What if we started asking what if? What if, as we hang our new 2016 calendars on the wall, we asked what if we did things differently? What if I started everyday with my Bible on my lap looking into it as deeply and as prayerfully as I can to find fuel for my soul for that day? And what if I determined I was going to face everyday with as much gratitude and thankfulness as my soul could muster? What if of all the things that need to change I changed the only one I can: me?
Here’s another what if. What if we, our church, you and me together, took seriously the idea that what we are actually supposed to be doing is continuing the work of Jesus to change the world? What if we fully understood the entire reason a church exists is to take the future God has planned (you know, no one hurts anyone else, no one is hungry, no one is broken hearted, and the whole earth is covered with the knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus, that future) and work to bring it into the present? Or to say it another way, what if we finally took seriously the idea the reason the church exists is to be a preview of heaven? Or yet another way, what if we decided to believe the church exists to bring up there down here? If we did we would start to make several changes. And we would go to work in several key areas.
We would look at Jesup and say “it needs to change” and by “it” we would mean key specific things. We would try to address some of the key issues and problems around us. Why are too many people living in poverty, for one. We would look at people around us and say, “They need to change” and by that we would mean they need to know they can have a relationship with Jesus and we would do our best to help them know him. We would look at us and say “we need to change” and by that we would mean that we would start actually doing what we say we believe. We would be willing to change anything in order to move from “doing church” to doing the ministry of Jesus. We would look at ourselves and say “I need to change”. By that we would mean that we would understand that the work we are doing is not done simply by trying harder or working harder. We would understand that the ministry of Jesus is done by the Holy Spirit through people who let him have their lives daily. What if we became those people?