Maybe I Failed…

I recently posted a message declaring that I have made the message plain, simple, and loud enough that there is no excuse.  I said your heart is just so hard, and that is the only explanation at this point that the message I bring is not heeded.

And honestly, I believe that still.  But just to cover all the bases.  Just to make double sure, in case I failed the mission and just don’t recognize it…  let me try this angle:

In reading the Gospels, it is abundantly clear many times over that when God comes into his creation via this Prophet Jesus (Joshua) of Nazareth, very quickly we see the poor, the lame, the blind, the lonely and broken people, the sinners and lepers following him, clinging to him, even mobbing him every where he goes.  This is a standard feature of God’s presence in Galilee and Judea leading up to Jesus’ (Joshua) of Nazareth’s arrest.

Basically, the poor he always has with him!

This is such a profound feature of God’s presence in the world that absolutely no serious reader of the Gospels misses it.  None.  Every last one of them – the honest readers with even a shred of sincerity – sees it just as clearly as the nose on your face!

So…

If this is true of God in the world, especially God as expressed through Jesus (Joshua) of Nazareth, then why is it so lacking in the assembly I assemble with which calls itself “the Body of Christ”?  Why are the poor and homeless, lame and blind, lonely and broken not jamming our doors at our assembly everyday so much that there is not even room inside to eat? (See Mark 2:2 and  6:31 for instance.)

If we are the Body of Christ, indwelt with the same Holy Spirit as Jesus, then why is this elephant not in our room?

It is the sound of the dog that did not bark, I think.  It goes so easily unnoticed.  But I have pointed it out to you now…

But maybe I failed to before.

No?

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8 comments

  1. T. F. Thompson · May 27

    My good friend. It is for you to proclaim the truth and the job of the Holy Spirit to convict. Even when it doesn’t work the way we want it, or even pray it: it is in the hands of our Lord of whom we trust. You did what you were supposed to do, now let God perform His will in His own time. Thank you for you. I love you, my friend.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Agent X · May 27

    Anonymous comment says:

    Many are of the opinion that the main goal of good communication is clarity. This however is in error. Since God is the is the ultimate source, and he is love – then the most noble function of good communication is charity (love). His finest message was the cross. Therein even on his cross Jesus, the greatest prophet of all time offered forgiveness to those who nailed him there. As for me it’s the path and tone I make my goal. Blessings

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Agent X · May 27

    Anonymous comment adds:

    BTW the work of the Holy Spirit in conviction and conversion is aimed to result in new life in the image of God. Conviction spawn by guilt ends its work when guilt is assuaged. Conviction borne out of love never stops its work. Love is much more powerful than mere guilt. Blessings

    Like

  4. Pingback: Agent X missteps for the Good: Fat Beggars grow – Hard Times Ministries
  5. laceduplutheran · May 28

    I think it doesn’t happen as often as it should because so many are uncomfortable and inconvenienced by poverty, homelessness, etc. So many “Christians” just don’t want to be around the same people Jesus hung out with. On Sunday I had a complaint about not printing the Scriptures in the bulletin, instead we are now using Bibles from in the Pew. We started doing this on Pentecost. Imagine how crazy it is to have Bibles in the pews and to actually use them. I explained that it is a mark of discipleship to be in the Word and to see where the passages are in the Bible in relation to one another. In my sermon I spent time talking about human trafficking – that it takes place in the US. It is the buying and selling of people. Right here in the US. In 2018. And it happens just down the road from the church. But instead of being upset over human trafficking, this person was upset that the Scripture wasn’t printed in the bulletin.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Agent X · May 28

      Agent Z is on a youth and family internship in ABQ,NM this summer. He is taking his passion for the poor with him and finding that ABQ has a much larger homeless population than Lubbock has. He is mystified by it (not a well traveled kid, really). But he is smart and he cares. And inside of his first week there, he found people living under the overpass just two yards off church property! It looks as though no one at this church knew anyone was there. He was part of a group that hosted a party for youths and families last week expecting 40 people but only 8 came. He asked if he could take the extra food. They let him. Then they asked what he did with it all. He told them.

      I think we need to face the fact that underneath all our neglect, dread, and sometimes scorn and hostility and definitely fear is our CONTEMPT. We don’t want to admit it in ourselves and we are in denial about it being in our churches. I am not claiming it is 100% of our problem, but I am certain it’s up there close. How else do you explain more care for printing a Bible verse in the bulletin than care for those in bondage of modern slavery in our own neighborhood?

      Remember about 20 years ago, or maybe a bit more, Phillip Yancey told the story of Tony Campolo delivering a speech at a chapel service at a Christian college. Campolo took the podium and said something to the effect of… There are 40,000 starving children around the world tonight, and you people don’t give a shit. The fact that you are more upset with me for using the word SHIT than you are about the fact that children are starving to death proves my point.

      Sure enough, it got him in trouble with the dean. But it proved his point too.

      We have a contempt problem. Not sure how to get this demon out, but perhaps we should try prayer.

      Thanx for visiting!

      Liked by 1 person

      • laceduplutheran · May 29

        Spot on. And so true. Unfortunately. I remember someone once said that the when you follow Christ – really follow Christ – the world will break your heart over and over again. This is so true. I think the word contempt is pretty accurate. The expressions that go with it might sound something like: “How dare you…” followed by expressing anger at being made to feel uncomfortable and inconvenienced. Contempt stems from pride. It’s the idea that a person is better than another person on the basis of false measurements – money, status, job, privilege, etc. The reality is imago dei – we are made in the image and likeness of God and this is where our value comes from – not from our stuff or what we do. I’m honestly amazed that we don’t have Jesus being recorded as having blown up on people more often than just in the temple.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Debi · May 31

    I read your blogs backwards when I get behind and begin trying to catch up, so I haven’t yet read the one to which you refer here, so perhaps I’ve missed something. But I would submit that the reason why the elephant isn’t in our room(s) is because the Church tries to be the Church in a church building, when we really need to take church “on the road” or out into the street — to where “the poor, the lame, the blind, the lonely and broken people, the sinners and lepers” are.

    Again I say, we don’t need to be spending all those millions of dollars on buildings and latte bars, and especially on gazillion dollar jets, to reach God’s people.

    Liked by 1 person

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