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I love the city of Austin. There’s so much life and energy. It’s young, hip, intellectual and funky. It’s a great place to live. This past week I headed down to the infamous 6Th ST. I love 6Th ST. Basically it’s packed with thousands of people who are going to clubs, bars, tattoo joints, cigar shops, restaurants and live music venues. The city of Austin closes down all the streets, so folks are partying on top of buildings, inside the clubs and in the streets. Live music pumps out of all the venues and folks are dressed to impress, I mean yo…Everyone is trying to hook with someone, right? Basically for whatever reason I feel at home in this environment.

But this post is not about Austin, or 6Th ST. Instead it’s about the brokenness I saw that night. As I slid into bed at 2:30AM. I said a silent prayer. So broken over the images that I saw. Basically, this one young lady had to be carried (dragged) by her two friends because she was so drunk that she passed out on the sidewalk. Her friends were embarrassed. Jasen, Amanda and I were saddened. I for one was broken, because this is normal. Not only in Austin on 6TH ST. In every city-somewhere, somebody is wasted.

The Christ story means so much to me. I take following Jesus literally. The fact that by God’s grace I get a chance to be apart of God’s redeeming work is in fact humbling. I think every Christ follower must carry the weight of the story, the burden of the call. As I walked down 6Th ST I felt God’s burden. The brokenness was just too much. Even as I write this, in a cafe with a ton of people…tears stream down my eyes. I no longer connect well with words like evangelism or witnessing. In fact I rarely call myself a Christian or better yet and Evangelical.

But that does not mean I’m not a follower of Jesus…And that does not mean that I don’t care for those who are disconnected to Jesus. Matter of fact I get pissed-off, mad and angry when I see the Church cover up Jesus with a bunch of religious crap. Why are thousands of people partying om 6Th ST? They are all looking for something. I call that something life. Everyone is looking for life. We all know that God brings life and life to the full. I wonder if people can see the Jesus light when they look at me? Am I different, do I “shine” with life and hope. Do I really live the Jesus story full board. Or am I an impostor? Or maybe I’m selfish. Let me run-away from the problems and pain of the world. Let me run away to the comforts of the Christian sub-culture…I bet if I wanted I could basically never even see the brokenness of the world. I can read Christian books, watch Christian TV, go to Christian concerts, and hang out with Christians who claim to love God but deny him by their actions.

See-A real Christ follower can’t help but be in-the-world. If you follow Jesus…He will lead you into the brokenness of society to bring the good news to those who are absolutely desperate for somebody to bring life and allow that life to shine on the darkness.

Why is it, that when folks think of Jesus, the church, or Christians they think it’s irrelevant, or boring, or better yet stupid! When I study the Bible, I see life…Explosive life. Healing taking place….Hope being restored…I see the church front and center proclaiming to the world that there is an alternative way to live and this life is real, true and authentic…this life can bring hope and restore peace, this life is really all about shalom…wholeness…the essence of life IS Jesus-the way-the truth-the life!

I think this past Friday night has altered my life in a small, or maybe even a big way. I’m not into being a church-attender or a religious person only, I do not want to spend time arguing over mundane theology…I don’t want to be obsessed with how many folks attended church this Sunday.

However, I do want to live my life on-mission and help others do the same. Imagine an  on-mission Jesus community. Can you picture a revolution of love, beauty, truth, peace and justice? An on-mission Jesus community will empty 6TH ST and all it’s false claims.

I want to be broken for those who have lost their way. I want to leave the 99 and venture out to find the one. I want to leave Jerusalem
and head to Rome and share the good news to those who have not heard of the Jesus story. The God who became flesh and dwelt among us…The God who walked out of heaven and enter a human body because he is full of love and life and hope and he cares do deeply. I want to carry the weight of the gospel on my shoulders and then rely on the strength and wisdom of God to redeem my life and use me as a vessel of light and hope to a generation of people who think of Jesus as some lame religious figure who comes out to play on Sunday mornings then disappears for another 6 days.

My call in life is to help my generation re-discover the greatest story that was ever told. And that is the burden that I must and hopefully am willing to carry.

Shalom from a broken spirit!

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