"...Jesus went back across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing in the early days. Here he stayed and many people came to him. They said, 'Though John never performed a miraculous sign, all that John said about this man was true.' And in that place many believed in Jesus." (John 10)
The gospel readings this year during Lent have focused quite a lot on those stories where the people get so mad at Jesus they want to stone him or throw him off a cliff or plot to kill him. I don't think I realized how often this happened. There are so many places where Jesus just isn't welcome.
I loved this scripture...having just been persecuted with death threats, Jesus goes back to a place he had been "in the early days."
Jimmy, Arlie and I hiked the river trail today to look for homeless camps. We were looking for someone in particular but being down there made me remember the early days when Aaron and I had no clue what we were doing. We were banking our whole lives on the fact that friendship is the thing that makes a difference in the lives of the poor. We used to go down with snacks or cold water and soda, we'd take information and sit and talk with people. We would be and do what we could. Here now, years later it seems that God is bringing us back to that...but not in a "going back" kind of way...more like going forward toward completeness.
Remember your first love? Do you remember when you first fell in love with Jesus? Do you remember the electric air and bursting heart entering a whole new world? Do you remember wanting to soak it all up? Do you remember how clear his voice was? Prayer was spontaneous, worship infused with life...repentance brought joy. Was there ever a time when evangelism wasn't a chore or something to feel guilty about?