Real Mission: You Fools
With the world spinning round and round and loud voices shouting this and that it is sometimes hard to discern the greatest truth in life, and maybe even more difficult to decide whose truth to listen to. I wonder what our lives might be like, and what the world might be like, if the loudest voice in our ears was the voice of Jesus.
My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. -John 10:27
What if the news wasn’t the loudest voice? What if click-bait headlines didn’t entice us so much? What if talking points didn’t imprison our imaginations? What if mean-spiritedness, stress, and anxiety were drowned out and replaced by stillness and kindness and a resolve to stand apart from the crowd, the loud crowd?
They would call you fools. They would say you were aloof, unwilling to run. Reluctant to race: the race to get ahead, the race to collect power and wealth, the race to be right. You fools, don’t you know that life is about winning? Can’t you see that staying young, and owning more, and being better is the best way to be?
What would they say if you chose not to play the game; if you were running the race, but your destination was different from theirs? They would call you fools.
Let's have a fool's dream together for a minute here...
Many of you have seen the new Ackermann luxury housing development in Madisonville just down the street from Madisonville Education and Assistance Center (MEAC) and Madison Villa. Hundreds of brand-new apartments marketed to Millennials like me are ready for rent at a price greater than my mortgage payment. And they will sell. As Cincinnati continues to grows in industry and renown and becomes better and better known for our amazing health care facilities, people will show up to win the chance of living in these beautiful apartments, especially the ones with balconies where you can look down on the people below.
The trouble is, many of the current residents of Madisonville cannot afford to live in these apartments, and many can’t afford the increased taxes on their current homes, the byproduct of urban renewal. The simple solution is…lower the price. But you and I both know that that is not the way a capitalist economy works. People don’t just build beautiful buildings and then let people live in them for free.
Christians have to get creative. Christians must search for a way to make the truth known in the midst of a world obsessed with winning, must find a way to grow alongside the weeds, must find a way to speak in word and deed the greatest truth in life.
And “What is truth?” Pilot asks Jesus.
Well, there are a million more complicated answers than this, but in short, I believe that the greatest truth in life is that love has the power to heal and restore our world, and if we choose love above all things, we become co-conspirators with God, participants in the story of redemption and salvation. The truth is that love is stronger than death, peace and joy are available in the midst of strife and suffering.
These truths are a delight to know in your heart, for sure, but they are especially nice when you share them with others.
The world will tell you in an extremely loud voice that having more, and “owning” more and achieving more is the goal, but Christians don’t believe that. Christians believe that there is enough for everyone, as long as relationships of generosity and gratitude are more important than false friendships that are based on winning.
Fair warning though, if you choose to live this way, many will call you fools.
For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. -1 Corinthians 1:18
Below those luxury apartments in Madisonville are open spaces ready for retail. Midland has been chosen as the leasing company who will decide what businesses fill the void and serve as the foundation of that which has been built.
What if I told you that you could play a part in deciding what that foundation looks like? What if I told you that you could speak to the truth of the Gospel by ensuring that a local baker takes that space rather than an Applebee’s? What if I told you that you could help a non-profit secure office space in the room where Google was supposed to go? What If I told you that you could make a difference?
Get creative Christians. Look to your cornerstone. Speak the truth.
May God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you really can make a difference in this world, so that you are able, with God’s grace, to do what others claim cannot be done.
Tags: Real Mission Blog