Monday, February 11, 2008

Difficulty, Suffering, and Hope

I've recently read the book "Velvet Elvis" by Rob Bell. It's a great book. I recommend it. Especially the last chapter. I think I've read it at least 5 times now. I just keep going over and over it, dwelling on the things he says. Here are a few snippets from that last chapter. Hopefully they'll do something for you too.

"...the most powerful things happen when the church surrenders its desire to convert people and convince them to join. It is when the church gives itself away in radical acts of service and compassion, expecting nothing in return, that the way of Jesus is most vividly put on display.... To be this kind of person - the kind who selflessly serves - takes everything a person has. It is difficult. It is demanding. And we often find ourselves going against the flow of those around us.... It is going out of our way to be more generous and disciplined and loving and free. It is refusing to escape and become numb to and check out of this broken, fractured world.... Ultimately our gift to the world around us is hope. Not blind hope that pretends everything is fine and refuses to acknowledge how things are. But the kind of hope that comes from staring pain and suffering right in the eyes and refusing to believe that this is all there is."

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