I’ve been running this same route for as long as I can remember. 3 miles weaving through my hometown. I jog past houses I used to play in, friends long since moved away. Cross the railroad tracks I used to walk as a teen on lazy summer days when nothing much was going on. Stop and walk for a bit by the Dairy Queen where I had my first job.
I’ve lived here my whole life and I know it by heart. I don’t know that I expected to stay as long as I have, but for 33 years it’s been home. Some days, I love that. Others I wonder – what am I doing here? It’s a pretty typical small town just like hundreds of others all over America. A nothing special, ordinary, typical type of place.
After the Ascension of Christ, the disciples stood and gaped at the sky, processing all they had seen and learned, wondering just what was to come next. I know how that feels. It’s that beat before responding to grace that every Christian knows, that “well…what now?” feeling.
We want our response to God’s grace to be epic in a way that can match the all encompassing miracle of what He has done for us. And yet, even within that, we lose sight of what Christ is really all about. The small and forgotten. The every day, un-glamorous work of loving ordinary people in ordinary places in ordinary ways. Why does it somehow feel like a majestic show of gratitude would be easier than the dirty grit of real living that God calls us to? Easier to love people a world away than those in our own communities?
We know we are called to share the Gospel, but what does that mean? How does that look in the real world? When our days are filled with work, school, family, board meetings, and all the things we need to do to keep life running smoothly, what does God expect of us?
For the redeemed, the remade, the forgiven, the answer is – our lives.
Life is Gospel.
Gospel is Life.
So when we ask – How then shall we live? What’s next? What does Christ require of me?
Are we prepared for the truth?
“He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God?”
Live life. Fully. Passionately. Humbly. Charitably. Gratefully. Right where you are.
Speak life giving words. Build one another up. Speak truth, healing, peace.
Live a self giving life. Create a community where love is action, showing up for one another as the hands and feet of Jesus.
It really is that simple. Life and Gospel, interwoven.
It’s the secret to a life of unfettered joy, the gift of a life lived looking forward. When we expect that God is on our side, that our very lives are for and about Him, we can know our every day work has deep, eternity-impacting significance. We can give thanks for all the things, good and bad, that we find ourselves facing because we know Gospel purpose is infused in the humblest of acts, in the most common of places.
What are you standing around for, looking up at the sky? Your purpose is right in front of you.
Share life, share Gospel.