by Brian Ober,
Re-blogged from: Connect-Engage-Inspire
By this time a lot of men and women of doubtful reputation were hanging around Jesus, listening intently. The Pharisees and religion scholars were not pleased, not at all pleased. They growled, “He takes in sinners and eats meals with them, treating them like old friends.” Their grumbling triggered this story.
“Suppose one of you had a hundred sheep and lost one. Wouldn’t you leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the lost one until you found it? When found, you can be sure you would put it across your shoulders, rejoicing, and when you got home call in your friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Celebrate with me! I’ve found my lost sheep!’ Count on it—there’s more joy in heaven over one sinner’s rescued life than over ninety-nine good people in no need of rescue.” —Luke 15:1–7 The Message
I love this scripture, because this is the Jesus that I know and love. This is the Jesus I choose to follow.
I follow Jesus because I was blessed with a foundation. A mom who taught me to pray. A grandfather who taught me how to serve with humility. A pastor who taught me how to engage the most broken and bruised in the world and how to approach “church” differently. A wife who has taught me how to serve with strength and conviction in moments of deep weakness and doubt.
I follow Jesus because our world is broken and beautiful. On the outside, our world seems to be a collection of lives consumed with fear, hopelessness, addiction, anger, anxiety, and cynicism. But don’t let the surface fool you. Our world is filled with countless people who despite their brokenness are hoping and praying to be heard, to be seen, and to experience the good news of the Living God. I follow Jesus because I choose to see their lives and hear their voices.
I follow Jesus because I agree that “mission matters most.” I believe Christ’s calling for each congregation and each disciple within that congregation is to be a voice and servant to the lost. Sometimes that means examining and rediscovering what it means to “do” church.
I follow Jesus because I am blessed with a church family that holds each journey sacred and provides an authentic place for people from all walks of life to come, worship, experience, and be invested in. My church family inspires me.
I follow Jesus and consider myself humbled and blessed to be a small part of his work and this church.