Making a place for young adults to connect with each other and with God is super exciting, but also more than a little scary. For what guarantee do we have that if we really go after these lost lambs, we won’t get lost ourselves? Every time I hear a version of this fear, every time I myself think that we three churches have enough struggles and we don’t have the resources to make room for a new church nor do we have the strength numerically or financially or any other way to support a new congregation, I hear the words of Jesus ringing in my ear, loud and clear: “Those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it.” [Mark 8:35] I am convinced that these are the words that have to guide everything we do at Willow Glen. If we want to be found, we are going to have to be willing to get lost.
The question that came to my mind this week about this story is, “Did Jesus really stop the storm or did he lead the disciples into the center of it where everything is still? You’ve heard about the eye of a hurricane, that space in the center of the storm where the wind and water are strangely calm. Chaos and destruction are still going on all around, but in the center the pressure goes way down and there is peace. In light of the hurricane this week, I hear Jesus saying, “You can’t escape all the storms in your life. You’re just going to have to live through them. So get in my boat. We’re not going to evade or evacuate. I am going to take you right into the center of this storm. You will be safe there with me. We’ll ride it out together.”
We may never have had this honest a relationship with another person, but it’s the only kind of relationship we can have with God. The real you. The real me. Total honesty. Deep intimacy. That’s all that God wants from any of us and from all of us. That’s why God keeps sending out servants to bring in more and more of us. And here we come, the good and the bad, all mixed together. No table manners? No worries. Christ is a patient teacher. The One who knows us will grow us and give us all the humility, charity and honesty we need. This is one banquet that doesn’t need a bouncer.