Sunday, April 10, 2011

Now You Try!

So, I don't know where you're reading this, but let's imagine you haven't left home for the day yet.  Maybe you're sipping your coffee and chewing on a piece of toast, scanning quickly through this and a hundred blogs to see whether any of us has something interesting to offer you in these few precious minutes before you head out into your day. On the other side of the door, there it is, the world, waiting for you, pulling at you to come along.

But how are you going to go out into that world of yours today? Do you sort of explode across the threshold, in a hurry and already plugged in, scanning through your texts or other websites, listening to music, reading a book as you move to the car or to the bus stop or to the subway? Or are you more the lingering wanderer, meandering your way out and maybe even having to go back a couple times for things you forgot? How do you enter into the world?

In chapter 10 of Matthew, Jesus extends his mission to build the kingdom to his disciples. He sends them out to do exactly the same things we've just seen Jesus himself do in chapters 8 & 9:  "Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons." (Mt 10:8)

And here's the thing: if we see the Gospels as something more than a history textbook (and oh God we do), those disciples? They are us.  That is to say, that mission to do those things -- that's not an interesting anecdote about what happened 2000 years ago, something to muse over while sipping one's chai. That's a missioning meant for us.

I know, it sounds crazy. I can barely drink coffee without spilling it on my shirt, how am I going to raise the dead?  (And God, where are all these drinking references coming from? Am I thirsty?) But frankly, that's not our problem to worry about.  Our job is just to go and be where God needs us; once we get there, he'll wield the mojo and make it all better.

Before you leave each day this week, before you open that door, hear those words of Jesus sending you out: "Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons." I guarantee you, do that and at some point you're going to find yourself in that position of disciple in one of those situations, with someone in need. And instead of rushing by it because you're busy or not paying attention, you're going to see it, stop, be present. And you will be an instrument of God's grace.  You really will.

You heard it here first.

Go out to all the nations.  (And bring me back a latte.)

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