the older the better

I do a lot of reading. A lot. However, right now, my book list is longer than time I have to read.

Last week I got incredibly giddy because a professor of mission I adore was finally on Twitter. He tweeted: ‘Only when we cheerfully and faithfully bear the burden of sorrow, anxiety and pain in ministry, can we boldly ask others to follow – Newbigin’.

Read that again…

I asked Michael Frost where that Newbigin quote came from, and he told me ‘The Good Shepherd.’ Since I’ve wanted to read Newbigin anyway…I ordered it.

It came today, and on the back cover it says $2.95. That’s not what I paid for it…but it led me to the copy right date that was 34 years ago.

I love how God moves us closer to his intent. It is different for everyone, but it has been going on since the beginning of time. Frost talks a lot about the universal reign of God. And Newbigin has a lot of Kingdom talk going on…where could I possibly go wrong?

What I love is that with all of the books out there right now about mission this and mission that…I opened a book 34 years old and got excited about what was in the pages. As I flipped through the book today I found this…

“The ministry of the church as a whole should be manifestly and explicitly both a ministry of love and service and compassion, and also a ministry of proclamation and enlistment – the proclamation of the coming reign of God in Jesus, and the enlistment of men for the service of that reign.”

Can I get an ‘Amen’? The two are not separate…at some point you are going to have to say something. Even walking alongside someone and participating in a ministry of presence…at some point you are going to have to point to the Kingdom of God verbally.

I actually hate that part…my words get very jumbled, and as I think ahead…I get mixed up.

But…

It is in the moments that I acknowledge God’s presence and let him use my mouth, in the moments I don’t remember all I said…those words are pretty good, I think…

And it’s not quoting scripture I spent months memorizing. I’ve never been a good memorizer. It is about knowing what you believe in, and why you believe it. What made you choose Christ in the beginning? Why do you still choose him in a culture that says there are a million ‘gods,’ not just a God?

I think my submerging into ‘sent’ verses, combined with everything I’ve been reading, truly changed the base of my mission platform. I work toward the Kingdom of God returning to earth…because this is not what God intended for us. He didn’t intend for us to cry. He didn’t intend for us to suffer. Or watch friends die from disease…

He didn’t even intend for us to ‘get it’ all of the time…

“We cannot abandon our conviction that God’s reign is embodied in the person of Jesus, and that it is his dying and rising along which can make sense out of this world in which good and evil are so tangled together. We can commend that conviction to others only as we are willing to do as Jesus did – to take the form of a servant. When Jesus has finished all of his teaching about the Kingdom of God, and when his disciples had still not ‘seen’ it, he did one thing which was the final and irreplaceable manifesting of what that Kingdom is: he stooped down and washed their feet. It is when the Church is in that position that our message of the Kingdom will be credible.”

I serve a Savior who lived on earth, taught of the Kingdom, served those around him, then died…and rose again. Now that’s an awesome story to share with a friend…

(And, I only read 2 chapters!)

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