Sunday, December 30, 2012

Valley Bible, Part 3

The church of Jesus Christ was one of the best ideas God came up with, and He’s come up with some good ones in eternity past and future.   The church, however, is unique.  It is family, community and faith wrapped into one, joining diverse people through their common relationship with the living Lord. 

After ministering in an orphanage, doing several open-air presentations under a scorching sun and generally having a lot of fun, Thursday night arrived.  The team and most of their hosts were present for a late supper, at the Lopez home.  Ted asked me what I thought about a feet-washing service, to illustrate humility and servanthood.  As people got finished eating, he and I collected some buckets and began filling them up with water.  After the meal, everybody went up to the roof, set up chairs in a circle, and began to give testimonies of how the Lord had, through the mystical union of His Spirit, made us all one.

It was a special time.  Lala (a woman in the church) commented to me that the guys that were crying most were the wildest in the bunch.  “You know, they were really something else here, but I can see they have sensitive hearts.”  I personally was also amazed at how freely and openly everyone expressed themselves.  It was refreshing.  It was, well, supernatural. 

So many times I look over this city and try to see what I cannot see.  So many times I think of Elisha and his servant.  “Behold, there are more on our side than those who stand against us.”  “Greater is He who is in you, than he who is in the world.”  “We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”  Mountaintop experiences remind us of those truths. 

Most missionary life, most Christian of the life, is not lived there however.  It is lived in the day in and day out struggle to be faithful, to obey God, to avoid sin.  The team returned to California.  Jonathan said that he was going to be open and truthful to his friends as to his experience down here.  Has he been I wonder?  We once again return to the weekly schedule of prayer and Bible studies, of exhortation and confession.  Maybe it’s not very flashy…but oh, it sure is powerful. 

The supernatural world, always present, always around us and just beyond our sight.  The enveloping security of divine protection and the haunting void of eternal despair…reflected in the faces of ordinary people in ordinary places made eternal with the passage of time.  So normal, so subtle, so unnoticed, so permanent.  The righteous walk, carrying the message of an incredible truth, the merriment within.  We dance to an otherworldly song and to all who hear the voice of the Lamb on both sides of the veil…we will dance.  A smile on the corner of our lips.  A hope that surges and swells, barely concealed.  A fantasy wilder and grander than all others is about to be ours.  We are friends of the Almighty!  We know how this story ends.

Jesus is not an innocent, helpless baby in a manger or a bloodied, miserable victim on a cross.  He came off of that cross, and with eyes of fire and dressed in breathtaking glory He desired to be worshipped.  He will be worshipped.  I close with a quote from C.S. Lewis:

"…if Christianity is true, then the individual is not only more important but incomparably more important, for he is everlasting and the life of a state or a civilization, compared with his, is only a moment."

Thank you, team from Valley Bible, and all those who helped you come, for your participation in the party that is called the Church of Jesus Christ!  Please continue to pray for the Iztapalapa Bible Church and Mexico City.

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