"Jesus wants to save our church from the exile of irrelevance. If we have any resources, any power, any voice, any influence, any energy, we must convert them into blessing for those who have no power, no voice, no influence...
"It begins with someone crying and someone else hearing. And it's hard to hear the cry when you're isolated from it...
"It isn't just about trying to save the world. It's about saving ourselves. From the kingdom of comfort. From the priority of preservation. From the empire of indifference. From an exile of irrelevance."
Rob Bell, Jesus Wants to Save Christians
I just finished this book a few days ago and I do recommend it. The epilogue just brought it all home and I sat on my couch in the early morning and felt moved and compelled and challenged. "The exile of irrelevance." Huh. It just kind of sinks into the soul, doesn't it?
This book is about those of us who HAVE, hearing the cries of the oppressed and doing something to help them.
"The priority of preservation." This idea really stuck out to me. Bell basically says that when we have wealth, possessions, etc., our priority becomes to preserve all of that, to protect it, to make dang sure we don't lose it. And so our lives become devoted to this task, in a way. I see it, don't you? Our retirement accounts and savings accounts and our homes and our stuff. Have you seen the Norton Antivirus commercial that ends with, "Without your stuff, who are you?" It's a profound question for many of us. How much time and energy and money and creativity and worry do we put into preserving our stuff?
All the while, what we should really be doing is using our "stuff" to help someone who is crying out. So what cries have you heard? Which ones still ring in your being with a continuing rhythm that you just can't shake?
For me, it's been the cry of the orphan. I heard it. I keep hearing it almost every day. It bothers me. It breaks my heart. It makes me want to act.
What is it for you?
I'd love to hear in a comment or if you want to leave a link to a post you write, that'd be way cool, too!