Pray for us we IN CONFUSION
Pray for us we IN CONFUSION
Missing... jet lagged... disorientated!
That's a fair description. The only embarrassing thing was that the posters had been liberally distributed in the immediate vicinity so I got several patronising smiles from people before I reached the office.
It made me laugh out loud when I saw it.
Missing... missing... and now found.
A while back I was struck when, at a student training event, we were challenged to think of people who do not share our hope in Christ as 'missing' rather than 'lost'. The challenge came again during a normal conversation with my father-in-law and Ruben during our time in Europe. Ruben said someone was lost at sea, my father-in-law, an ex-military man immediately said "No! To be lost means that there is no more hope, this man is missing - just missing - that means he may still be found and rescued." My father-in-law is no Christian and could not have had access to the teaching that I'd heard. But God spoke volumes to me in the midst of the situation.
Again this morning I was reminded of it - in the gentle ribbing of my friends/colleagues I was provoked again to fresh thought on the subject.
Without Jesus we would simply be lost - no hope of being found, nothing to be found for and no grounds for thinking anyone was looking. Lost in sin, lost under judgement, lost for eternity.
But Jesus HAS come: lived, died, risen, ascended. His commission to His people is to 'go' on the 'look out' and to call men and women to life; to be found in grace.
This changes the position of 'the lost' to 'the missing' - we, the people who have been found are called to be calling and seeking till the full number of the people of God is completed, and we are then called to the New Heavens and the New Earth.
This is a minor shift - a subtle hop in language - but it is a great spur in the mission to the cultural, ethical, intellectual milleui of campus life: looking for the missing, calling them to be found.
I'm thankful for the spur at the beginning of a new year!
There are many thoughts from the last 6 weeks and I guess they will come out in blogs and prayer lettters over the coming months. But coming back is the predominant thought in my mind today.
This evening, after a long hot sweaty and tiring day of getting our lives back in order (finishing unpacking, shopping, sorting out, getting back to email) we went for a walk to a nearby beach. The sun was low in the sky, there was cooling breeze, the water was really warm and standing knee deep in the waves, looking out across the Waitemata harbour to Motoihe and Waiheke islands Ines and I both thought "I love New Zealand" and turned to tell each other such at the same time. The kids also started telling us about why they love living here and how great it is to be home.
God has been very generous in calling us here and we do love it. If you've never been; come and visit - it is worth the hours on the plane. If you live here give thanks that this land is where God has placed you.
It's not always easy living and working for the Gospel in Aotearoa/New Zealand but it is always beautiful.
Below is a rendition of "Pokarekare Ana" a waiata (song) which speaks of the love of a man for a woman but has become a bit of an anthem (albeit a little bit kitsch these days) which conjures up images of the scenery of NZ every time I hear it. (You can read more about the song here)
“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty... When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.” Revelation 1.8, 17-18