In HOPE

  In HOPE 6.11                                  back to home                        David Timms

Ministry Resource

In the last "In HOPE" I addressed the changing Church. Before George Barna published Revolution , a strategic document emerged from the Anglican Church entitled Mission-shaped Church: Church planting and fresh expressions of church in a changing context (Church House Publishing, Jan 2004). It reads, in part, "The existing parochial system (of church) alone is no longer able to fully deliver its underlying missionary purpose.... On this basis we strongly recommend an integrated strategy of neighborhood and network, of the new and the old, in partnership, never in competition ... what the Archbishop of Canterbury has called a mixed economy." 

Check out this website for more info on the changing church ... freshexpressions.org.uk.

Hope International University
Fullerton, CA 92831

 

Ministry is not something you do next. I have a terribly hard time with ministry as something that consists of techniques you have to apply. Ministry is the overflow of your love for God and for your fellow human beings...." (Henri Nouwen)


Emptied

Three weeks! I've been coughing and spluttering for the past three weeks. Last Friday it got to me.

I can't run, which turns me into a cranky and irritable creature. And I often can't talk because I can't breathe. My asthmatic cough has messed up my rhythm and routine.

Last Friday I grizzled my way around mini-golf with my 7-year-old son and his young friends. To call out was to choke up. Constriction silenced my conversation. And in frustration I wanted to withdraw. You know the feeling. Misery seeks solitude. At least, this complaining soul does.

I want to pull away from people because I can't do what I want to do - or think I need to do. I don't have time for sickness. This lingering affliction, which is pathetically minor on the scale of life hardships, sucks out my energy and my desire to be with others.

Then the Lord took me by the scruff of the neck and gave me a gracious wake-up call.

This is Holy Week ... the week of Easter ... Palm Sunday to Resurrection Day. Everything about this week calls out "Look at Jesus!" He emptied Himself to become a man. I grumble about my personal restrictions, temporary and small as they may be, and resent the limitations. He emptied Himself gladly. I become irritable. He exuded joy and peace. I want to withdraw. He gave up glory, precisely to dwell among us.

My nature remains so antithetical to His.

The "faith of Christ" (Gal 2.16) provides the perfect example of trust amidst restraint. While we fuss and carry on because of inconvenience and disruption, this Holy Week beckons us to a higher perspective.

Many of us expect life to the full. We assume that "fullness" means "full capacity, full steam, and full freedom." Does it occur to us that the fullest life may be found in the midst of emptiness? Lost health, a lost hope, a lost ability. It seems that Easter, of all weeks, might draw our attention to such a paradox.

To be full of grace is not simply to treat others kindly, but to respond graciously to what we might normally resent. If Christ controls our lives and destinies, perhaps we can trust Him with our disappointments and disruptions, too. 

In HOPE -

David

Want to chat more on a topic? Hit "Reply" and share your thoughts.

If you have received this e-publication from family or friends and would like to subscribe to "In HOPE" simply email djtimms@hiu.edu and write "Subscribe to In HOPE" in the subject line. This is a free service, with no advertisments and no sharing of the e-list. Unsubscribe in the same way.

David Timms serves in the Graduate Ministry Department at Hope International University in Fullerton, California. "In HOPE", however, is not an official publication of the University and the views expressed are not necessarily those of the Administrators or Board of the institution. "In HOPE" has been a regular e-publication since January, 2001.

For back issues of In HOPE, see http://www.hiu.edu/inhope/