Didn’t expect to meet God there . . .
Over the past decade, I have had the chance to experience grace in some very unexpected places. In a remote village in Mexico, while holding the baby of a teenage prostitute in Brazil, on death row at Angola prison in Louisiana.
These are places of darkness, but as I read the New Testament, it becomes more and more apparent that these are the places where Jesus walked. These are the people he loved.
This is where we encounter grace.
We are lovers of structure, of hierarchy, of people who understand their station in life—and we build that love into our churches.
But, but . . . it seems Jesus went to a different school of management than I did. He was much more interested in a disorganized religion than an organized one. He did show up in the temple on occasion, but that was not his usual abode.
His religion took place in the fields and countryside, in the homes of tax collectors and prostitutes, on the foul-smelling boats of commercial fishermen. His church membership was not with the necktie crowd, but in the realm of darkness and pain.
Pretty offensive to my sensibility of how the community of grace should look. Bottom line, I am almost certainly a lot more comfortable with the Pharisees than I am with Jesus and his crowd.
It is pretty hard to be a follower of Jesus if we’re unwilling to walk where he walked.
I wonder if perhaps this walking on the fringes is at the very heart of faith and grace.
Over the next several weeks, I want to explore this idea with you—the idea that our God may be a God of the shadows, one who is found in places of darkness, and that our experience of grace takes place less in the vaulted cathedrals of stained glass and light than it does in the places where darkness overwhelms.
Join me for the conversation. I’ll share my thoughts, questions, and experiences—and I want to hear yours! I am certain God desires 2015 to be a year of learning and growth for both of us.
It’s a new year… Let’s start this journey together.
If you’re ready to make the commitment, leave a comment and let me know you’re “all in.”
I’m all in. I completely agree that “I am just too comfy with what’s around me and not seeking to go farther as I know our Lord would have done. He would seek out those hurting and lost” so I guess I am ready to search this out with you in your blogs (and life).
Yes, I have to say I agree that what you have said fits me all too well. Let’s see if there can be some changes made and soon.
Yes, David, I’m all in. Sometimes, the pampered, comfortable life God allowed me to be born into repulses me. When I compare it to the deprivation and degradation others are subject to I literally feel like throwing up. And then there are the other times…when I totally forget how blessed I am and how I’m called to do for the “least of Jesus’ brothers and sisters.”