Leah Farmer

Personal perspectives on faith, literature, and life.

Lent 2014: Who’s in charge?

And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kids of disease among the people. —Matthew 4:23 

Jesus went about healing people – which was the most dramatic way of showing them that ‘heaven’ really was in charge on the earth – it was natural that great crowds followed him from all over. But here’s another challenge. What should the church be doing today that would make people realize that ‘heaven’ is actually in charge in the here and now?  —NT Wright in Lent for Everyone

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound. —Isaiah 61:1

My hearts desire in that moment was to be vocally exasperated. I wanted to proclaim some bad tidings to the team. I was frustrated by the lack of forward motion and by the inability of the team to make progress. My heart towards them was at war.

And then I remembered the simple question from Tom Wright in this morning’s Lenten reading: “What should the church be doing today that would make people realize that ‘heaven’ is actually in charge in the here and now?”

Sigh

Double Sigh

I could very easily show this collection of 9 brilliant people who was “in charge” in this room. And God help me, that was my instinct. Decisions are my instinct. Progress is my instinct. And I’ve seen this done…hell let’s be honest…I’ve done it myself…by command and control.

But…

“What should the church be doing today that would make people realize that ‘heaven’ is actually in charge in the here and now?”

What would it look like if ‘heaven’…Jesus…needed to give these folks a nudge? What does a push from Jesus look like?

I have no idea. And God knows (literally) his nudge would be exponentially better than my nudge.

“What should the church be doing today…”

I offered my services. I offered to do the work. I offered to stay up late and cut into my Saturday to help them get started on the journey towards a complete presentation of their work to management.

I’m not proud…I’d wanted to kick some ass.

But…

“What should the church…”

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