We have one more mile marker to go. Again, on these nights, what we’ve been doing is looking at the seven mile road story from Luke 24 and talking through some of the essentials for 7 Mile Road Church. Here’s how yesterday went.
mile 6 :: awakened
We started by talking through what the month of December would look like for us. We brainstormed for a bit about throwing a Christmas party for our community and friends in the city that we are connecting with. We also talked about seeing if we could morph that event into an avenue to extend mercy and serve some folks who are struggling in our city. We’ll be thinking and talking through that idea in the weeks to come.
We also recapped our Thanksgiving Feast. We celebrated the turnout, the people we got to connect with, the opportunity to love and serve our neighbors in Philadelphia, and the way our Launch Team really talked with new folks rather than huddling with people they already knew. There was a lot about the night to be thankful for.
We then opened our Bibles and looked again at Luke 24 – this time at verses 16 and 31-32 in particular. We centered on the idea that the men in the story were kept from seeing Jesus and needed their eyes opened to who He was. We talked about that same thing being true throughout Scripture. The witness of Scripture is that human beings are so lost in their sin as a consequence of the Fall that we are blind to spiritual truth apart from a special work of grace in our lives. We start off blind towards God and need the eyes of our souls to be supernaturally opened. Apart from God getting involved, a person can hear the Gospel and yet not hear, see the truth before them and yet not see. We considered this passage from Deuteronomy 29:
And Moses summoned all Israel and said to them: “You have seen all that the Lord did before your eyes in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh and to all his servants and to all his land, the great trials that your eyes saw, the signs, and those great wonders. But to this day the Lord has not given you a heart to understand or eyes to see or ears to hear.
Crazy right. Israel sees God drop nine plagues on Egypt. They walk out of the most powerful nation in the world without lifting a bow, a spear, a sword, a finger! God splits the sea before them. And yet, the result is that they have not truly seen or heard or understood. Its sort of like the men walking the seven mile road. Here they are recounting the story of Jesus….to Jesus! They share the facts of the Gospel with Christ. They tell of his mighty words and deeds, his death on the Cross, even news of His resurrection – and yet they are blind to the very truths they are recounting.
their eyes are opened. Somehow God got involved, and suddenly light floods their eyes, faith fills their hearts, and joy runs through their souls. Awakened.
We talked about the implications that this truth had on us and this new church. For one, we thanked God for opening our eyes! We should still be blind to Jesus; but by grace, amazing grace, we see. We also said that the work of seeing men and women come to faith ultimately rests with God. Sure we play our part. We are the means to accomplish His ends – but the ends are His. Resting in the sovereignty of God in salvation does not cause us to shrink back from evangelism, but frees us for evangelism knowing that a good God has graciously chosen to save many and we get to play a part.
We ended the night by interceding for our city, and for people by name, asking God to awaken many to the truth of Jesus.