Thursday, September 8, 2011

living. not dying.

There has to come a point where we all must sit down and actually examine what the world has been saying about us.  Are we a chosen generation?  The generation that has finally had enough of injustice and is ready to put a stop to the wars, the poverty, the genocide, the evil?  The generation that is going to finally reach the Nations for Christ?  Are we the people who are going to stand firm and say “no more”?  It all comes down to the question:
Can we be a generation of shattered people who are alive and breathing simply for the bleeding hope of Glory?
 I think we can be.
And I am here to live and die for that Glory.  But I am here much more to live, for plenty of people are willing to die for a cause, any cause, but very few are willing to live.  Because to live for a cause is to give up everything you own, to sacrifice all that you hold for the greater good.  It means to look forward and forget your past, to loosen your grip on fate and to acknowledge that the world is much bigger than you are.  To live for a cause is to begin again; fresh, naked, and with nothing.
Just as my good friend Jedidiah once said, “The ones who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.”
I might still be too young and idealistic, or I might just be crazy, but I see no reason why we can’t turn the world upside.  There is nothing that holds ground on why the Church today is and should be so far away from what the Bible laid it out to be.  There is no reason every person on this earth should not be fed, clothed, cared for, and told about Christ.  And honestly the only reason I see for any of those things not happening can be summed up in our million dollar houses, the mad cash we dish out for computers, private education, the latest greatest junk, and because we are obsessed with everything about ourselves, anything but the welfare of others.
But I think that a new day is coming, truly it’s already here. A new day where we are not going to be okay with that reason any more. 
We are reclaiming Christianity for the name of Christ and reshaping how humanity sees each other.  Each person on this planet has a story, all 7 billion of us.  And each story is unique, each story is beautiful, each story is vitally important to the human race.  I really do believe that with my whole heart and people may look at me and laugh and point and remark on how off I may be.  And really, I could be wrong but I like to think that’s how Jesus loves people.  And if Jesus loves all 7 billion of us misfits, why shouldn’t we love each other?  And as soon as anyone gives me a good “reason” why not, then I’ll admit that I’m wrong.  But from the Scripture I have read and from the orphans in Africa that I have held, my conviction holds true.  Jesus loves every single one of us and therefore so will I.  And so should we all.
So with that conviction and all, the question has to asked, “how do we do this?”  Well, the best answer I have is to love people with everything we have, we hold, and we do.  To build authentic relationships with people around us regardless of any boundary of race or social limitations.  To give our time to people who need it.  To share what we own with people who need it.  To share Christ with every single person we meet with our words but more importantly with every act we perform.  To hold the broken, to cry with the hurting, to laugh with friends, to sing and dance with strangers, but to come and realize that we are all brothers and sisters.  To quit dying for our own American dreams and to start living for Glory. 
One day I will be face to face with Jesus and He look at me and ask me how I used what He gave me for His glory.  And as I stare deeply into the face of Glory, my Soul’s Desire, I pray that by the grace of God I will be able to show Him how I chose to not just die for Him, but to live.  I know that He will embrace me regardless, because I am washed by the blood of Jesus, but oh how dearly I long to hear Him say, “well done my good and faithful servant.”  There is nothing else I desire more.  There are no other words that I would live to hear. 

The word Hallelujah means “praise the Lord” and the most beautiful thing about this word is that it’s never been translated.  Its originally Hebrew and it’s been Hallelujah since David uttered it while writing the Psalms until now as I’m sitting here on this bench typing it.  Hallelujah can be heard echoing out of gathering in the slums of Kampala to the house churches in China and back to the mega-churches in America.  It is known throughout the whole word as one word.  It’s simple, profound, cross-cultural, and world changing.   
In October I had Hallelujah tattooed on my forearm.  I did this for many reasons, but one of those reasons was because it’s a universal word.  It’s the anthem of believers everywhere. When I in Africa this last summer, kids would come up to me and point to my arm asking me what it said and when I said, “Hallelujah” they would nod and respond, “Amen!”.  I had it written on me forever in order to remember that the old man dying on the war-tattered streets of Kabul, Afghanistan is just as much my brother as the kid sitting next to me in my sociology class.  One day every tribe, every tongue, and every Nation will sing Hallelujah together before the throne of God.  Why can’t we, as a human race, start that now?  I believe we can.  I believe we must because it’s simple: Jesus says to. 
So.  Who’s with me?

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