Saturday, March 3, 2007
let me give you a little background from the book, and then i'll tell you the idea. shane claiborne states: "It just makes sense not to have families on the street or in abandoned houses, especially when we have a spare bedroom"(p.193). a little later, he states: "It is much more comfortable to depersonalize the poor so we don't feel responsible for the catastrophic human failure that results in someone sleeping on the street while people have spare bedrooms in their homes . . . When we get to heaven, we will be separated into those sheep and goats Jesus talks about in Matthew 25 based on how we cared for the least among us. I'm just not convinced that Jesus is going to say, 'When I was hungry, you gave a check to the United Way and they fed me,' or, 'When I was naked, you donated clothes to the Salvation Army and they clothed me.' Jesus is not seeking distant acts of charity. He seeks concrete acts of love: 'you fed me...you visited me in prison...you welcomed me into your home...you clothed me'"(p.158).
i've also been thinking a lot about the church, and about how we're majorly falling down on our job. so i was wondering how we could begin to actually BE the church that we're commanded to be - the kind of church that cares for widows and orphans, feeds the poor, and actually sacrifices in order to show our neighbors that we love them. and the idea was born . . .
"ONE ROOM." that's what i'm calling the idea. maybe one day it'll be an organization, or an agency, or a movement. here's the vision - to go into churches, teach about Christ's love for the least of our neighbors, and to encourage the church to actually take up the cross we keep dropping merely because it is inconvenient. what if, in a congregation of 100 families, all having at least one spare bedroom, 2 or 3 would BE the church and let a single mom, a lonely old man, or a suffering family bring life to that spare room. what if 10 families would rise to the challenge? what if half of the families would decide to actually BE the church? what would those families look like? what would that church look like? can you imagine it? people really sharing, and people really having things in common? maybe it doesn't sound very american, but i think it sounds EXTREMELY Christian. IF Christ had a house (which He never did) do you think He would ever go to bed at night if there was an empty bed on the other side of the room and someone homeless a few block away?
so the vision is one for the church - a vision to challenge and empower spoiled americans to offer their rooms to cold, lonely, hungry people. maybe "One Room" doesn't sound like enough to make a difference, but if people throughout a church, a town, a city, a state, a counrty would ALL offer just one little room, imagine the impact! it would not only change the face of povety, but it would change the face of the church. the early church was swarming with poor people. Jesus LOVES poor people! so why are they missing from many of our churches? i bet if we invited them into our homes they would follow us to church!
let me know what you think. can you see the vision? it seems too big for me (but i guess God has never really asked me to do anything that i could ACTUALLY do by myself). maybe if some other people caught the vision too . . .
This blog is a testimony to the work that God is perpetually acting in my life. I am learning that when I think I've given enough of myself, I've barely begun. My prayer is that as God continues to grab hold of my life, not only will He become greater and I become less, but He will become ultimately supreme and I will vanish. This Holy Disappearance will be a lifelong journey in which, by the grace of God, I will become so wrapped up in Him that all of me will disappear and all of Him will SHINE