Jan 5, 2022.
We don’t usually mean to be contrary to God, but as humans we are sure good at it. Our three-pound brains instinctively lead us in directions opposite of divine wisdom over and over again. Spiritual maturity then is the process of becoming more Christ-directed.
#JesusStories: Jairus was a synagogue leader. I am quite sure he felt conflicted by this uprising prophet named Jesus who on the one hand was breaking the rules of the sabbath, but on the other was healing people in the most profound ways. But now Jairus’ daughter was deathly ill, and he found himself standing before Jesus asking for help. There is a lesson here: when things start touching our families our spiritual perspectives change. Jesus agreed to help and as they were walking to Jairus’ home the woman with the issue of blood interrupted the procession. To Jairus’ dismay, Jesus stopped to sort why divine virtue had just flowed from him…”who touched me?”…”your faith has made you whole”…”go in peace”…(you know the story). All the while I’m sure Jairus was anxiously shifting his weight from foot to foot hoping to get the healer refocused on his sick daughter. But right then, in the middle of Jairus’ deep anxiety, some of his servants arrived to tell him the little girl had died. Can you imagine what he felt? He had gone to great lengths to see this would not happen; he had stepped over theological lines to come to Jesus; he had risked his standing with other religious leaders; yet it still happened; she died. The frustration, the anxiety and the grief must have descended upon him like an avalanche. Hearing the news, Jesus turned back to Jairus and simply said, “Don’t worry, Just have faith!”
Now if my daughter had just died, those words would be woefully inadequate to address the explosion that would be bubbling up from inside of me. How could Jesus say something so shallow to a father? Today in fact, we caution people not to throw faith platitudes to someone who is experiencing deep pain and loss. But that is exactly what Jesus did. And yet, it is absolutely clear that Jesus fully expected those words to carry the day and address the need of Jairus’ heart. Hmmm.
Now I love the ending of the story where Jesus goes to Jairus’ home, kicks out the funeral people, and tells the little girl to get up…and she does! But we must all do business with what happened on the road between Jesus and Jairus before the miracle. It is at this point we must all consider our spiritual positioning. Do you see yourself as one who is living on the earth trying to figure out what God is doing?…or do you see yourself as one who is a critical part of God’s inbreaking Kingdom that is flowing onto the earth with Him? Do we spend our time discerning Heaven from earth, or do we see ourselves as called to represent Heaven to earth? In some way this defines the journey of spiritual maturity; the more we grow as men and women of God, the more we embrace a ‘flowing with heaven’ spirituality. And the more natural it becomes to watch our faith overwhelm our worry – even during the scary stuff. Now don’t get me wrong, this story still challenges my human fathers heart in a very deep way. But then again, so does Jesus’ expectation that we should boldly trust him NO MATTER WHAT!
#DinnerChurchQuotes: “You have to trust in divine appointments. You have to trust that every kind word will help somebody. Be ready to be a part of Gods plan.” (Feyez, an Egyptian Pastor)
#Practical Stuff: What do you think about pulling your team together, and remind them that your dinner church is on the forefront of expanding the Kingdom of God into new hearts, families, and under-gospeled neighborhoods? Would you pray over each team member that a new anointing would descend upon them as they start this new chapter of time? Would you then write a short report about your teams prayer time in the comment section of this blog so we all can feel the rising tide of readiness for this new year? (BTW – I’m doing this with my team tonight).
Blessings & Boldness,
Dr. Verlon and Melodee Fosner have led a multi-site Assemblies of God Dinner Church in Seattle, Washington since 1999 (www.CommunityDinners.com). In this decade when more churches in the U.S. are declining than thriving, and when ninety-six churches a week are closing, Verlon and Melodee sensed that a different way of doing church was needed for their 97-year old Seattle congregation. It soon became obvious that they were not the only ones in need of a different path. They joined the FX team in 2016 and founded the Dinner Church Collective. And then in 2019 founded the Dinner Church School of Leadership. There is a lot to be gained when church leaders begin to see open doors in the American landscape that they had previously overlooked. Therein lies the journey for those who will forge a new future for the American Church.