Years ago, we launched Up Town Church, and these beginnings continue to inform who we are as Street Hope. It was to become a collection of the unlikely with a commitment to become useful within the Kingdom of God.
This week as I read the account of Jesus’ ascension, I pictured a similar unlikely group. As they gazed up into the heavens in theological wonder, God’s message was posed “Why are you standing here looking up…?” They were being challenged to not remain in idle wonder but to get moving! “What are you standing around for? There are things to be done.”
The Ascension stirs us to awe and wonder but it also marks a turning point in the history of God’s activity among people. This unlikely group was being sent to do something. Even if initially the something was to wait in expectation, that in itself is an activity that required discipline and commitment. The angelic message might be best understood “Don’t stand around stuck in your own head but rather be obedient to what you know of God’s will!”
We do not need to know everything. In fact, we will never know everything. But God expects that we will act on what we do know.
In our early days of Up Town, we decided that God had clearly revealed that we were to be kind. We were not an educated or sophisticated bunch but this we did know! We decided to make it our hallmark.
It has been years since those first days but it is wonderful to see that these friends of mine continue in this direction. At our recent House Church meeting we decided to encourage some of the folks we knew were going through tough times. Personalized hand made cards were made for each of the identified individuals with pictures and stickers festooning them. These simple notes of encouragement were received with real joy. It was a pleasure to see how simple and at the same time profound it was.
Often, I am embarrassed by my denomination, and the political Evangelicals cause me to blush, but these humble unlikely friends continue to inspire me by the simplicity of their obedience.