My excitement last night/early this morning must have been anticipatory. God was present, in many good ways.
Several in open worship spoke with passion about Pat Robertson’s comments this week that someone ought to assassinate the dictator of Venezuela (fortunately, I had been brought up to speed by Bob Ramsey after being gone all week. Thanks, Bob!) This isn’t going to go away. We need to speak clearly and decisively that Robertson’s message is not our own.
But the highlight among highlights was talking with a recent college grad after worship. He was beaming as he talked about what Jesus was doing in his life, through working on summer staff at Twin Rocks Friends Camp, and through other amazing experiences. I asked him what he’s doing this fall. Get this; he’s going to be a firefighter in Antarctica. There’s got to be a joke there somewhere!
He’s going to the very same station where that doctor had to perform surgery on herself because it was so isolated. I asked him if he was worried about feeling lonely. He grinned and said no, because he was going down to live and work with a group of people who are going to be diverse and crazy and tight knit, and he was going down to live Jesus in their midst. He sees himself as a missionary. He’s willing to join crazy, rugged, outdoor people in Antarctica, and do it to live Jesus right in the middle of them. THAT is missional, as my emerging friends would say.
This came, by the way, after I’d prayed in each and every service that God would enlarge our view of Jesus, and that it would lead us to join what Jesus is doing in the world. I prayed for our church community to send out artists to create, for people to begin businesses that would not exist simply to make money, but to provide a living wage for the working poor in our community. I prayed that out of our community some would be sent out as pastors, to live among and love people who don’t know Jesus. I prayed that out of our community people would find ways to relieve suffering in Sudan and other parts of the world, as impossible as that seems. And, I prayed for people to go around the world as missionaries and live Jesus.
And my friend, who I first met when he was a four year old boy, is going to fight fires in Antarctica and live Jesus. There’s something in the air!!