Tuesday, March 31, 2009

To go you must leave

Not last Sunday, but the Sunday before, the sermon at church was a "preaching to the choir" type of a sermon, or at least that's how it started out. The Scripture was Luke 10, where Jesus sends out his disciples. How does one preach about "being sent" to a congregation that is mostly composed of people who are not currently living in the same country displayed in their passport? How does one speak on being sent to a group that, when asked, can rattle off a whole list of countries that they've visited in the past three months (and we did. All at once).

So the speaker took it one step further and said, for some it is easy to "go" wherever God sends them. But in order to truly go, one must also truly leave.

In verses 3 and 4, Jesus says, "Now go, and remember that I am sending you out as lambs among wolves. Don't take any money with you, nor a traveler's bag, nor an extra pair of sandals. And don't stop to greet anyone on the road."

The speaker then went on (we don't have a pastor at our church, just regular speakers...if you know of anyone whose passion and gifts are in pastoring, and who would like to do ministry in Lithuania...send that person on over!*) to say that "leaving" could involve leaving behind many things. Family, friends, jobs, security (financial, safety, and otherwise), certain foods/ingredients, familiarity, language, comforts, etc etc etc.

I'm coming to realize that to truly throw yourself into whatever or wherever God wants you to, there is a lot to be left behind. I have a lot of luxuries that I wonder if are preventing me from truly having to leave everything I know: (internet, and a lot of care packages filled with peanut butter, brown sugar, and chocolate chips to name a few).

I'm not sure if I'm ready to give all of those things up, especially the fact that we talk to our family via Skype more now than we did when we lived in the United States (never used skype in the United States, but we certainly had cell phones that had free calls between customers of the same company). We are more intentional about it. And I have felt that we are blessed because of it.
I like to treat other people here with cookies that have been made with the peanut butter, brown sugar, and chocolate chips. There are people downstairs (I'm typing this from Steve's office, so, no pictures on this post either. Once I break a rule, I find that I break it more frequently after the first time. Well, in this scenario at least) that are enjoying some cookies right this moment with two of the three ingredients. And it has been a great pleasure to get to bring jars of peanut butter to events so that everyone can have some, or to give it away as birthday presents. Do you think that I am over justifying things? Am I called to give all these things up? When sent, are we to go cold turkey? What do you think?

*Actually, if you know of anyone that would like to raise support and do ministry at a certain University in Lithuania, there are plenty of opportunities there as well. Seriously. And apply sooner than later, so your temporary residence permit can be processed on time, and you won't have to leave the country (the "country" being the Schengan Area, which Lithuania is in).


Laura said...

And by sooner rather than later, I mean by the end of this week. If possible.

Laurel said...

Hm. Convicting.

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