Many of us saw the picture of a lifeless, three-year-old Syrian boy named Aylan washed up on a Mediterranean beach. What we saw broke our hearts and then raised three critical questions:
This Friday (9/18) at 10amPST, The Global Immersion Project, in partnership with #wewelcomerefugees, will host a webinar featuring national and international experts, thought leaders, and on-the-ground practitioners who will ask and answer these three questions and equip us toward tangible action.
When: 10am Pacific/1pm Eastern, Friday, September 18, 2015
Register & Share Invitation HERE
Webinar Panel will include:
Syria :: Dr. Curt Rhodes (@curtrhodesjr), Questscope
Iraq :: Jeremy Courtney (@JCourt), Preemptive Love Coalition
USA :: Mark Reddy (@markreddy1), The Justice Conference
USA :: Stephan Bauman & Matthew Soerens (@stephanbauman; @MatthewSoerens), World Relief
USA :: Vickie Reddy (@vickiereddy), #WeWelcomeRefugees
USA :: Jon Huckins (@jonhuckins), The Global Immersion Project
USA :: Jer Swigart (@jerswigart), The Global Immersion Project
Three weeks ago, my worlds collided.
Daniel Kirk & I concluded our teaching series on Philippians with The Open Door Community where, for seven months, we explored and experimented with the Cross-Shaped life. Just before its conclusion, I listened to a powerfully prophetic talk by Ruth Padilla DeBorst at the Christ at the Checkpoint conference in Bethlehem. In it, she read from Isaiah 65, helped us to imagine the world that God is making, and empowered us to be the Cross-Shaped community who ushers that world in. Add to that, I had just returned from another unbelievable encounter with Global Immersion where our Learning Community learned from the peacemakers embedded within the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.
After studying Philippians, guiding Global Immersion, and reflecting on Ruth’s challenge, I was struck by a new-found awareness of the “in-between” that I and we find ourselves in.
I speak to the “in-between” in this 9 minute talk. The teaching goes from 10:00-19:00 on the recording, but you should probably listen to the story of infertility, adoption, and the cultivating presence of God that unfolds after the talk. Matt & Faye’s story is one of the most powerful stories ever told in an Open Door gathering.
What do I mean by the “In-Between”?
We live our lives in this beautifully bizarre “in-between” space. On the one hand, the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus initiated the new world that God is making, and on the other hand, the world God is making is not yet fully realized. It is from within this “in-between” space that we hear Jesus beckon us to follow and, in so doing, experience the fullness & favor that comes with joining Him in what He’s doing.
The more I learn about my own East San Francisco Bay neighborhood, the greater Bay Area, California, my nation, and the world it finds itself in, the more I recognize our “in-between” reality.
Jesus died and rose again, yet, in my neighborhood and in neighborhoods around the world:
Quite a list, eh? It raises 2 significant questions for me/us: (1) How do we follow Jesus in a world where this list is still reality? (2) What is the world that God is making and how does it become real?
Perhaps these are the very questions Paul was seeking to answer in his letter to the Philippians as he exhorted a community living in a similar “in-between” to live a particular kind of life.
What kind of life did Paul live and invite us into?
It’s a shared life that looks like the Cross. That is, it’s a shared life defined by self-giving oneness and sacrificial generosity. It’s a shared life that is poured out for the sake of human flourishing.
The great surprise for the Philippian community and, no doubt, for our own communities is that rather than joy being found in self-preservation, image management, power brokering, and upward mobility, joy is found as we join God in spending our lives on the flourishing of others. Joy is found as we join God in weaving heaven and earth back together again, especially from within the contexts of our everyday.
As we, together, learn to embody the posture of the Cross for the sake of others, we, too, will experience the fullness and favor that come when we usher in the new world that God is making.
For His is a world where:
I give my life to see His world a bit more realized today than it was yesterday.