I just came in from my morning walk.
My devotions led me to this.
Stay alert. This is hazardous work I’m assigning you. You’re going to be like sheep running through a wolf pack, so don’t call attention to yourselves. Matthew 10:16 The Message
Yes, those of you who who keep track of such things, I used this passage a couple of weeks back.
I didn’t use it up!
In our Bible Study group last evening I was moved to confess what I believe to be my single greatest error, shortcoming, inadequacy (sin) as a pastor.
I try to protect the people. I invest a lot of time and spiritual capital seeking safety for them. And comfort. And peace.
And I have always been slow, reluctant, sometimes rebellious in asking them to take risks.
I pray to our gracious God, and I beg of his wonderful people, forgiveness.
For in failing to advise risk taking I have cheated many of faith building experiences, and deepening spirituality, and I have hindered the powerful building of the Reign of Jesus.
Now here I am in my dotage finding the joy in risk taking. Everywhere the eyes of my heart wander doors are being opened. They aren’t being opened slowly. They are being flung open with a crash. I see the doors, I just can’t see what is on the other side. Risky business, this.
And repeatedly folks are coming to me with inspiration for ministry they’ve never done. Some of it comes with great risk, and investment, and much uncertainty. More and more I am learning to say “If God is calling you to it, do it. You don’t need my permission or a committee’s approval or a lengthy research. If it doesn’t ‘work’ we will look for the next risk.”
Out here in risky territory we are taking mission trips - and finding reward. We are ministering to the homeless- and finding a home that can’t be lost. We are starting worship services and meeting new saints and trying new things - and meeting up with the one who makes all things new. We are feeding hungry children in our schools - and finding ourselves curiously sated. We are #changetheconversation - and telling the talkers of violence there is a better Word to speak. And more wonderful works than I could list in a month of walks.
Out here in risky land old men feel young and sinners become saints and folks find vision that is only available on this side of the flung open door and…