In the movie Hook, starring Robin Williams as the amnesia-struck Peter Pan, there is a scene where they sit down for a meal, but Peter doesn’t see the food. All the others are digging in having an amazingly good time while he sits wondering why everyone else is so excited over nothing.
Sometimes we limit ourselves to what we understand and what we can see before us, and yet, there’s more.
So often I find that to be true in my life and in the life of the church. Peter Pan was so caught up in his own struggle he couldn’t let go and see things in a new way. In the church, as followers of Jesus, we can get so caught up in keeping the doors open, so caught up in how many people are or aren’t there, so caught up in the work of the Lord that we forget to ask the Lord of the work to show us the life he has for us. And there’s more.
Jesus followers were finding new perspectives and growing in their understanding of God and God’s vision for the world. They enjoyed Jesus’ teachings. They were amazed and overwhelmed when watched Jesus heal others. But there was more…
After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go… [he tells them] Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God is near you…
The seventy-two returned with joy and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.”
He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”
It wasn’t until they went OUT as they were sent that they truly discovered what life empowered by the Spirit of God could really be. Life before that point was good – but there was more.
Life within our churches is mostly good. We’re glad to learn more about God. We’re excited to see the amazing things God does to change the lives of others. We are in the presence of God and we realize that life without God isn’t nearly this good. And yet, there’s more…
To go out into the world and do good for others – to heal and serve – is worthy of recognition. But, to go into the world, do good for others, and declare that our work is evidence that the Kingdom of God is at hand – that’s something more. That is life-changing, community-changing, world-changing – that’s the more that God calls us to be part of.
Life lived in the community of faith is good and life-enhancing. Life lived as a community out in the world proclaiming the good news of new life in Jesus Christ – that’s something more…
If we want to be a vital church, if we want to be a vibrant church, if we want to be a church that is fully alive, it’s not enough to know Jesus and it’s not enough to do good works. The key is to know Jesus so deeply that when we go out into the world we do what we can to change lives AND bring glory to God by telling others how our work is nothing but a by-product of God’s great love for the world. That is when others will begin to see there’s more.
Are you ready to seek God more fully?
Are you ready to engage with Jesus more deeply?
Are you ready to go out from the church and tell people that the Kingdom of God is at hand?
Let’s go tell them there’s more…
Holy high-five to you,