by Jason McGibbon, Church Planter
I was going to share a few thoughts about ministering on the edges, reaching out to those on the fringes of society, things I have learned from leading a street corner ministry reaching out to the poor and homeless of my neighbourhood for the past few years. I had some ideas, and then Monday happened. We were gathering, a fight broke out, the police were called and it was messy. No one was really hurt and it did not amount to much but it was tough, awkward to say the least, and really discouraging. It left me doubting what I have been doing every Monday morning, wondering if there is a point, wondering if it is making any difference at all. Do I even bother showing up next Monday?
I have come to realize that yes; I do need to show up next week. In fact, it may be one of the most important weeks yet. I will show up with coffee and sandwiches and prayer because I need the guys I gather with to see that I am still there, I still care and we will move on together. I need to do this because it is what Jesus did for me. Whenever we engage in the mission of God, no matter the context, we will be spending time with those who don’t know Jesus, who act and speak like they don’t know Jesus and whose actions will quite obviously be displeasing to the Lord. The reality is however, it was true of me as well, and it is true of all of us. There was a time when my life was displeasing to God and I lived in opposition to Jesus. My life and sin may never have been quite as dramatic and obvious as an addict, but the separation from God was just as real. But Jesus chose to show me grace, to offer forgiveness and give His life for mine. When I remember this, then showing up on Monday will be much easier and have a much deeper sense of purpose. I have come to think this may be a big part of what is meant in the words “walk humbly with your God”.
Micah 6:8 tells us that what God requires of His people is to “act justly, love mercy and to walk humbly with your God”. When we walk humbly, when we are honest about who we are and the depth of what God has done for us then we will be much more likely to look at those around us, those on the fringes, broken people with sharp edges, and see them with mercy. We will be “moved with compassion” as Jesus so often was. When we are moved by mercy we will seek to be active in our pursuit of justice. And if this is true, and this is what God calls us to do, then the least I can do is show up for one more Monday morning to gather on the street corner with my friends.