Thursday, March 28, 2013

Ministry, Missions, and the Hope of the Resurection

Today we celebrated Maudy Thursday, the day that we celebrate the Last Supper, and Jesus washing the disciples feet. Most people are familiar with Palm Sunday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday. But lowly Maudy gets forgotten. To me, it sets the stage for the for the culmination of the passion of Christ. On this day we remember the King of Kings (as seen on Palm Sunday and Easter) becoming and serving as the lowliest of household slaves. He told His disciples that they did not understand what he was doing yet, but they would. And so it was that the next day, Jesus was crucified. A death reserved for slaves and criminals. I often dwell on the image of Christ washing the disciples feet. It's the reason that I preach barefoot. I long to have Jesus wash my feet, and I long to do likewise to my church and community. Jesus told Peter, "Unless I wash your feet you have no part in me."
Ministry, and mission is just that: Finding culturally specific ways to wash peoples feet with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is as challenging today as it was for Jesus. There are Judas' today, who will wound you deeply. There are Peter's today too, who will be by your side until you really need them and then they are gone. But there is no distinction between them in the manner in which we are called to love and humbly serve them. As we have been united with Christ "unto death" we know the hope of the Resurrection. It has shaped our hearts after His heart, the same heart that washed the disciples feet. Peter came to know the hope of the Resurrection after Jesus washed his feet. So it is that all who come to know Jesus will do so by the washing of the Word.
Jesus prayed for His Disciples and for us on that evening before His death. He prayed "Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth. "I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. (Joh 17:17-23)

This is what the people of Alaska so desperately need. May the remembrance of our resurrected savior fill your hearts with love for the family of God and a unique desire to wash the feet of those around you.

Things you can be praying for:
  • This Monday and Tuesday, Galena Bible Church will be hosting a marriage conference. Pray that I (Chris) will be able to clearly teach and encourage the people who attend to understand what Solomon was talking about when he said "This is my beloved, and this is my friend". Pray that members of the community would attend.
  • Pray for the Dennis Agajanian concert tonight, that the Gospel would be clearly understood and that the Holy Spirit would move people to respond.
  • Pray as we send a Galena Bible Church team up to Ruby Bible Church to hold an Easter service with them. Pray the small body there would invite members of the community to come hear the message of Christ.
  • Pray for our connection to the village of Nulato, that the Lord would continue to open up doors for church planting in that village.
The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

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