Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Crossing Over the River

Missio Lux had the third and last Build Team meeting Saturday. The Build Team was gathered to lay the foundation for Missio Lux through writing a mission, vision, and values statement. We also spent a lot of time re-envisioning what can be: through our leader Jesus and his call for us to follow. We are beginning to intentionally listen to his voice, and we are working hard to hear one another.

In many ways we can relate to the Israelites as they waited to cross over into the Promised Land. Mosese was dead, along with the period of 40 years of wandering in the desert. Now the Israelites were ready to cross over into new lands and new ways of living. They were leaving the old behind and embracing the new.

This is what we intentionally did on Saturday. We made a conscious decision to leave an old way, thought, habit, pattern, paradigm, experience, behind. As we put our rock on the altar, we also embraced a new way to live out our faith. I sat there and watched as people came and left their yellow sticky tags, one on the left for the old way left behind and the one on right as the new way to embrace, with their rock in the middle. I was struck by the courage of those that have committed themselves to walk in a new way. In many ways, it is easier to maintain the status quo and let the river of life take us away.

But, each person who put their rock on the altar represents a life that God has touched in a significant way, so that the status quo is no longer an option for their faith.

The people that crossed over the river with Joshua were a transitional generation. They only heard the stories from their parents of how the Egyptian chariots were coming upon them and God pulled back the Red Sea so that they could cross through. They knew the years of wandering in the desert, eating the same thing for 40 years.....I bet that the manna didn't taste as good then as it did in the beginning. But, they were able to embrace the new land with anticipation and live into God's promise of a new inheritance.

So, it is with us.
We have heard the stories of how God rose up and moved dramatically in history, but it has happened so seldom with us. We have wandered in the desert for a long time, living out the faith that we were taught, but not walking in the fullness of God's supernatural presence in us. But, as we leave it behind, we anticipate that God's timing and his rapid movement that is springing up . . . . to live like the Israelites who after they crossed over heard the Lord say: "Tell your children that 'Israel crossed the Jordan river on dry ground.' For the Lord Your God dried up the Jordan before you crossed over. The Lord Your God did to the Jordan just what he had done to the Red Sea when he dried it up before us until we had crossed over. He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the Lord is powerful and so that you might always fear the Lord Your God."

Missio Lux: may we know that the Lord Our God is powerful and may we always fear him. He will take us into the unknown land and we will see his hand move in ways we never dreamed possible.


Anonymous said...

In Joshua when the Israelites were crossing over the River Jordan, they were crossing to do the work God gave to them - possessing the land. But they were also being given rest. Here is what it says: "The Lord your God is giving you rest and has given you this land" Joshua 1:13.

Does anyone have thoughts on how they will be intentionally combining work and rest in this new adventure - Missio Lux?

I have been thinking about crossing the River Jordan and the concepts of work and rest. As I begin this new way of "being the church", I want to be intentional about my work and my rest. God gave us humans the blessing of work - long befor our sin and fall. At the same time God gave us the blessing of rest and the balance of both.

I know that when I use my gifts and talents in ways that God is moving me to engage them, then I find that I enjoy my work and am energized and satisfied by my work. I find that His "Burden is light and his yoke is easy" Matthew 10:30. It is when I move out of my giftedness (even if I am capable of doing the task) or when I use my giftedness in an area that He has not given to me to work (even if I think it won't get done if I don't do it) I find myself working without a sense of rest.

I also take very seriously the idea of not doing "regular work" (Leviticus 23:21) one day a week. I find that doing this does not put me further behind in my work, but renews and restores me to get my work done more efficently during the remainder of the week.

How do you intend to handle work and rest in this new adventure?

Tamara Buchan said...

I think that you have explained the idea of the balance between work and rest really well. You discovered that gifting and call are very important in God's plan; when we are moving in those two areas, we have all that we need in terms of work and rest. When we observe a sabbath rest, it gives us the ability to work in God's rhythm, which is always in balance. Finally, when we discover that we aren't working because of the "lie" that "if we don't do it, it won't get done," (this lie will always bring us to burnout) then our motives are on the right track.

Continue to bring the idea of balance between work and rest to our attention as we develop the foundation for Missio Lux, it is vital to our future!