God’s No Stranger to Small

God’s No Stranger to Small

In my last post, I left you with this question:

Is it possible that the church of Jesus, in cultural exile today, has done the same thing? Shrunk her vision to returning to Yesteryear, to getting back to the culture of yesterday, recovering all that we have lost?

I say yes and here’s my explanation.

I was at a gathering of pastors who were invited to share the most exciting thing that had happened in their congregation the previous year. Many shared about transformation in the lives of people and ministries having an impact on their community. One pastor shared that his congregation had broken the Guinness World Record for the longest banana split. God had, he told us, provided a good price on bananas and ice cream. Maybe it was a community outreach or a morale booster for the church, but I could not help thinking about the Servant of the Lord. Given the mission of lighting up the world with the message of Jesus, why are we looking for bargains on bananas? The saddest thing is that this probably was the most exciting thing that happened in that church that year.

Has the church of Jesus become narrowly narcissistic? Do we even see the dark world around us and speak into it with the confidence of the Servant of the Lord that our news is worth sitting up and paying attention to? Or are we people who gather in our churches and care mostly about ourselves?

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A Tale of Two Cities: Yesteryear and Exile

A Tale of Two Cities: Yesteryear and Exile

I’d like to invite you to come with me to a place where some of us have lived before and some of us, the younger ones, have only heard of. The name of the town is Yesteryear.

In Yesteryear:

  • Laws were rooted in the Judeo/Christian ethic.
  • Families were stable, and divorce was rare.
  • Living together unmarried was even rarer.
  • Our military was superior, crime was minimal, and poverty was held in check.
  • Terrorism was not on the radar.
  • Savings accounts were common.
  • Debt was manageable.
  • The economy was growing.

Have you ever lived in Yesteryear? Do you still live there?

My guess is, you’ve moved – or been moved – to a new place.

The name of this new place is actually found in the Bible.

It’s called Exile.

In Exile:

  • We have religious pluralism – lots of gods.
  • Law is rooted in personal rights instead of personal responsibilities.
  • A family is almost any assortment of humans.
  • Our massive military cannot stamp out tiny terrorist cells.
  • Crime has caused us to secure our cars, homes, credit cards, and identities.
  • Poverty has millions living on a government check.
  • Terrorism is a daily color-coded warning.
  • Companies have downsized, shut down, or gone overseas, and the people who own them make 200 times more than the people who work in them.

Exile. Is this where you live now?

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