Forever changed.

‘Another blog’ you say? Why yes, another…but different, because you see, God is in action, swirling and moving…the Holy Spirit is stirring in amazing ways…abnormal? No. But there is a large part of me that thinks, we don’t look for the ways God is moving around us as much as we should. I am committing to start looking at what God is doing around me more closely…expectantly…and what you’ll soon see is that there is this concept of living for Christ that is merged with our everyday lives just waiting to be in action as a part of God’s mission in our world.

This week…I am watching a group of young friends move into their college lives. Thirteen years ago (eik!) I was doing the same thing, though my young friends have a few more things together than I did. You see, Jesus knew me…but I didn’t know him.

It was divine intervention that I was put into a dorm room with an amazing young woman who had grown up in church, on a dorm floor with ladies who truly loved Jesus, and on a campus that housed a group of friends that forever changed my life…

We churched hopped. We went to Intervarsity Christian Fellowship together. We met for Bible Study once a week. We prayed together. We ate together. We worked together. We went to class together. We stayed up until all hours of the night, sometimes studying…pulling all nighters together over a shared pot of coffee. We shared in each other’s lives, as only you can on a college campus. And somewhere in the middle of all of it…I chose Jesus.

Honestly, I had no idea the adventure I was signing up for or the mistakes or missteps or the family I was gaining. Had it not been for that group of friends, on that college campus, on those specific years…who knows where I would be now. Certainly not praying for my friends who find themselves at the beginning of an amazing adventure. And most certainly not working at a church.

I would have never known how to discern God’s call on my life, or have found myself amidst a changing time in our culture where most people in America want nothing to do with ‘church.’ It is time for the followers of Jesus to go cross-cultural in their own country. Why do we expect people in our culture to come to us when our customs, services and lingo are abnormal to them? We must be real, acknowledge our sin and be willing to cross into uncomfortable situations to love people with the rebellious love Christ loves us with. And our new college students will play a huge part.

I am evidence that college campuses are primed for those that know Jesus. To share your life vividly enough that there is no hiding the Christ you serve. No Bible thumping…just life lived openly through relationships.

I find myself in a place where mission is not something you do. Mission is who you are. To your very soul…how you think, how you respond and how you move forward. Mission has been a part of us since God created us, but sometimes we set that part aside and pretend it is not there. Mission is Biblical, but mission as relationship is not muddled by Christianese or verbal theology. It is the dirty reality of everyday life. It is Jesus talking with prostitutes. It is Jesus sharing a meal with tax collectors. It is touching a leper. It is stories. It is life shared across generational, economical or cultural lines.

Mission is extreme love and great risk merged as one. It is dangerous…who wants to open their heart…their life to that possibility of pain, joy and sacrifice. Mission is getting dirty and messy in the love for Jesus. Many of those I have hugged, and sent off this week are jumping in with both feet. Would you care to join us?

\\Stephanie\\

St. Louis City Lights Mission Project in 2001

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