Long title, yes…I know. But after writing and revising a billion times my last post, I have seen my heart eased and God show up in instances I need him. With the exception of the nightmare I had last night about Nike retail…the store never closed and people kept on checking out and complaining. Believe me, if you have worked retail you would understand why I woke up with an anxiety attack. Worst nightmare EVER!
But, back on track, I know there is a God, and so do all people who follow a religion or belief. I know Jesus is my hero and that he does something that all other religions and gods can’t do. He asks me for nothing in return for just my love and trust in Him. I can’t earn and don’t deserve anything from Him. He calls me to just love. And this is where Christianity fails miserably. This is why people who are not religious or once were despise Christians so much. We forget that God takes us where we are at (read my last post). He takes us where we are at, whether we are the worst hypocrites or the perfect Biblethumper. Since he can take and love such a screw-up like me, why do Christians feel the need to limit and exclude so many people due to race, sex, belief, and sexuality. Why can’t we be like Jesus and love others unconditionally. We are not called to change people, we are called to love and let God do the change. God knows everyone the best and He knows the best timing…we don’t. We are screw-ups, right???
It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love. – John 13:1
Let’s set the scene to modern times:
Jesus is at El Jinete with all his friends, his brothers, his disciples. They come from all over, all walks of life. Some trust in him fully, some lie to him, some are skeptical of all he can do. Some are adulterers, some are cheaters, some glorify money more than others. But not only do the discples show up with him at El Jinete, but let’s broaden the picture. Down the street and shopping at the mall while getting ready to meet up with Jesus and the discples the next day is Mary (Jesus mom) and Mary Madelene (an ex prostitute). While they are not at El Jinete eating some awesome salsa, they are just as loved.
Where are the rabbis, priests, and all the other people? Jesus is not hanging out with them. He is mixed in with the gentiles, Jews, the skeptics, the prostitutes, and he is having a pretty good time I must say. He loved them…and it was a crazy love (not a promo for Francis Chan’s book). He was ready to show them the “full extent of His love,” and that was dying on the cross so that EVERY SINGLE PERSON could feel what it is like to be loved the way God meant love to be.
We will searcf for so many false loves: sex, movies, pornography, over-volunteering in church, being involved in every ministry, celebrities, books, fictional characters, our job, on and on and one. But the only fullfillment is the love that God meant for us to feel…unconditional love.
I feel that…not all the time and not every day. But some times I am reminded of this love and it tears me up. I felt it this morning as I was producing all three services at the North Campus of Mountain Lake. I saw God in my team that I lead. I saw it in a sophomore gentleman named Garrett. As we started the first service. I felt in my heart and by the third song that I needed to let go of the reigns and let him produce. It is NOT easy to produce, you are in control of everything: Band, Audio, lights, computers, cameras, transitions, videos, lyrics. As a producer, you direct these. Garrett ran all three services without prior experience. And as I stood back in amazement in the blantant gifts of leadership and discernment that God most definatly gave him, I felt a sense of love for my whole team: Jenny, Hannah, Mike, and Kathy as well as the band and the best sound guy in the world. Most of these guys that on a personal level I don’t really know, I connected with. And it was with an unconditional sense of love and an awe in God and his ability to do and control and handle everything when we least expect Him.
And so much more has been made seen by God in the past few days. That while I will struggle with a lot over these next 6 weeks as I wait for my internship, God is always here and will show up right when I need him.