Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Saltshaker Spirituality

Jesus said that salt that loses its flavor is worthless. The only way you know if the salt is still salty is to get it out of the shaker. I believe this is a challenge for those of us who were raised in the church, we really like the “salt shaker” but Christ did almost all of the significant work of the scripture outside of the temple or synagogue. It is time for us to join Him in His work and get out of the saltshaker.

Getting out of the saltshaker requires three things of us. We must be willing to engage in three, great spiritual adventures:

The Missional Adventure: serve the poor and hurting unconditionally. So often the work we do with people who are hurting has an agenda driving it. We don't care as much about their pain as we do convincing them that our way of life is right. We aren't interested in feeding their children, we just want their children in Sunday School. Did it ever occur to you that Jesus' most powerful moments of ministry were in the marketplace, at the seashore, in the streets? His healings were rarely in the synagogue, the church of that day, they were usually in the streets. He didn't call his disciples off of comfortable pews, he called them while they were working, collecting taxes, mending nets, working hard.

The Methodist Adventure: live simply and reject consumerism. John Wesley charged the Methodists of his day to, “Earn all you can; save all you can; and give all you can.” Notice he didn’t mention “spend all you can.” You are not what you buy. We have let culture tell us that we are defined by what we own, by what we purchase, by the car we drive, the clothes we wear, the house we live inWhen Jesus sent disciples out, he sent them out with empty hands and open hearts. No extra shoes, not extra coat, just the faith that God had called them to do a great work. Our great work begins when we live with open hearts and open hands.

The Mosaic Adventure: embrace inclusivity with intensity. Quit hanging out only with people who affirm your worldview and engage people who will challenge you. I remember when I was studying Social Work that it dawned on me, that I didn't really have friends as much as I had a support group. I only associated, invested time with, and developed "friendships" with people who affirmed my worldview. Jesus had a word for people like me, hypocrite. You know why we only associate with people who affirm what we think? We are afraid. What if they are right, and I am wrong. What if my worldview is messed up and I discover that there might be another way of looking at the world. Or worse, what if I don't like their ideas but I learn to love them as a person? Can you really be friends with somebody who you disagree with?

It is time for us to go on a great spiritual adventure, but first we must commit to shaking things up and getting out of the saltshaker. It won’t be easy, but it will be eternally worth it! I remain:

Consumed by the Call,

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