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Welcome! The primary purpose of this blog is to explore and encourage around what it means to be winsome and sent into the world for God's glory. If you are new here, the definition of "lighthouse-searchlight" or our missional journey is a good place to start. Come peruse the blog and add me to your RSS feed!

Friday, February 22, 2013

lessons from jonah, pt. 2

Takeaways from the series on Jonah...

After the service on Jonah 4, and in relation to Jonah’s seemingly extreme response to God, several people mentioned Les Miserables, which is playing on the stage in Charlotte right now and in the movies. One of the main characters in Les Mis is Javert, a policeman who pursues the other main character the whole length of the play, wanting to exact justice and not understanding the mercy, compassion, and forgiveness he witnesses along the way. In the end, though we want Javert to have a change of heart, he responds like Jonah, angry to the point of despair and death. Rather than simply be disappointed at the lack of a Hollywood happy ending, we should be challenged to look inward at the Jonah and Javert lurking in the shadows of our own hearts. That’s the question we asked last week: are there those for whom we do not want God’s mercy?

lessons from jonah, pt. 1

Takeaways from the series on Jonah....

Is there a part of us – a part of you – that gives lip service to sharing the Good News of Jesus, being a good neighbor, or helping others; but that isn’t ready for just anyone to walk through the doors of the sanctuary? Are there those who are ‘outsiders’ and ‘foreigners’ to us that we’d just as soon see be saved somewhere else?

We’ve been talking for years about getting outside the walls of the church and being a good neighbor right here in this neighborhood. It is a neighborhood filled with an amazing range of ages, races, lifestyles, and economic realities. How does one grow a church? Many these days just build better and better programs and swap sheep with surrounding churches. But we are surrounded by THOUSANDS of people who have no church connection – within a mile of the church. What would we do if they started surging in, moved by God’s Holy Spirit to venture into this lighthouse church? Would we celebrate? Would we rejoice at the compassion and mercy of God? Or would we sulk in the corner?

It is a piercing question. And it is one we must figure out if we are to truly become the light of Christ in this place, inside or out, because what we would do in here reflects how we carry on out there. The good news is that it’s a work God longs to help us with. It is already the heart of God – for the nations; is that something we can envision? With God’s help, surely so!

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