“The Word put on flesh and blood and moved into the neighborhood” –John 1:14, The Message

I learned a couple things at Urbana last week. Got reminded of some other things. I’m sure those with me have their own perspectives, but here are some things that jumped out at me like a flashing neon sign…

I learned that the Incarnation–based on John 1:14–is our means, our method, and our model for ministry.

I learned that the starting point for a life of justice is to start listening to the neighborhood.

I learned there are more than 3,000 verses in the Bible about poverty.

I learned that an effective, satisfying and sustainable life of justice means you do it; don’t dabble in it.

I learned that sometimes it takes being covered in the crap of this world before they pay attention to you.

I learned that John chapter 15 is the preeminent definition of the Christian life to which we are called.

I learned that this is the anchor of our life: that God loves us.

I learned that we cannot be people of Jesus if we are not people of the Scriptures.

I learned that the ancient spiritual disciplines each confront an idol in our day.

I learned how coffee, chocolate, and clothing are all connected to justice.

I learned that the more we depend on human power the less effective our mission becomes.

I learned that the movements of Incarnation are from pride to humility, from power to powerlessness, from privilege to poverty, from harmony to brokenness.

I learned to set prayer in the context of God’s sovereignty and creative nature.

I learned that in prayer circumstances may not change but I may be unrecognizably transformed.

I learned that when I see Jesus on the cross–nailed, broken, bleeding–there is no reason left to hate.

I learned that learning to pray is like learning a new language, and this new language is the Scriptures, and this requires a total immersion in the Scriptures.

I learned that your zip code tells a lot about your neighborhood and what you’re really going through.


About peterjwhite

I am a pastor to college students in Tulsa, OK.
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