16From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. 17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:16-21
The past week we have had serious discussions regarding poverty, injustice, social action, racial reconciliation and God's Word. The fact of the matter is that God's Word, over 2,000 times speaks of God being concerned or wanting us to be concerned about these matters. I believe that we came to Jacksonville to serve and we learned that sometimes the best way to serve is to be present. We carried with us the expectation of Christ and we saw Jesus everywhere here.
The final day of being "on mission" was a beach.
Literally we went to the beach. Some might ask how this has been "suffering for Jesus" or doing missions. Well, we were educated this week that living missional isn't always about fixing up houses, or construction projects. We now think of how we can love people where they are and meet their needs by getting to know them and playing or just being with them. Hanging out with each other helped us discover that we are a lot alike. We all need a Saviour's grace and the Father's love. At the cross their is no Jew or Gentile, white or black, urban or suburban, rich or poor, we are all found needing the Gospel which is the power of salvation.
Our final day of decompression, Saturday, was the most difficult. Some of us were grumpy from a lack of rest, while others were just plain selfish. We all concluded that the day we spent on ourselves was the hardest day to get along and love one another. However, it was capped off by a hip-hop show from Reach Life Ministries.
The 1-1- Six clique was Gospel saturated in their flows and hooks. And it even got a few of us white folks dancing and bobbing our heads. The Gospel was presented clearly and culturally infused as they laid down Biblical truth in a culturally relevant form.
We are ready to make our journey back home, with more stories to share, hearts that are full, heads that are eager to learn more. God is sovereign and merciful and this is just the beginning. We hope that you will challenge us to not go back to sleep and we hope to challenge you to join in as we continue Jesus' mission for our lives.
Thank you for praying for us. We have many stories to share. See you soon Hope Church!