A bunch of people

“What can I do – I am just one person!” … “Every time I suggest something – no one listens to me.” … “It’s like all the goodness is slowly being drained from me.” … “I left church because I felt it was slowly suffocating my relationship with God.”

We have all said it. We have all felt it. And we all think “God” should be the one thing that overcomes this. God is the one thing for whom we should all come together as One in Love.

And then He gave me theses verses:

”Jesus came to his hometown and began to teach the people in their synagogue, so that they were astounded and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these deeds of power? Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas? And are not all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all this?” And they took offence at him. But Jesus said to them, “Prophets are not without honour except in their own country and in their own house.” And he did not do many deeds of power there, because of their unbelief. Matthew 13:54-58

How often have I taken that sentence as my own: “in their own country and in their own house”?

I wonder if we all do that. We see missionary work as “over there”. We support missionary work “over there”. We hear stories about the numbers of “heathens” brought to God. All those unbelievers saved – hallelujah – we are making a difference, we are doing kingdom work “over there”.

But in our own country – in our own house? Even Jesus couldn’t – He said so in these verses. And if He couldn’t …

“Really????? Paul … you are NOT a prophet. And you are not Me! You are “you” … you – ARE – YOU!”

Because tonight I saw missionaries at work. In their own homes. Doing great deeds of power. Changing themselves and each other. And THAT is the greatest deed of power any of us can do.

Tonight I saw “you” as God sees you. Perfect in every way if we allow. Tonight I saw me as God sees me. Neither a shepherd or a sheep. But both. I am both. He made Me both. And He made you both.

The clerics called to “service”? The collared community? We see these as the shepherds. The degree, the “job”, the knowledge, the position, the respect, the whole thing. They are shepherds and we are sheep. And then we wrap that up in “Church” and find ourselves with a dilemma.

And (if we don’t exit Church) we excuse Church – all sinners together – a place of imperfect people – it must be this way. And we continue to throw money at the poor people “over there” who need missionaries – because they haven’t been saved yet – and we have. And we continue to do “outreach”, invite a friend, revival, and all those programs that keep our diaries so full to the brim of “kingdom work” …

What can I do – it’s always been that way!

”Paul … you listening? Okay … name that verse in three: Splinter … Log … Eye … Need a hand or can you take it from here?.”

We are neither sheep or shepherds. We never were. That is another “us and them”. That is a divide. That is “you say and I do” (or usually “do not”). And no amount of saving them “over there” will save us “over here”. Only we can do that – for each other – with each other – in Love and In God. Simple.

God has saved you? You have given your life to Christ? You are born again? You attend church each week? You pray, you read the bible, you Love your Lord?

You are neither a prophet, nor a sheep, nor a shepherd. You are YOU. And that frees you up to do “great deeds of power” right where you are. It frees me up to do “great deeds of power” right where I am. And THAT allows Him to do great deeds of power in each of us. Simple!

Up until a very short time ago I lived as a sheep. Now I am neither sheep nor shepherd. And He is able to reach me in a way I never allowed Him to reach me before. And I am able to reach Him in a way I never did before.

So what have you named yourself? A sheep? Us and them. A shepherd? Us and them. I can’t do anything on my own. Us and them.

The people I shared with tonight are real people. I can tell you their names, each in their own country, each in their own home – and each embarking on a deed of power just as they are – where they are.

A bunch of people – just like you and me.

Join us.

(there is no them)


11 thoughts on “A bunch of people

    • Lilka, thank you. Someone said I could be both, that I was both. That we all are.

      And I saw that in action last night. I see it in action here. And with so many waiting to follow, with so many wanting to know how to follow, and with so few leading, and so few knowing how to lead … removing that distinction changes everything for me! I think I have experienced a very small taster of what “the body of Christ” can really be when the body of Christ lives – and the Body on the move is awesome!

  1. I am struggling to do something new and big, that is taking up all my time. No time to blog, no time to read other people’s blogs. And I am in my own town, and I feel powerless, a minority view of one, and no-one is listening to me. And I wonder if I am mistaken. Is this really what God wants me to be doing! Banging my head against other people’s ideologies in local politics? I have felt attacked (feeling spiritually downcast); and I have wanted to quit (couple of times since May 7th when I was elected). After a particularly bad council meeting in which again my ideas were dismissed, I have compared myself to the tiny brave mouse facing up to our large black and white tomcat who was toying with it! I find it hard to pray for guidance. Sometimes all I can do is place my holding cross near my heart, as if I am holding the hand of God, as I fall asleep each night. You might be shocked with what I am standing up for! It isn’t for the poorest; it is for the less powerful; a minority group. I am standing up for a proposed development of private apartments for the retired to be built in the centre of town. These would be for the wealthier widows who would benefit from the joint security and being close to the town’s amenities. And that is the problem. Not sufficiently poor; not needy enough in the eyes of my fellow councillors. So they want to scupper the deal! They want something there that can be enjoyed by the whole community. Who is to say who is right and who is wrong? I have listened to their ideas and I am not sure they can raise the funds for their project to buy the land and bring the money in that this town badly needs.The retired apartments would benefit the elderly residents and they would have the income and want the convenience to buy from the market traders and other shops in the centre, so it could in that way benefit the town. It is a poor town in the North of England. You may agree with the majority, that a town centre plot needs to benefit the whole community in some way. What saddens me is that my fellow councillors do not even want to hear an opposite view, let alone take it seriously. It is trampled on before it can be discussed reasonably and objectively.
    ” The danger of democracy is that it can lead to the tyranny of the majority and hence the oppression of minorities.” (John Stewart Mill) and “Freedom is won by making space for people who are not like us” (Lord Jonathan Sacks)

    • Hiya Julia – and I so love your words. You have been on my mind lately. And here you are with these words. I have paused waiting for something helpful to filter through. Nothing of the “traditional” helpful has filtered.

      You are doing what you are called to. You are standing up and stepping out of your comfort zones. You have a passion – and a few bruises along the way.

      My own personal views? No one person is more deserving than another. Each as important as each other. Should that be flats as you describe here or something else? Whatever is agreed should be on that basis. Not that one is deserving of more than another. So not much help in the traditional way.

      What has “settled” on me as I have pondered is simply this: Standing up and stepping out in response to Him in you … that is what “having an indwelt Christ” is all about. What the result of that will be is never wasted. Maybe in the “traditional” sense it might be seen to be a waste of time – but you know as I do that He never wastes anything when we answer His call. Just sometimes that is not revealed in a “traditional” way as we hope and need so often.

      On this you might be ignored by your fellow councillors. That might the traditional result. Or not. I am finding it harder and harder to be “shocked” – yet more and more connected when sharing stuff not easily shared.

      Thank you ((hugs))

  2. your words are full and deep. they cut to the heart and bring us to a place of thinking that would not ordinarily be…hmmm, wow, not a sheep nor shepherd …i like that…kind of makes one feel free (as you said) …def gives me much to ponder…i’m in a place of feeling estranged from the normal circles of churchgoers, knowing for now this is where i belong, but there are always the naysayers.
    your words struck a chord in me…i dare say, yes, i totally get it! and YES, i do agree and commend you on your bravery to announce it to the WP world! 🙂
    thanks for sharing your thoughts and making us think a bit deeper and process truths that we sometimes dare to even think about! lol
    it’s refreshing to hear others thoughts, such as yours on how we see things in the church world! thanks! keep ’em coming!

    • ” … i’m in a place of feeling estranged from the normal circles of churchgoers, knowing for now this is where i belong, but there are always the naysayers.”

      Selah – I have been one of the biggest naysayers around. And you words touch me very deeply. Odd that. You comment on these words, and your words touch me so deeply.

      Why do we see “doing great deeds of power” only in biblical terms, in our terms? The great showstoppers, the newsworthy jaw-dropping “deeds”.

      And we forget – when your words touch me deeply – you change me a little. When mine do that to you – the same. My words, your words, His words? Doesn’t matter really. Whenever we touch deeply and we change – whenever we connect – when we become One – even for a moment … that (for me) is the greatest deed of power.

      You have changed me. Thank you ((hugs))

      • thanks so much, i understand totally the becoming one by the spirit and for the moment it changes the way we think…so many writers have that effect on people…
        i appreciate your posts, and yes, they touch the heart AND they make me think…i like that…i appreciate when another can cause me to re-think my heart issues, motives and all those kind of things…hopefully it makes me a better person…
        your posts do make me re-think a lot of things, and for that i say “thank you”…
        keep writing your feelings, they touch many, me included…you’re very good at what you’ve been given…keep the gift alive by sharing it with us, which in turn helps keep us alive!
        yes, His words work through us all, it’s the power of them that changes things…you, my friend are one of those people with the power to change others…
        again, thanks for being real…it nice to encounter the “real deal” in world of so many faces…
        enjoy your day of blessings 🙂

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