Monday, October 29, 2007

The Gospel According to Moses: Land/People

Seneca, originally uploaded by chanchanchepon.
I couldn't quite find the photo to represent last night's h2o message, but I hope you enjoy this view of seneca rocks.

Last night we continued our series The Gospel According to Moses at h2o with a focus on land and people. You can download this and other h2o podcasts from "H2O Morgantown Live" on itunes.

This series has been looking at some defining characteristics of ancient Israel, and how some very good things can go very bad at times. You see ancient Israel was promised through abraham that they would be a blessing to all of the nations, and that they would be given land from which they would be a light to the nations.

By the time of the first century, Israel had lost it's call. It had become a people who looked down on the nations, and who considered the lands beyond it's borders unholy. It had gotten so bad that if you stepped outside of Israel, you were defiled, and you were supposed to "shake the dust off your sandals before heading back within the borders of Israel.

I believe every group of people on the face of the earth has wrestled with similar ideas. How often do we wrestle with ideas like this in contemporary society. We see our churches or our nation as the holiest place, and we don't dare set foot outside them among the "bad" people. We don't want want to step out of our comfort zones and reach out to those around us who may be in "dark" places.

When Jesus preached he reminded Israel and us that we are meant to be a blessing to those around us. Our borders are not simply geographic. He encouraged patriotism but not nationalism or territorialism. He encouraged people to reach beyond their comfort zones and to love enemies and bless those who curse you and despitefully use you. He told us to help the ones who are lying hurt along the side of the road, and to help bring them restoration instead of busily walking by.

As you go through your week this week, take time to consider being a good citizen in the Kingdom of Heaven, and invite others to share in its amazing blessing. Reach out and step out of your comfort zones and engage in a conversation with some people who are different than you. If you've had a condescending or patronizing attitude toward others, check your heart, and make a change. Don't become territorial and spend time only with people who are just like you.

Look out your window and seek to be a blessing this week to the world around you!

1 comment:

Lauren said...

Billy - Great blog! I've been thinking about this sort of thing for the past week. I was thinking about how sometimes we have a "prejudice" we don't even know about - even if it's just towards one particular person for how they act, or whatever.

Over and over again this person keeps appearing on my radar and no doubt because God wants me to take a hold of His power and love them.

Makes me think of how He sent Jonah to Ninevah - the people Jonah thought were the worst and just really didn't want to be around.

Hopefully we won't have to be carried around in the belly of a whale (I'm pretty sure that would make me really sick) to accept His plans for us :)