Funny the Way It Is

Dear Saints and Sinners,

I was asked this week, "What is the purpose of a youth mission trip?"

My response surprised the one who asked, "It is secondary that we do missions to others. It is primarily to create the space within the participant who goes for the Holy Spirit to be at work in their in heart."

Certainly it is great if "mission work" happens and others are served by Jesus through us. However, I think that is merely a byproduct of the Holy Spirit's capacity to first change us.

When Jesus talks in John 3 about Nicodemus’s spiritual development he says, "Do not be astonished that I said to you, that you must be born from above. The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with people born of the Spirit." (John 3:7,8)

My greatest hope while out in the mission field is this: That the life back home that we have grown to be in rhythm with, and find a routine in, and where we live in a comfort zone…. that it gets left behind enough for the Holy Spirit's winds to have room to roam and flow around us. When this transformation has taken place the richest of mission work transpires in Jesus' name.

To create this space, it seems to this 50 year old man, becomes more challenging each year. The tethers to our comfort zone of home grow thicker with each passing day. We go everywhere with phones, email, Starbucks, food we know, even home theater systems in the palm of our hand. We limit the potential of what the Holy Spirit's winds might do to reshape our lives anew by our obsession to worship only what we know. The sinful temptation to deny the Spirit ample space is not an act of only the young. We adults, by my observation, are even less prone to cut the umbilical cord to "what is" and risk what the Spirit might do new as we move into the world.

This weekend Saryn McCune is baptized and we have six 8th graders who will be affirming their faith. I hope the waters of their baptism reclaim them and comfort them throughout their lives. I also hope they find that “surf is up” in terms of their baptismal waters, and they ride exciting waves of adventure that take them to new places in Jesus' name, never leaving them the same, but always transforming them anew in the name of the, "one who always was is and will be," Jesus the Christ.

I leave for a men’s retreat immediately after the 10:30 a.m. service this week. Our Junior High go on a mission trip to the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming July 19-24. The senior high go to San Diego July 25 - August 1. These are the "official" God's Grace mission trips coming up. However, this day God sends you out in mission to a world that is odd and wonderful. Each of us is odd and wonderful in Jesus' name. Find a way this day and every day to make some space to allow the Holy Spirit to work with you outside your comfort zone.

The Dave Matthews Band was just on the TODAY SHOW. They played their new song “Funny The Way It Is.” Watch it performed here.

 

The world indeed is funny the way it is, but Jesus has created a place for you in the world where you might be transformed and the Spirit's winds will do mission through you.

See you on Sunday.

Still in one peace,

David j Jensen

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