And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace
On Wednesday I traveled back from my Minnesota journey for fifteen hours in the car. Other than the necessitated pit stops I drove with purpose and without music or preaching which is usually what I occupy my mind with when traveling. But I wanted to hear from God, which was still difficult when my mind has trouble shutting up, it’s such a chatty Cathy! But what I discovered on my journey to my friend Dewey’s Hometown was that Windom, Minnesota and Grantsville, West Virginia have the same common thread running through their tapestry. It’s a raveling. It’s a thread that’s gotten disconnected from its garment. It’s still attached but it yet it’ loose. It’s not holding anything together, it’s just there. I think that’s a very good analogy of the church.
So as I’m driving… and driving… and driving. God keeps putting that hometown thought into my mind.
We’ve become disconnected from our communities. It’s very easy to say that the community is not our concern. It’s our job to be a light for Jesus! Yes, yes it is. And yet when Jesus was His own light in the towns that He was going to, He wasn’t just in the church house.
He was at the well
- … at a wedding
- … at the fishing hole
- … meeting Nicodemus outside of business hours
- … in people’s homes
- … in the grain field
- … in the cemetery
Every place He went was viewed as an opportunity to serve; and I think that’s where the disconnect comes into place in the church. We’ve bought the lie of Satan that church has no place in the secular world, and yet that’s the very place we’re told to take the gospel of Christ. We forget that the church is not a building, it’s a person. A person with a story and a purpose exclusively belonging to Christ, no matter where you are.
I’m fully aware that we cannot preach the gospel in a classroom. However, we can train our children to walk in the light of Christ and share Him with their friends. Most jobs forbid evangelism in the work place, but they usually don’t mind one iota if you live like Christ on the job. They call it ethics, we call it faith. Nursing homes, prisons and hospitals love our kind and usually welcome us with open arms, and yet we seldom go.
That’s the talk God had with me on my way home. “Shari, you’re going back to your hometown, what are you going to do there to make a difference? How are you going to motivate people and reconnect with your community?” And in my earthly wisdom I said to Him, “But God, they’ll not want to hear what I have to say.”
Oh, He fully understood.
And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country.
“Now what your excuse?” I ask myself. I didn’t have one. But I do have a hometown,, and so do you. And we are without excuse in evangelizing it, starting at the house and working way out.
So I’m working on a way to reconnect the raveling that’s been hanging from my church skirt. I want to prepare the way for Christ’s return like John the Baptist did for his arrival in town the first time. My first step is look for resources… and then I want to get this party started.