Jul1WedJuly 1, 2020
I have been inspired recently by my new friends Jeff and Maria. They have been an incredible joy in our lives as we have gotten to know them over the past month. They will be getting married at the end of July and both of them have an incredible journey towards finding faith in Jesus. We took the opportunity to show love a few weeks ago in the Willow and Dawson area and it was so encouraging to see so many show up to give out flowers and let people how much we care in the midst of all this fear, anxiety and social distancing! I know so many who are struggling just to feel human and crave real connection. Jeff in particular wasn't afraid to take the opportunity to pray for people who were hurting and dealing with pain whether physical or emotional. We even borrowed a pretty hilarious "Hugmaster 2020" to give out hugs. Jeff's enthusiasm was contagious and our time together on the street ended up moving to our backyard for the "after party" where we had a spontaneous time of prayer and worship with 10 people...ok, maybe, there was a few more but there was healthy space, but more importantly, healthy spirituality. One thing this whole pandemic has taught me has been that we were not meant to do life alone. Our personal relationship with the LORD wasn't meant to be just a personal thing. It is richer, fuller and more amazingwhen it is shared in community.
I know as churches begin to open up and do worship outdoors or in limited spaces indoors, it will be with a lot more appreciation for what a shared experience allows us to know and feel. I was recently listening to a podcast and was really challenged by it. The pastor was speaking on the woman in Mark 5 who was considered unclean and soiled by the religious crowd around her. Here's the story starting in verse 24
A large crowd followed and pressed around him. 25 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26 She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” 29 Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.
30 At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”
31 “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ”
32 But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. 33 Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. 34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”
She had been conditioned by her issue to hide and not touch anything, but Jesus invited her to the center of His attention and affection. When you go through extreme disappointment, extreme private issues and extreme pain He doesn't want you coping on the fringes. He wants you transformed, made whole, reproducing and He wants your identity restored that your issue stole from you. Jesus called her, "Daughter."
I also realized that Jesus responds to intentionality not emergency. The bleeding church has been given an opportunity to point to Jesus. We've been called to host the presence of Jesus. Every time someone have an encounter with heaven it was initially met first with fear. We are not called to be younger or more relevant. Breakthrough begins with exposure to your private issue! Speak to your issue in the name of Jesus.
Sometimes you have to press through the crowd and the rejection so there's nothing between you and Jesus.
She thought she could be healed and hidden, but Jesus loved her too much so let her stay on the fringes. Jesus wanted to do more that heal, He wanted to make her whole and that's the truth about us as well, Jesus wants to make us whole!
She was conditioned by her issue to just stay in the shadows, however Jesus wanted her as the centre of his attention, his affection. It is painful because it requires exposure. She is now ready for real intimacy and restoration as she is completely transformed.
Your faith has made you well, go in peace.
So, as we look forward to more gatherings, more BBQ's and opportunities, I pray that it will be done with more transparency, let's get real with each other, be honest and open and discover the healing that Jesus wants to bring to all of us in community and make us whole!
feel free to reach out to me