22 February 2015

altogether different

Sunday's when Matt and Junior preach together are my very favorite, always.  Neither of them were planning on preaching...we're weren't even planning on going to Belony's church to begin with.  And I still don't know how Matt is asked at the beginning of a service to preach that morning, and he still manages to be prepared.

We had 16 English speakers in the service with our team here, so they decided to preach together, Matt in English and Junior in Creole.  However, I have never heard Matt make it through a whole speech or sermon in Haiti in English (the more passionate he gets as we dig deeper into His Word, the harder it is for him to stay away from Creole) and I have never heard Junior make it through a whole conversation or sermon in Creole (his brain works in English, I swear.)

So when you put them together, you just never know what language either of them will be speaking, and with Matt preaching and Junior translating, June has the challenging job of switching languages even mid-sentence to opposite Matt.  Back and forth they go, cracking us all up, moving through the room together, adding to each other's points in revolving language.


I know this sounds weird, but it always feels something like heaven, hearing His word go forth in every language and understanding and worshiping simultaneously and together, with many voices.  


ANYWAY, all I was really going to say was what the sermon was about :) 


They talked about Jesus, and about how different he was.  They talked about so much in Jesus' day that was unclean:  the bleeding woman, the lepers, Samaritans, those with "unclean spirits"  They talked about so much that is "unclean" in Haiti today....so much that is feared.  Talismans and trees, witchdoctors and curses, tokens and signs and dreams and threats and lies.  And they talked about how the Pharisees handled them...groups of disciples around them, making sure that nothing unclean touched them, not eating or wearing or engaging with anything that could be considered unclean, for fear that these things would make THEM impure, unclean.


Then came Jesus, altogether different, "let them come unto me", reaching out touching those who hadn't been touched in years, being touched by women and children, sinners and the sick, BRINGING life and healing and purity and light to every dark situation.  


Talking through Mark 7, Matt and June talked about Jesus' sermon on the heart of man, "Do you not understand that whatever goes into the man from outside cannot defile him, 19 because it does not go into his heart, but into his stomach, and [g]is eliminated?” (Thus He declared all foods clean.) 20 And He was saying, That which proceeds out of the man, that is what defiles the man.21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, [h]fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries,22 deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, [i]envy, slander, [j]pride and foolishness. 23 All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man.”


As they preached through our duty to BE the clean, the holy, the lovely REACHING out and into unclean and ugly circumstances, touching others, casting away fear and lies, burning idols, embracing the unclean and being used as holy vessels to CLEAN...it was our beautiful mission.


The same beautiful mission that Jesus had, to be light in darkness, to reach into ugliness and death and darkness without fear and NOT ALONE.


It was powerful.  It both languages.  Especially to our Haitian brothers and sisters, who continue to live in fear of so much, afraid to touch.  Especially to our Jersey brothers and sisters, who continue to live in fear of so much, afraid to touch.  Especially to me, who always needs reminded of how DIFFERENT Jesus was, our God IS, how different I am to be.  



1 comment:

  1. In the last week, my readings have have either referenced or quoted this Mark 7 passage, at least 4 times. Beginning to think I am being told to do some self-analysis to verify that I am not becoming pharisaical in my daily routines. Sometimes, God is not very subtle.

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