I’ve been reading The Jesus Creed by Scott McKnight. Essentially the “Jesus Creed” says “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. And you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27)
McKnight says that when the Creed is translated into prayer, it becomes the Lord’s Prayer. When it’s translated into a story it becomes the good Samaritan, and when it’s translated into a society it becomes the table of hospitality, which includes tax collectors, prostitutes, notorious sinners, and people we normally wouldn’t invite into our homes.
Years ago God put it in my heart to invite the residents of a neighborhood “boarding house” over for a proper meal. The across-the-street residents of the home were well known cast-offs, drug users, handicapped, and loners who had no place else to go. So they lived in these cheap quarters, paying weekly rates for a roof over their head.
It turned into a rich evening of friendship which remains in my memory as one of those sweet moments of Jesus’ presence. I had no agenda, I didn’t present the Four Spiritual Laws to them, nor even try to manipulate the conversation around to giving a gospel presentation. Still… not long afterwards, one of the guys called me over to talk about his need for Christ. He was an addict, and he suspected he may have been HIV infected. But he knew Jesus loved him, and he wanted to make his peace.
I miss doing radical things like that. Now I stay in an upscale neighborhood, (compliments of my generous friends who’ve welcomed me into their pool house), and spend almost all my time with my church family, who are positively amazing people! But I’m longing to re-engage with people on the outside of the church circle again. I’m not doing a very good job of that since leaving Sarajevo. And I miss the way I invariably meet Jesus in those settings.