March 20, 2017 | JOHN RAY
We sat across from each other, both hovering hungrily over plates piled high with tacos de adobado. Our conversation spanned the years and geography that have separated us since the last time we talked face to face. There was much territory to cover. Jason and his wife Tricia had lived in China, moved back to their home in Oregon and started a family by birth and international adoption; now they help lead a thriving church and school. He just happened to be here in Mexico with a group of students from the church.
Jason and Tricia were in one of the very first Discipleship Training Schools (DTS) that Jane and I led in the early 90’s. We were all so much younger then. Through the course of my conversation with Jason, I could tell we had encountered similar pain, challenges and opportunities in the intervening years. It was amazing to listen to him share, to see the wisdom in his eyes and hear the compassion in his voice.
I rarely get to catch up with a former student and (hopefully) gain some insight into what, if anything, “stuck.” And there was something important I wanted to know from Jason. So I asked him, “What is one thing you remember from your DTS that has proved true over all these years?”
Without hesitation, he said it’s learning the necessity of obedience to Christ in order to achieve understanding. How “revelation without application” is fruitless. This, he said, has been affirmed time and time again in his life, and it is a bedrock principle he seeks to practice in his teachings.
Learn by doing. Practice, then preach (if necessary).
This week, we will practice hospitality. Mike Frost comments in this video,
“The Church is a collective of people, oriented around Jesus and given as a gift to the neighborhood.”
Do we believe this? How are we to understand it? Well, we begin with practice.
Since we won’t get together this week, pray and invite some folks outside our Chavurah group over for supper. Sunday night is left intentionally free for this purpose, but you can choose any night from now until we meet again. Invite someone you don’t know well, but want to get to know. Extra points if they are part of a different cultural circle than the ones you usually run in.
As you do, think about what we are experiencing in the Chavurah:
Does it make room for others?
What does it have to offer as a gift to your particular neighborhood?
We’ll discuss when we gather on April 2.
Grace and peace, y’all.