“Jesus steadfastly set His face toward Jerusalem.” Luke 9:51.
This simple statement changed the course of history. Jesus chose to go to Jerusalem, and take his disciples into the very place that they knew they should not go. It was dangerous, it was going to be hard, and it would require some sacrifice. The disciples had recently come back from being sent on a journey where they healed all manner of sickness and even cast out demons. Then they were part of Jesus feeding the 5,000 with just five loaves and two fishes.
In Luke chapter 9, everything they did with Jesus demonstrated that they had all power in heaven. Jesus was transfigured in front of James, John and Peter. A boy was healed who had thrown himself into the fire. Peter makes his confession that Jesus is the Christ of God. Some apostles were feeling so strong with His power that when a Samaritan city rebuked them, they asked Jesus if they should call down fire upon it, only to have Jesus rebuke them to say, “You know not what manner of Spirit that you are of. The Son of man has come not destroy men’s lives but to save them.”
Jesus asks us all, “Do you know what manner of Spirit that you are of?” – or better translated, “.. what manner of Sprit is in you?” Do you know that you have the power to forgive? Do you know that you have the power to transform or restore a life? Do you know that you have the power to offer someone Grace, who does not even deserve it? In a world that is hung up on who is deserving, we must ask ourselves honestly, were we deserving? Jesus started a revolution in how to set goals by ‘setting His face’ toward the greatest act of forgiveness in history, by going to Jerusalem to die on a cross. Then He does the unthinkable, the impossible, by being raised from the dead and offering that Grace of forgiveness to everyone who doesn’t deserve it. His resolution started a revolution.
What have you set your face toward in 2019? Would you consider setting your face toward Jesus? If you would feed the hungry, you would feed Jesus. If you would visit those incarcerated, you would visit Jesus. If you would clothe those who are without, you would clothe Jesus. If you would serve the homeless, you would take in a stranger named Jesus who “had no place to lay his head.” The sacrifice of your hours to share could be dangerous, risky, even life changing for those the world has already judged as undeserving. When we go against the norms, we are part of a revolution. I remember Lynn McKinney telling me that if her mama knew where she was feeding the hungry downtown, she would spank her for going in to a place like that. To the world it does not look safe, but that is what ABCCM does, creates a safe place for the hurting and the servant to be together in a way that offers His grace, His love, and His hope.
Would you respond to ABCCM’s resolution? Our resolution is to find one more person who will volunteer, who will give a few hours a week, or once a month, or once a quarter, or even once a year to care for someone that Jesus cares about – very much. You will read throughout this newsletter how others feed the hungry and homeless, how a life was changed during a Bible study at the jail, or how life skills and a job resulted in a new home for a homeless Veteran or a mom and her children. You will see how highly skilled doctors and dentists and pharmacists come together to give healing for uninsured patients that you and I can not only pray for, but can stand side by side with these who serve.
To do any one of these servant leader roles is to change the world and support the quiet but powerful revolution of a Man who set His face toward Jerusalem. Will you ‘set your face’ toward serving in 2019?
Reverend Scott Rogers