Monday, January 18, 2010

Glimpses of Being Sent

Haiti is on our minds and hearts. Prayers are being said moment by moment, and at the same time it seems that the situation continues to deteriorate. How do we glimpse Jesus in all this horrible mess?

In Luke 4, Jesus identifies himself for us. He reads a passage from Isaiah, and then proclaims the passage fulfilled in our hearing. The passage he reads describes God’s missionary – one who is anointed and sent by God to accomplish God’s mission in the world. In his statement, “The scripture is fulfilled in your hearing,” Jesus is saying, “I am the one this scripture is talking about. I am the one who is sent.”

It is in this notion of being sent that we can perhaps glimpse Jesus in Haiti. The impulse in our hearts that causes us to weep for those who are suffering and desire to do something to help is a holy feeling. It reminds us that we are the church, the body of Christ, disciples of the one who is sent. And as his disciples, it reminds us that we are sent as well.

Like Jesus, we are sent “to bring good news to the poor.” We, too, are sent “to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind.” We are sent “to let the oppressed go free and proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Today in Haiti, “good news” looks like a bottle of clean drinking water.
Today in Haiti, “release” looks like a safe place to sleep at night.
“Recovery of sight” looks like a plan to distribute food through a shattered and useless infrastructure.
Today in Haiti, oppression is foul and festering on the streets of Port-au-Prince, and Jubilee is hard to come by.

Who are we, church? Are we, like Jesus, going to identify ourselves as those who are sent? And sensing ourselves sent, whatever “sent” means for us, will we go?

Prayers – Health Kits – Offerings through UMCOR – eventually VIM trips…

We are sent. To glimpse Jesus – to offer a glimpse through our service. What if it all started with a glimpse?