The news in and around Hurricane Harvey as it makes it move across Texas and the Gulf is not good. Fierce winds, multiple tornados, record breaking rainfall and devastating flooding equal a multitude of hurting people. Take a moment and realize that these are REAL people like you and me, and they are hurting very badly.
Jesus shared near the end of his earthly ministry one of the measuring sticks of being a disciple of Jesus. The Gospel of Matthew records this lesson noting Jesus’ imagery of sheep and goats, but the lesson is really about making a move, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ He spoke of several contexts in which our willingness to love God by loving people were especially near His heart. Hunger, thirst and hopelessness are hard if not impossible to solve in isolation.
The accompanying image of this woman walking in waist high water totally alone brought me to tears. And not just her, but the tens of thousands of others that will be rendered devastated by this natural disaster. The call from Jesus to a move strikes me as a grand opportunity for the people of God to move to display the good and gracious nature of God. But, it requires us to make a move from what is in our heart to take action forming in our mind what our hands can do to help.
So here is the invitation to join me/us in that move from heart, to mind, to hand and let’s be the Body of Christ and be the hands and resources that help and go beyond intercessory prayer to a visible expression of our love of God and these who are in need. This weekend, at Mount Pisgah, we will assemble 1000 flood buckets and will gather a very generous love offering to help those who are hurting. Come join us in this move. Details at http://umcor.org or http://mountpisgah.org
The past several months have me convinced that a great move of God is mounting worldwide. It’s admittedly difficult to read between the lines of the popular media and listen for such a move of God amidst the noise of the cultural fad of the moment and all the political turbulence that are magnified a millions times over. However, the evidence of this move of God shines brightly in personal conversations, small groups, and in witnessing what is happening in collective worship experiences.
And what I am hearing and seeing is amazing! People near and far are breaking through to an experience of God that they have never known and a faith in Christ that inspires contagiously. The best I can describe the dynamic is that people are awakening from a deep slumber of being stuck in doing their own thing, justifying whatever behavior they think is acceptable, and having a belief that Christ exists devoid of accountability and responsibility. And they are awakening with passion and with a hunger to know the greater and dynamic experience of God and a faith in Christ that is both sacrificial and accountable in living out the mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ.
Be clear that this is not an institutional move or program to follow, but an extemporaneous move of God that knows no ethnic or generational barriers. It is a beautiful thing to see unfold and this is only the beginning and I only have a glimpse, but the common denominator is a desire to follow Jesus above all else. In John 6:66 we see this apostolic move happening early on in the life and ministry of Jesus. Many turn away and follow Christ no more because of the cost of following is for them too great. But, those who chose to continue to follow Christ with all of their heart quickly broke through to an experience of God that was both miraculous and lasting. And the move of God grew and the Christian faith spread and hundreds of millions of people have come to be the Church over the years in this great culture of multiplication; disciples of Jesus making disciples of Jesus with real love, authenticity, and accountability. May God be praised and join me in helping stoke this fire of this great move of God!