just a little unsettling then I wonder if I really know what he requires of me. Follow Me. Follow me even though you are afraid of where I might take you.
That is scary for a clinging to the side of the pool person like me.
But Jesus is a God of His word. He said He’d never leave me and I believe Him. And in a way, I am thankful for my fear for it keeps me close to Him.
I dreamed a dream. But I think it may happen.
I have been reading about what it really means to follow Jesus in the book Follow Me by David Platt. I highly recommend it. Not very comfortable reading but sometimes we need that.