Monday, January 19, 2009

Put your hand to the plow...

"No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." -Jesus (Lk 9:62)

Sunday's are days of miracles for those who have eyes, hands and hearts to see....I watched a man weep as the Holy Spirit embraced him in gentle resurrection power...I knew he had recently attempted suicide and failed....because God is saving Him. I watched tears roll down cheeks of friends who are parting ways, as life sends them in different journeys but know that love will reunite them again. I heard adopted daughters laughter, from lips that had undoubtedly prayed desperate prayers for a family to be part of and now are within. Music was made, reviving prayers were said, words burned, love won out, honey was tasted, heavenly wine for those who are willing to drink. Grace overtaking the creeping darkness....the Kingdom coming on Earth.

"We sense that something magnificent is afoot. We are intrigued by the chaos. We are willing to risk significant change in order to create local expressions of the kingdom of God that are burning with missional passion and practice. We want to explore the meaning of the chaos, the vision of a preferred future, the challenge of being "church."- John Frye

I think back to moments when in church planting you collapse on the dry, hard ground...feeling the heat of reality bearing down on your vision bearing head and wonder if the labor is going to destroy you. Your hands and hearts are blistered by forces that do not release their hold easily. You are tired of the grunts and disapproving groans of the oxen that don't see the purpose of going around and around the same field. The voices that murmur all around you and tell you that the way you plow, the plow you use, the field you have chosen...are all wrong; can if you let it, undermine your confidence. But you press on...you know, what is to come, even if it seems like you are chasing a mirage. You wrestle with the natures and the knowing that greater powers are at work and that you cannot control the outcome of your labors. You are at the mercy of the unknown...you truly plow in hope and faith.

"This process is like the old analogy about an ancient plow pulled by oxen: on the first pass over the field the plow just barley makes a line in the dirt. But as the ox is carefully steered so that the plow passes over the exact same line, there is after the second pass, a slight rut. After several additional passes there is a clear groove. Finally, after many passes the soil is fully ready for seed that will bear fruit." -Todd Hunter "Christianity Beyond Belief: Following Jesus for the Sake of Others" from NextWave
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