Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Mission: Backyards and Haiti

My friend Matt is going to Haiti this summer.  His life will be changed by his service to the Haitian people.  He told me that I inspired him to go.  I am humbled.  I am praying even now for him and the other men from his church that they will touch lives, that the people there will be prepared for their coming and that their own lives will be transformed by the trip.

I just completed the book "The Radical Reformission: Reaching Out without Selling Out"
by Mark Driscoll.  It talks about the mission in our own backyard and how we are called to reach our neighbors with the message that Jesus is the only way to life.  The book talks about how we must reach people where they are -- not expect them to come to us.  We must seek them out, just as Jesus did.  We must share their life, their pain, their struggles and their fears.  We need to show them that the Bible holds the answers to their life questions.  But, it also addresses the fact that we must confront them with the truth -- in a loving way.

Life is messy.  Christians are imperfect.  Only Jesus can cure our imperfections and reach into our messy lives and show us something better.Too often we allow our imperfections to get in the way of our sharing the truth.  We show non-Christians a false front with false expectations.  We fail to confront humanity with our own human frailty.

Jesus didn't shy away from those who were struggling with life's issues.  Instead, he sought them out where they lived.  He ate and drank with them.  He crossed cultural and racial barriers without hesitation.  He touched the untouchable.

We see in Jesus a willingness to confront the wealthy, the political and church leaders, the thieves and the liars with the truth.  He did so with the goal of showing them the way to life.  He didn't hide within the confines of his comfortable existence with those "like" him -- instead, he went to people of all stations.

In his book, Driscoll points to Jesus as the example we should follow.  He doesn't point to the church -- but to Jesus.  I highly recommend the book for anyone serious about the Christian faith.

Matt, I pray for you as you prepare to face the messiness that is Haiti.  Hold fast my friend.

"Then Jesus came to them and said, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.  And surely I am with you always, even to the end of the age.'" __ Matthew 28:18-20

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