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Thursday, January 10, 2013

.A Simple Command - Or is it.

Jesus told the disciples to go and preach  the gospel. It was a simple command. There is really not anything confusing about it. Yet, for so many of us we have stayed. We have stayed inside of our churches and think that discipleship means making our churches look pretty and hanging billboards and dreaming up programs and events, so that perhaps "if we build it they will come." We stay inside our homes and claim that our mission is our family, and we idolize our family time - protecting it with everything inside of us. We keep our children at home and teach them. We stay, and we swaddle deeper and deeper into this little comfortable cocoon that we have created. We sterilize our surroundings, and we make excuses and rationalize away that simple command.

I know, because I have done it.

But in order to fulfill the command we have to go amongst the people. We have to go to the margins, and we have to engage people like Jesus did (And Jesus engaged some shady characters - like prostitutes and tax collectors. There wasn't anything safe or sterile about the people He chose to rub shoulders with.) We have to get out of our churches and turn our focus and attention outward, get out of our home churches, get out of our little sterile communities - our cell groups, community groups, etc., and we absolutely have to start mimicking Jesus. We cannot rely on others to come to us - even if we invite them, even if we make our homes and churches and "Christian" communities inviting. Jesus went. We are called to imitate Jesus. (1 Corinthians 1:11)

From everything I can understand about this command, it doesn't exempt stay-at-home mommies - not even the homeschooling ones - like me. I don't think that we can use the excuse of raising our children to hold off on the Great Commission until later. I have heard (and used in the past) the argument that says by a mom staying at home with her children she is doing her part to participate in the Great Commission, but I am not so sure if I believe this anymore. The very first verb in the Great Commission is go. If this is the critical mission for every person that claims Jesus as their Leader, then why are so many of us staying?

I do not think that this was a casual suggestion for a few crazy radicals, and yet I have lived like it is exactly that. I know we are called to go and preach. I know every single follower of Jesus has this call on their life. I am  now understanding that being a stay-at-home mommy does not give me a free pass. But I also know that not every single one of us is meant to go out and buy an airplane ticket in order to move into the jungle of Africa. However, I really do think that we need to go to where the people are. Jesus went to the woman in Samaria at the well. He didn't wait for her to come to Him. He didn't decorate his home, and prepare a big meal, and invite the woman in, crossing his fingers that she would come. Jesus went to her. He met her where she was comfortable. He laid aside what the culture (both religious and social of that day) considered appropriate, and He went.

And I am called to mimic Jesus - yes, to mimic what He did with the woman at the well.

Go and preach the gospel. A simple command given to every person who claims the name of Jesus, but what exactly does it look like?


 I would love to have you join the conversation.


Jaisa said...

Agree and a reminder that I need to hear! I have two tiny children and I get so caught up in our family in leading and teaching them that somedays it is easier to tell myself that is all I am called to do. But as you I know Gods word ...... Praying over where I need to go!

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