Putting together an entirely ridiculous, hyperbolic cast of misfits who have no business being around one another. But really, it sounds familiar.
Isn't that how Jesus put together his apostles? A bunch of guys who had no business being around one another? And yet somehow, these 12 guys multiplied into thousands, and eventually, the couple billion Christians on earth. Amazing.
I've read through Proverbs before, but as I mentioned in yesterday's post, Solomon is addressing the wisdom in a community context again in Chapter 11:
"When the righteous prosper, the city rejoices; when the wicked perish, there are shouts of joy. Through the blessing of the upright a city is exalted, but by the mouth of the wicked it is destroyed." v. 10-11
"One person gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed." v. 25-26It took me awhile to realize this type of language. Normally you think of Proverbs as a wise sage sitting on some hill with a Pai Mai-style fumanchu endowing wisdom on some brave individual.
No. This is different.
This is a man who's seeking for his community to benefit from the righteous, generous living of others; seeking the redemption of the broken parts of the city.
I think of the churches in Portland, Oregon in this context. Most non-Christians in Portland have this air of snobbery towards believers, and sometimes for good reason. But these churches decided that they want to bring the Kingdom of Jesus to Portland. They went to the city leadership and said, "What can we do to help?"
Isn't that what we should all be doing? I'm convicted by this as well. We should be looking for the well-being of the communities/towns/cities where we live.
We are to be "in" the world, not "of" it. The way I see it, as sons & daughters of God, we are here for a purpose: To proclaim the Gospel and seek the redemption of all things. We alone can't bring that. Only Jesus can. But we can certainly be a reflection of it.
Let's get our hands dirty.