18 07 2011

 “Yesterday a little girl told me I sounded like Jesus’s wife when I sing… and she knows because “she saw the movie.” – Stacie Reber

photo courtesy of Lauren Zimmerman

Last week I had the privilege of leading a team of 26 persons to work with our Navajo sister congregation, Tsaile Community Church, conducting a Vacation Bible School for more 100 students. My team ranged in age from 15 through 78. Some were high school students, several bankers, several school teachers, another pastor, a financial planner, an electrician, a retired middle school principle, a candy-maker, a person who works with autistic adults, a candy maker, a graphic arts specialist, a quality control manager and more. An eclectic group with a common passion to help children meet Jesus Christ. We did this through stories and song, crafts and whiffle ball, a lunch, direct explanations of the gospel. We mostly did it by trying to let people see Jesus in the flesh by meeting him as he worked in and through us.

That’s a tall order when you think about it. We are imperfect vessels of a holy God. His unconditional love is expressed in his amazing grace, but we frequently hide that love in our actions and daily test his grace. We talk about Jesus in moment and live for ourselves in the next. We claim to be transformed into a new creation but reclaim our old nature when it is more convenient or comfortable.

Yet as imperfect as we may be and as inconsistent as we are in our actions, we still have the responsibility to share Jesus. It’s not our plan, it is His. In John 15:6 we read: “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit–fruit that will last.” And as if to reassure us in any hesitancy we may be feeling, he adds, “Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.”

Sometimes the odds before us are almost daunting. Not all of us have the opportunity as did the folks from the Church of God of Landisville to go work in another culture. Yet Christians are vividly aware that they live in a culture for whom God is increasingly out of sight and out of mind. We live among people who have heard many empty words and have grown deaf to many religious expressions. The first witness is not words, it is a life lived as a reflection of the Jesus that lives within us. The apostle Paul explained that to the Colossians.
“To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.’ (Colossians 1.27)

2011 Tsaile VBS Team from Landisville Church of God (photo courtesy of Stacie Reber)

Hopefully when they hear the words of Jesus spoken they will believe those words because “they have seen the movie.”

(C) 2011 by Stephen L Dunn

This post originally appeared on the blog LIFE MATTERS

You can also read more about the work of the Tsaile VBS Team by going to the blog WE ARE THE CHURCH OF GOD OF LANDISVILLE




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