I don’t know how long I’ll last typing this way. I’m standing up and my wrists are at a weird angle. I’m in St. Louis right now in the St. Louis convention center. I’m here for NYC ’07 with a group of high school students from our church. We’ve joined 9,500+ other teens from all over the country for a week of meeting with God, fraps, and pizza. A slice of heaven.
I’ve seen and heard a lot this week; mostly things I’ve heard before. But I’ve done somethings I’ve never done before. Blogging away from my home computer, for one. This afternoon, I was part of literally feeding 10,000+ people through nationwide donations of food from our Nazarene churches. I ate porridge for lunch, as a reminder of what others in the world experience daily (if they’re lucky), and I’ve seen God move in ways I couldn’t have expected.
The heart of the Gospel is action. A week ago, I might have said that the heart of the gospel is grace, or love, or forgiveness. These and other things are certainly an indelible part of the good news of Jesus, but God’s reminder to me this week is this: your faith is pointless and dead without action.
It seems that the world is awakening to this vibe. I suppose each generation has its turn that it takes to come alive and shape the world from how it is to how it will be, but for this generation there is an unmistakable vibrancy and urgency. It is as if this action is no longer optional. It can no longer be postponed or put off.
Jesus Himself lived this way. Of course, His message was one of hope, and grace, and forgiveness, but His life was one that put all these and so many more things into action. As our group of 20 sat and reflected about faith and our lives last night, I remember distinctly the observation that as a group, we were woefully missing action in a truly determinable sense. It was as if we’re realizing that we’re missing the point. And I believe that this realization comes just in time.
The spiritual life is full of seasons. We rise, we fall, we burn, we quench, we seek, we are fruitful, and we can even seem fruitless. And in the season now, we are being reborn into a new way of thinking and living. It is redemption in every living sense. It is a buying back of the world in every way; from environments, to human trafficking, to poverty, to HIV/AIDS. It is not how things have been, and I suspect it is the introduction of God’s next move in our generation.