Thursday, 30 July 2009

Church in Exile

I went on a self-guided retreat on Tuesday.

I always come away from them feeling uplifted and challenged to my core, even when they are self-guided.

I was reading through some of the prophets and was reflecting on Israel in exile and my own thoughts on the church in the west being in exile at this present time.

I read through Ezekiel 33-34 and Jeremiah 23-24 and believe that these passages may have something significant to say to the church in the west and specifically, to the leaders of the church in the west.  I'm talking about every denomination going.

I think the sheep have indeed been scattered and the leaders have been instrumental in that scattering.  I include myself as one of those leaders.

I believe we have led people astray to worship idols.  I believe we have taken care of ourselves instead of the flock.  I believe we have not strengthened the weak, healed the sick or bound up the injured.  I believe people have wandered away into the wilderness and we have not bothered to go and look for them and not sacrifice so much to go and look for them.  We are inward looking.  And we are accountable to God for this.

BUT perhaps a time is coming when God will raise up leaders who will care for those who have wandered away.  Perhaps a time is coming when people will find Jesus in the most unexpected of places and communities of followers of Jesus will spring up all over the place, but in ways that surprise us all.

I am still trying to process all these thoughts and figure out if it is God speaking or my own vain imagination (maybe a bit of both).  

Still, I'm going to keep thinking and praying these thoughts through and see where they lead. 

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