Breaking Out

Last week I talked about the Christian bubble, how it keeps us from the very people Jesus wants us to know and love. The bubble afflicts pastors, too, in fact most of us are in an airtight bubble as I discovered when I became a new church start ppopping bubblesastor. I’m not sure I even knew that Christians could break out of the bubble, much less how. Yes, I hang out at Starbucks and go to Chamber meetings, I work out at the ‘Y’ and soon I’ll be golfing at a local golf course. But making myself available to be in relationship with others is one thing, but really being available, these are two completely different things. I’m not a part of the lives of the baristas at my local Starbucks other than seeing them when I stop by. But they are people with needs and hurts just like everyone else. So what if I spent time in prayer asking God to show me how I can show the wonder of the love of God to the folks we see every day, whether it’s our neighbors or co-workers or those we sometimes don’t even notice. You know who they are. The barista and the grocery store clerk. How about the person at the dry cleaners or your accountant. The attendant where you park or your doctor. Maybe the clerk at the mini-mart where you get your snacks or the one where you buy gas. What if God showed you some way that you could help one of these people actually experience him through you? Would you do it? Would you let the whispers of the Holy Spirit become reality in someone else’s life through you? Would you risk breaking out of the bubble to join Christ out where the Christians aren’t? I’m committing to do it and I’m asking the folks of The Well to join me, to apply ourselves to hearing the still small voice of God and actually doing what he asks. Imagine it. It might just change the world!

About Rev Uch

I'm a United Methodist pastor serving Hyde Park United Methodist in Tampa, Florida. My husband and I have been here since July 2016. We are thrilled to be back in this area closer to most of our immediate family. In Tampa on a Sunday? Stop by one of our six weekly services. Find out more at www.hydeparkumc.org/worship.
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8 Responses to Breaking Out

  1. Amber says:

    So what does “really being available” in relationships mean and look like?

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    • Pastor Kim says:

      Amber,
      Thanks for asking. I think the best way to describe it is the willingness to go out of my way for another person as prompted by the Holy Spirit. Sometimes it’s messy and changes the plans we make for ourselves but I think it’s in allowing ourselves to be used by the Holy Spirit that we fulfill God’s call to love one another as we love ourselves and to love him with all that we are. It doesn’t mean that we attempt to meet every need we hear about but rather that when we listen to and follow that still small voice, in that one act we are loving God as he loves others through us.

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      • Amber says:

        Maybe just maybe, “really being available” is not so much about meeting a material or physical need but about making a conscious decided effort to really come alongside someone and literally walk with them unconditionally… Making a personal investment of time and sharing resources with another to follow in The Lord’s commands, will and plan for us could possibly be the most satisfying… Although the cost is personal vulnerability…

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      • Pastor Kim says:

        Exactly. It definitely is much more than meeting physical needs. That’s why it’s so important to be guided by the Holy Spirit because all too quickly we see a physical need and think that’s the only need there is. The Holy Spirit sees deeper than we can ever see into the needs of others and can guide us to ways of relating to others that may seem insignificant but that make an amazing difference to others and vice versa. It’s in us living this out together that we find the life that Jesus came to give us.

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      • Amber says:

        Breaking out and really going out of our way for another is difficult because it is uncomfortable stepping out of our comfort zones and SACRIFICING for another…

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      • Pastor Kim says:

        So true! Particularly in a culture that prizes individual self-interest rather than the communal good. Sacrifice isn’t easy for any one of us, but it’s next to impossible to be willing to do so if our own interests are the only ones that make it to the top of our list. But in Christ, we have different priorities: “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus…” Philippians 2:3-5

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  2. Mike Cyr says:

    There is a wonderful Quaker painting titled Presence in the Midst James Doyle Penrose that shows Jesus presence at a Quaker Meeting. And you are right about that availability part. Being available is something more than acknowledging someone’s situation and going on. Sometimes we have to get messy.Sometimes what happens is not so much is it that they get to see Jesus in and through us as we see Him through and in those we meet.How many times does Jesus come to us and we don’t recognize Him? Did you recognize Him last week when your spouse made a fumbling attempt to apologize and ask forgiveness, but you were still fuming and nursing your self-pity? How about that friend who stayed up with you until two o’clock in the morning as you poured out your pain and hopelessness because your battle with some sinful tendency is still raging — or maybe it was another additional problem —Did you see Jesus in that worker in the nursing home — the one who changed the diaper of your now-helpless parent? Did you recognize Jesus in that nagging tightening in your stomach in chapel last week when you were convicted of some sin or shortcoming and the need for repentance — or when the vision of Kingdom ministry was laid out and you knew you were called to make some response?
    Have you been recognizing Jesus in the faces of the world’s children who are innocent victims in hopeless war torn or earthquake devastated lands? Mother Teresa required her nuns to engage in prayer for a certain number of hours each day. One of the Sisters said to her but Mother if we could spend some of that time helping others they would be able to see Christ in us. Mother Teresa replied, my child, we don’t do this so they may see Christ in us, but that we may see Christ in them.Too often main line christian churches rely on great buildings and facilities and Sunday performances to to spread the message of God’s love but really, isn’t it that moment when your eyes meet those of someone in need and you stop the business of your life to help or listen and empathize that Jesus comes into the midst. It is being part of the Resurrection Community. Keep on rolling Pastor Kim! Home church is a wonderful opportunity for us all to bind together and really encourage one another. The relationship is so much closer than having a Pastor speak from the pulpit.We just need to make sure that we don’t create a tiny bubble!

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  3. suealbright77 says:

    Awesome, Kim, I’m lifting you and The Well folks up as you pray for these “other people”. Marvelous!

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