Way back in 2004, I joined a minister on the streets of Lubbock late at night. We took a communion service down to 65th Drive which soon became the sight of 3 shootings – in addition to all the drugs, prostitution, burglaries, and vandalisms. We found full block-parties on many of those occasions, and facilitated an invitation for Jesus to attend.
Jesus (if you read the Gospels, you will know) attended lots of parties. They tended to be religious/national holiday celebrations commemorating some purpose(s). But he went there to upstage those celebrations with the in-breaking of the Kingdom of God.
I have never stopped crashing the street parties of Lubbock in all these years. Lubbock looks a lot different after dark than the image we put in the visitor brochures. We are a “Christian community” – about as Christian as it gets. We are conservative. We hold strong to family values. At least that is how we present ourselves.
But as I tour the streets late at night, I wonder where the church is. As I meet scores of little children completely unsupervised by parental oversight (some so young and in diapers they can’t speak!) or a huddle of homeless drunks in the park under a tree, I look around for Jesus and find only locked up church-house doors protected from the parties Jesus would attend by ADT security signs and surveillance cameras.
I propose we cut back just a smidge on all the parties we throw for the police or ourselves (how many ski trips does our youth group really need to feel closer to Jesus?) and take the hands and feet of Jesus to the party the whores, lepers, and beggars are throwing right out our locked up front doors late at night.