December 29, 2010

life in the upside-down Kingdom

"it is more blessed to give than to receive..."

Life in God's kingdom is upside down. Only God could make giving better than receiving. Only God could bless you MORE when you give, than when you receive. Only God. How does He do that??

We were trying to figure that out on the drive home from the city on Christmas day. We went to serve a meal to the homeless, and God - as is His Way - ended up blessing us more. Only God could make a law of the universe like that.

We got there just in time for the director of the homeless ministry to debrief the volunteers and assign jobs...

Then the homeless began to arrive...

Once the house was full, the director got up, said a few words...

...the gospel message was given, an invitation to give your life to Christ held out, 3 or 4 hands went up, a prayer, then 90 minutes of non-stop singing while the food was being served.

Somehow I ended up on stage with the rag-tag worship team, sitting at an empty piano holding sleeping baby, and singing (sort of, I can't carry a tune) for 90 non-stop minutes. It was FUN.

my view from the piano

A little video of us amateurs rockin' the worship...

Afterwards, the director gathered the volunteers to thank them, and to open up the mike for testimony time. Many, including us, shared an experience from the night or a word of thanks or encouragement, their own story, or whatever else was on their hearts. Testimony time went on for over 15 minutes.

It was awesome, what more can I say? I love that our kids were there with us, serving alongside us. Living missions, not just hearing about it. We want them to grow up doing missions, seeing what faith looks like by showing them what it means to really obey Christ's teachings - which includes going into the rough places and rubbing shoulders with the down-and-outs. And how can we do that if we ourselves do nothing? Reminds me of what I heard a preacher say once, "God will not be impressed in heaven by how many verses we've memorized.". He put it this way, Simon says, "Tap your head," and we do it... Jesus says, "Feed the hungry," and we... memorize it?

It was our first year here in the States that we didn't spend Christmas with my family (although that is not to be disdained). We wanted to do something different. Something for someone else, for others who don't have what we have been given, which, all things being relative, is too much.

"...For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall much be required..." ~Luke 12:48

Do we believe this? Do our lives show this? I don't know if ours do.

Getting over the spiritual inertia is hard. It's a fight. A battle. But Nike says, 'Just Do It' (profound theology, I know). So we picked a day and said enough talk, we're going. And we went. So much of following Christ is just doing it.

The place we went to is a GREAT ministry. They are the real heroes. They have not closed their doors one single day to the homeless in 14 years. The Spirit of Christ is palpable there, the commands of Christ are being obeyed, and the gospel is being preached - all with joy. It was a tremendous privilege just to be there. I am convinced that we came away much more blessed and more full than anyone we served.

That's life in the upside-down Kingdom. Confirmation that giving away what we have is getting so much more. That is still what we want to do. Now more than ever.

We also got some good ideas about what we can do in Argentina, ideas about how to do it... good stuff for the memory files.

And, yes, we are SO going back!


1 comment:

Christy said...

We did something like this with Christian's family one year on Christmas day. I don't remember where we went though. How did you hear about this particular place? We would love to go next year if they would need us.

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