“My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.” ~John 4:34
Jesus says these words in the context of his encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well. She had come looking for water. But Jesus talked to her about living water. He visited with her about eternal life. He envisioned for her a genuine relationship with God based on spirit and truth. He met her needs. Not her physical needs. Not her culturally-defined needs. He met her eternal needs for love and grace, mercy and compassion, forgiveness and restoration and salvation.
That’s my food, Jesus says. That’s my passion. That’s my calling. That’s what sustains me. That’s what keeps me going. That’s my calling. That’s how I live.
Jesus says, that’s my need. To seek and save the lost.
If we’re not careful, we can give in to the temptation to give people what they want, not what they need. It’s actually a lot easier to give people what the culture tells them they need than what Holy Scripture says they need. And if we’re not careful, our focus can become all about using more media, initiating more programs, hiring more ministers, building bigger buildings, starting new focus groups, and forming more committees to offer people what they can already get at NorthEast Mall.
If God’s Church can’t offer the world something the world can’t already get at Wal-Mart or Six Flags or Chuck E. Cheese, than God’s Church is not meeting needs The Jesus Way.
Jesus has met our deepest eternal needs, the Jesus Way, by dying on a cross to redeem us from our sins and then breathing into our nostrils his resurrection. Our food — my food — is to do the will of him who saved us by meeting the deep eternal needs of our community the Jesus Way.
While you’re meeting those deep eternal needs, make sure that you know what those folks needs really are. Shame on us when we make an assumption rather than truly taking time to understand.
A life of meeting the needs of others does sound like a lot of fun. The problem is in determining what those needs are. As one of those needy outsiders I would suggest a more focused examination of what it is that you have that we need. Is it just “the hope of heaven”? Is it something else? I am not attempting to be argumentative. When I read posts like this, I just get to wondering what it is that you have which could benefit me. Please do not feel compelled to respond. I am merely just sharing my thoughts. I know you believe you have something to share. I am just wondering about how it can be packaged to help “me” understand what it is exactly. I do get the heaven part. If that is the main thing (and I think it is) this is certainly something people can’t get at NE Mall so why not market it in the most effective way? I assume if Jesus were here in the 21st century, he might be inclined to use what we know about marketing. (or not?)
From an outsiders perpective I actually think the main thing you offer is relationship. You try very hard to loving, embracing, warm. People are looking for that, so you should do well by emphasizing that.
Yes, those things Christ offers were mentioned in the post: love and grace, mercy and compassion, forgiveness and restoration and salvation. You can’t buy those things at the mall. But that’s where most people look for them. That’s where our culture says you can find it.
Relationship is implied in all of that. Afterall, that is the Jesus Way. None of those things Christ offers can be given minus relationship. It is the best part.
I assume if Jesus were here in the 21st century, he might be inclined to go door knocking.
I find that many (most?) people have qualms about their relationships. I can see a value in a church that not only provides structure for developing relationship, but also nurishes the personal qualities that make for good relationship. More teaching and focus on how to get along with people vs. dogma. It seems our public education is not much focused on relationships with others; the church would be a good place for this emphasis (and the concept would be very saleable).
Would Jesus be a televangelist?
In light of our Lord’s overpowering emphasis on “relationship,” I doubt it.
would he Tweet?