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May 22, 2017, 9:05 AM

A run on one particular Spiritual Gift

Comfort. Awe Yes! I like THAT spiritual gift.

Routines. Schedules. Familiarity. Same seat. Known songs. And no one asking us to work/give/teach/lead/serve/or move outside of where we're comfortable.

That's MY spiritual gift, and it is well used. The Western Church caters to this spiritual gift. (Catch the irony here: I'm a part of the system, therefore preachers are a big part of the problem... I'm talking to myself mostly here). There are opportunities to be involved with missions without lifting more than a pen. We have orderly rows of pews and chairs so everyone has a decent sight-line and can hear best. Parking is simplified, refreshments are readily available, and doors are wide open.  All the service opportunities and committees you might want are scheduled at convenient times. The entire system is set up to make being involved as comfortable as possible.

And I LOVE it. 

However, the heart of the Gospel and the Kingdom of God established by Christ and the Apostles is everything BUT comfortable. There is opposition (violent at times); There is heartache; Splinters abound when you carry your own Cross; and lets not even get into what the Church looked like the first time those historically firm cultural barriers were ripped down between Jew and Gentile. That is the kingdom we're called to work in. Those that were comfortable with religiosity were called OUT by Christ, ripped to shreds publicly. 

Every word Jesus spoke attacks our comfort zones. Every stretch and reach of the new Church attacked comfort zones. We cannot settle in and expect to serve in that Kingdom. The only kingdom in which comfort is a gift is the one we create around ourselves. 

Matthew 8:18 - 22 18When Jesus saw the crowd around him, he instructed his disciples to cross to the other side of the lake. 19Then one of the teachers of religious law said to him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” 20But Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.” 21Another of his disciples said, “Lord, first let me return home and bury my father.” 22But Jesus told him, “Follow me now. Let the spiritually dead bury their own dead.”

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