Don’t Just Tell Me About Jesus Show Me

Don’t just tell me Jesus has risen from the dead, show me. Over Easter the church gets rightly excited and clicks on its keyboards the awesome reality of the resurrection, the true meaning of Easter.

Some pics are a little too judgmental for my taste, but on the whole my social media feed is full of a joyous, worshipful cacophony of praise to the faith we profess and the reality of resurrection we hold to. Both of Jesus and ultimately ourselves, as we eventually step into an eternity prepared for us.
The church doesn’t just tell the world that Jesus has risen from the dead. At its best it shows this in a number of ways, but let’s begin, in no particular order, or in anyway a full list here are three examples.

The Church shows Jesus is risen covertly 

It does this in unassuming ways through simple and meaningful acts of grace and mercy, where expectation is low in terms of missional outcomes but love is magnified, and with it the source of that love.

A newspaper reported that. “Swiss guards confirmed that the pope has ventured out at night, dressed as a regular priest, to meet with homeless men and women.”

Another instance of this is the UK wide movement of street pastors/angels and its affiliates, not making the headlines but going out from churches into the community, to help people be safe on a night out in town. Street pastors are trained volunteers from local churches who care about their community. Their website informs us that street pastors patrol in teams of men and women, usually from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. on a Friday and Saturday night, to care for, listen to and help people who are out on the streets.

The small but meaningful acts of grace are a cost that remains unseen, unnoticed and sometimes unappreciated. This action is summed up nicely in the words of scripture that calls us to ‘go the extra mile’ for the stranger, not wanting anything in return. Of course that extra mile is travelled by people with or without faith. Ideology is what is different here  the motive behind the helping hand, the arm around the shoulder, or the act of kindness.

The Church Shows Jesus IS Risen Loudly

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Healing on the Streets, The HOTS model is simple yet profound, gentle yet powerful, full of God’s presence and brimming over with love. We create a thin place on the streets where heaven and earth meet and people can encounter Jesus. It is marked by a true sense of peace. Amongst the hustle and bustle of busy shoppers walks the Prince of Peace. The kingdom comes, stillness falls; passers-by begin to slow and stop, as the deepening presence of God draws their hearts. Over time we build relationships, creating stepping stones for people to come to Jesus, and be healed along the way, through coffee shops, random acts of kindness, street preaching and so much more.

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Churches Together in England: Is a visible sign and deepening communion and interconnection of churches and denominations that is intent on sharing the gospel together. They do have an image problem in some places but at there best are a force for missional excellence and energy.
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56% of Food Banks are run by or from churches, because often the church is ideally placed and has an army of volunteers and established networks, into the community and to charitable organisations that makes them perfectly placed to help the UK’s poorest.

The Church Shows Jesus Is Risen Continually

A recent newspaper report wrote that the church is not in decline after all but is just diversifying. It is learning ways to communicate the gospel of truth… that hope is found in faith in Jesus and this hope is not based on quick sand but solid rock.
The Church proclaims Jesus is risen from the dead through living out its faith, following the instructions of Jesus to love the person near you whoever they are, to forgive the oppressor and to pray for them. The church in its breadth and depth lives because Jesus lives.
How ever we show Jesus is risen, let’s value all our attempts at making the truth known – in our culture, our generation, in our part of the time line of the Kingdom of God.
God sees our struggles and our successes, and some day, when we get to meet him face to face, will utter the powerful words, “Well done, good and faithful one

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