I need to apologize. Not just for myself, but for pastors like me who have made the Gospel of Jesus out to be a safe endeavor. Why the apology? Because following Jesus has always had an element of risk involved. We have somehow fit Christianity in America into a safe and secure suburban context in a way that Jesus never intended.When he gathered his rag tag followers on the beach in Galilee, he did so by inviting them on a fishing trip. Not a sit-by-the-lake kind of afternoon where you sip tea and watch the sunset as your pole sits lazily leaned up to your lawn chair, but the kind of open water, deep sea venture where you are likely to hook a baby shark and enter into the fight of a lifetime with your pole in hand. The kind of catch that IF you were to land the fish in the boat, you would do so drenched in sweat with quite the story to tell. The kind of fish-wrangling that might just leave you out of breath with a smile on your face.
You see, the Gospel of Jesus is a die-to-self activity that takes one out of his or her comfort zone and into the adventure of the great unknown. Luckily, Jesus did not invite us to embark on such a fishing trip alone. Not only did he promise to go in front of us, but he promised to go with us and to even cover our backs with his Holy Spirit. We are not solo practitioners in this grand experiment, but teammates with others that he has also recruited to join in on the team. We fool ourselves if we somehow believe that following Jesus, this “Christianity” if you will, is a solo sport. Rather, we are to enlist comrades to travel with. But camaraderie cannot be had simply by playing on the same team. It comes through a deeper, more meaningful bond...
This kind of connection is only made possible by sharing a mission together. And mission is only mission through shared venture. What is the purpose of this adventure, you may ask? The purpose is to join Jesus in his mission to change the world by bringing light into the darkness, speaking his good news to those that we come in contact with, and being transformed into His image in the process.
So... Here’s to the Adventure!