How keen were you to get up this morning? What did the day, or indeed the week, laid out ahead of you make you feel? Is work a chore or somewhere you were racing to get to? Where you head off to today is your front line or at least a major one in your life.
I started a new series in Fitzroy on Sunday. I am keen to have a look at Mark Greene’s book Fruitfulness On The Frontline and bring into the congregation’s psyche Greene’s 6 Ms to fruitfulness; modelling Godly character, making good work, ministering grace and love, moulding culture, being a mouthpiece for justice and being a messenger of the gospel. There is a holistic nature to this that I really like.
Early on in his book Greene looks at where our front lines are and opens up the story of a young slave girl who is the cause of her master Naaman healing from leprosy. The story is found in 2 Kings 5 and is a story I remember from my childhood. Greene made me reassess it. Here is a young teenage girl who is literally taken into slavery in a foreign culture. She had every right to be angry and hostile to her captors. However, in this her front line she brings redemption and transformation.
So wherever you are today? However you got there? Whatever you are doing there? Whoever it is you are with? Whatever the struggles within yourself? Even if it is not a place you were keen to go. It is your front line and is probably a much more positive scenario than this teenage girl, whose name we don’t even know, was in.
As I reflected on the story Greene opened up afresh to me, I found three words. How encouraging for the preacher to find one of our University students had written them on her hand during the sermon. Her mum thought she was being disrespectful doodling on her hand during the sermon. Instead she was being very respectful. Anyway, the three words, or Presbyterian points which I am not in the habit of modelling, are FAITH, GRACE, COURAGE.
This teenage girl has enough faith to believe that her God could make a difference. She then showed incredible grace to love her captors who had taken her from her home and family to use her knowledge to bring healing to them. She then needed the courage to make the suggestion.
Today on our front lines, whether that is in work, among family, friends, in Church, volunteering or where the the day finds us, let us be alert to the opportunities to use our faith and God’s grace with courage to make seemingly ordinary contributions that heal others and leads them to an understanding of our God.