Pr. Jaynan Clark
September 17, 2012
Setting sail to reevangelize America as a “no profit” not a “non profit” has proven to have some appeal to more than a few. Not asking for donations or charting our course based on budget plans, restrictions or donors frees us up to follow where the wind blows. Sounds Biblical to me! Perhaps when one is called to preach and teach, walking the walk with sandals on your feet, brushing away the distressing dust from time to time, eventually one or two or a few notice and even come along.
Taking Jesus at His word seems just too simple to most folks gathered in important strategic meetings. It just couldn’t possibly produce the numbers we ‘need’. . . people and dollars. Butts in the pews and bucks in the plate is what I’ve been calling it for a few years. When following your Lord becomes this then it is time to change your route and follow a different course, “The Way.”
I’ve been out to a few churches that are considering transition and getting off the ideological round-about of their mainline denomination. Considering joining fellow disciples in LCMC is a freeing leap of faith for them. Their initial reaction is always a relaxed exhale when we talk about discipleship in their “Jerusalem” and beyond. ‘One lost sheep at a time starting at home’ sounds so cutting edge to many. Why? It is time tested by the One who controls all of eternity, beginning to end, Alpha to Omega. He sent us out in search of the lost as lost one’s found. In thanksgiving we “Go and Do” in a world that responds “Go to Hell!” This is to be expected because our Sender warned us that this too would come to pass. No surprises. Jesus takes on Satan with the Word, “It is written,” so we can do likewise. Jesus evangelizes the world one child at a time so we can do likewise. The cutting edge, revolutionary nature of it is only that He graciously uncomplicates what we have complicated. Again and again.
This travel itinerary with its faith facts over time translates into an adventure with God’s hands all over it. This fall I will be traveling a bit passed the streets of this small corner of the Pacific Northwest that I share with my family, friends and church home. First I am off to Denver to the LCMC national gathering to meet with my faith family and be a part of a breakout session on evangelism. Why me, I ask and the answer is that I talk the talk and walk the walk. Really? As a sinner and a mom I know how often I fail in that venture but there is repentance and forgiveness and new life. . . again and again. Perhaps being a janitor seven nights a week while still preaching, teaching and delivering our Lord over to sinners is appealing to some. Luther would call it the “Doctrine of Vocation”, I think it just simply is living and breathing. Ours is a simple message according to the original “Message” . . . go out, two by two for one at a time. Doing so makes us partners in crime, so to speak, as we let Jesus have His way with His children killing them in their selfish desires and making them alive in Him. He is faithful and He will do it. It’ll get messy from time to time but then that is why you have a janitor around, right?
Later in October I will be with the folks gathered for the ILT (Institute of Lutheran Theology) theological conference and banquet. I will be speaking at the banquet and hoping what I have to say doesn’t cause extreme indigestion! J (May need a janitor on call!) Toward the end of October I’ve been invited to preach and speak at a Reformation Festival at Zion Lutheran in Kent, WA. Our theme is “Do the Math!—Witnessing in a Wayward World”. In November I will be with our neighbors to the North at their theological conference and the annual gathering of CALC. The conference theme will be “Discipleship in ‘Light’ of the Cross” and at their convention I will be sharing on their theme of “Equipping the Saints” and preaching for their opening worship service.
Surely you can see a pattern here. The Disciple Ship is setting course to different location but under one reoccurring theme. . . obeying Jesus command (not a polite request) to “Go” in His name and hand Him over to a world of need. That commission will take a life time on a day to day basis, touching lives one lost sheep at a time and taking on this world groaning in travail one community at a time. When it gets too cold for sandals I’m quite sure our Lord will be okay with cowboy boots as long as we stay on message and on course as the Spirit blows and takes us where it wills.
Tired of the corporate approach to church, I rather enjoy living those time-tested truths that come not only from the written Word in the Scriptures but also teachings from the time of the Reformation. Jesus sending was simple but it came complete with the warning to us all—that He says “Go and Do!” and the world says “Go to Hell!”