February 24, 2005

narrow vision

Thinking about the message of "The church has HIV" over the last couple of days, random thoughts have come to my mind. I remember thinking about the grassroots involvement of the Christian - the small scale of holding hands with a dying person or carrying an orphaned child to a place of safety and nourishment. And Jesus - the one who extends far beyond our visions passion - his meeting the individual needy one within a crowd and also preaching to the many physically and spiritually hungry and convicting the thoughtless or the proud. His simple message of "follow me" to the disciples - and there were only so few. So is the church the praisers who shouted "Hosanna!" seeing their hopes ride across palm branches on a donkey, are they the thousands who ate fish and bread, and the faithless town asking for a sign? Yeah - Christ's compassion extended far upon them - as it has upon us. But my simple mind thinks that the 'call answered' belongs only to those who have counted the cost and who step upon the dimly lamp-lit way infront of them. And the church triumphant? On the day of burial in Jerusalem was it not the fishermen and their brothers along with a Roman centurian and the grieving women who sat at the tomb?

What little I know of the Church... Honestly, it has not been in my heart and soul as it should be. But the followers of Jesus build up my heart - and I want to be one of them climbing the mountain with goodnews. I am so grateful that there are followers that have a vision for the church, I selfishly don't want to wait with the wandering, bleeting groups of sheep huddled within the fence - I want to be with Jesus - pulling the crippled one from among the rocks or searching high and low to find where the lamb is crying. But what on earth can another dumb sheep do?! That's the highest mystery of it all - the Shepherd thinks we can help. No wonder the bleeting crowd stays huddled - it's ludicrous to go out to the wilderness.

Maybe tho' - some are called to go out following and helping, surrendering the uselessness we have - to be used by Him and following His lead - but also to return and show with joy the victory that really exists is giving up the safety and the futility. Maybe others are just called to go and not return to the larger fold - but their giving lives will bring the Saviours joy and salvation and restoration to those outside so desperate for aid. I think whatever we hear Him tell us to do - we will always be called to follow Him. He is ministering to the Church, and his blessing is rich and abundant - but as far as my tiny understanding goes - I think His work is out there in the dying world. I have no strong idea of theology and I thank God for his love of the church, and his patience and his purposes and kind intentions - I'm reckless and have no message for the closed in, I just want to go, I just want to follow - so I cry out and live by the love, patience and kind intentions that Christ has upon my life - and I count the cost and can think of nothing finer but to go to the high places and the low valleys and if I can shine upon others, as He has shone upon the world - then I am happier than I could ever imagine to be.

So highly inconclusive - the thoughts of mine upon the state of the church. I don't even really know what the church is. I want it to be the followers of Jesus, I want it to be the unsaved that find Him, I want it to be the weary who don't fully grasp or understand that their Saviour loves them, I want it to be the sinfilled ones who experience forgiveness. But I am so glad that the grace and love of Jesus is poured out on the church, and if I was worth any of my words I would pray for the loving discipline upon it, that I am needy of in my own life. But, yeah - the spiritually hungry church, self preserving believers, the millions dying of aids, the orphan, the poor, the widow, the stanger, the sick, the sinful and the blind, lame and dumb - they are all in the same boat - they need to hear the loving compelling call of Jesus - to "take up your cross and follow me" - maybe then they would find that they are all in the same place, knitted together - in their need of salvation - with hearts and souls open to the indwelling Spirit for healing and joy, maybe then the church could start acting like Jesus to others. In this troubled earth - we are all only fleeting vapor that will find its true rest in the eternal dwellings of the Fathers Mansions. It's not time to find comfort huddled in a fenced field. Jesus has a purpose beyond our imaginings and yeah, I would imagine that it extends far and wide to beautiful Africa and its dying population. I have no idea - how he is going to do that. Just want to be a willing sheep. I would hope that the church would be willing too. He's got the world in his sight - and he loves the world. He has a purpose for every single believer.

This scribbling could go on and on... if any endured so far down the page, well - I just want to hear more about the vision for the church and I want my attitude to be challenged and added to. I don't just want to ramble - and I find I am getting quite serious about the whole thing!! In an important attempt to not become entirely boring I think it's best to make this the last word - now!

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