God calls us to hold loosely to where we live, allowing Him to direct us, to intervene, and to surprise us in the journeys He sends us on. Left to ourselves we become inhospitable to adventures. Like Bilbo the Hobbit, we adopt a posture that says, “We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures. Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner!"
Following Christ infuses wherever we live with a supernatural sense of sent-ness. Christ deepens our sense of living by awakening us to the fact that we live in a once in an eternity opportunity. The whole earth will soon be all new people, just like our old haunts in high school and college were completely repopulated in about four years. We are located more “in a time” than a place. And that time is only redeemed as we live for Christ (Ephesians 5:15), conscious that we are SENT.
Jesus loved to describe Himself as the “Sent” one. God the Father was the Sender.
Note how Jesus describes himself in these verses:
- Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work. John 4:34
- “Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. John 5:23
- “As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” John 20:20
Being “Sent” does not depend upon the distance, although my experience is that when we surrender to being “sent” God will often surprise us with how He expands His territory as well as our conceptual framework.
This weekend, I am SENT to preach at Epiphany Fellowship in Camden, New Jersey as they give glory to God for their Five Year Celebration of being SENT. Covenant was instrumental in this church plant when it was only a concept. About six years ago, I remember Doug Logan driving some Covenant members through the city of Camden, showcasing the need for churches. Since that time, Epiphany Camden has sent out daughter churches to Baltimore, Maryland, Wilmington, Delaware, and beyond.
Pastor Doug Logan reckons that the amount of financial support in both goods, labor, and cash has been more than five hundred thousand dollars given from Covenant Church. Much of this support came from willing skilled labor to prepare the church building as well as Doug and Angel Logan’s home. Pastor Doug gives thanks for our partnership, a truly relational and therefore reciprocal kind of partnership.
As I preach at Epiphany in Camden, Covenant will be served through the fruit of our gospel partnership in Zimbabwe, as Rob Chifokoyo, transplanted from Zimbabwe to here preaches for us from Acts 17:1-15.
Just a few years ago, Camden and Zimbabwe were just places on the map. But today, they shape Covenant, and they shake up Covenant in ways that remind us, this ministry belongs to God. This God loves to break into our lives with adventures that shake up our status quo and drop the calling card of a God who loves to be known as the Sending God.
Saying Yes to Jesus’ mission is disturbing, uncomfortable, and “makes you late for dinner”. But it also rescues us from drifting into purposeless lives, so we live on purpose for Him!
PS THANK YOU FOR YOUR GENEROSITY. Because of your generosity I will be presenting a love gift of five thousand dollars, along with cleaning supplies for the maintenance of Camden’s new church building!