Monday, July 24, 2006

Sound the Shofar!

Wake Up Prayer Warriors! The battle for the heart of Indiana continues!

Faith, Hope and Love has started again, beginning with the prayer walk yesterday at the Circle. Who will stand in the gap? Who will pray for renewed Hope in this area? Who will choose to Hope ?

J.R.R. Tolkien had an interesting perspective on Hope ... as a young boy he lost both his parents. Later, as a young Oxford graduate, he saw the awful destruction of World War I, watching many of his friends and colleagues perish in the "war to end all wars". And even after that horror, he lived through the Second World War... and a cold war... so much death, destruction and despair. However, Tolkien saw Hope as refusing to despair.

I admit to moments of despair since last summer. This world, this culture, revolves around Eros and not Agape. The first question many of us ask when challenged to serve is: "What's in it for me?" (Or "How does my church benefit?") We live more in Eros (a desire to get) rather than Agape (a decision to do what's best for another).

But why should we despair? Didn't Jesus tell us that although the entire world is against us, we should take heart because He has overcome the world? The Greek word used for "world" is "cosmos", which is the entire order of the universe. The order of the universe is against us... but be encouraged: Jesus has overcome this order!

Do you believe that? The Lord knows that I believe... may He heal my disbelief!!!

The Circle at the center of Indianapolis has cars going around it in a counter-clockwise direction, which reflects the culture of this area. The order of this area goes counter to "progress". Indiana is well-known throughout the nation as a "slow adopter", "resistant to change". This counter-clockwise movement happens 24x7x365. However, we're called to bring about change to this order... meaningful change, not just "something different"... something wonderful! We're called to usher in a transformation! The Kingdom is like yeast that makes it's way through the entire dough, transforming it from the beginnings of a brittle cracker to a pliable loaf of bread.

If we want to see a change in this area, it needs to start with US first! We need to be willing to change... to get away from our preconceived religious notions... repent of our desire to make others like ourselves... and we need to seek first to love God intensely while loving others intentionally. We need to move "clockwise", progressively as we are changed from glory to glory, resisting the tendency to go as the world around us goes. We need to refuse to despair, because as Alan Keyes had once phrased it, "whether we are many, few, or one" we are called to a different standard. And it all begins with prayer.

Two things scare the Enemy: 1) spending time in communion with God and 2) taking the time to intentionally love others... without agenda. If someone can be talked into the Kingdom, they can be talked out of it, but no one who is loved into the Kingdom will ever want to leave.

Who will continue in Faith? Who will choose to Hope? Who will decide to Love?

My prayer is that we all answer the call!

Soli Deo Gloria!