Because She is HIS

There are more of them here than you could possibly count. Big ones, small ones, rich ones, not-as-rich ones. Ones with rock concerts every Sunday and ones with organs and orchestras. Ones with the top theologically trained preachers in the world, and ones preaching the health, wealth and prosperity gospel. Not just one for each denomination, but hundreds for each denomination. We live in a place with them meeting in every building, school, and storefront you can imagine. We are literally SURROUNDED by CHURCHES here in Orlando.

And where did God lead us to worship, plug in, and serve after having, for five years, worked with a church that could suck one’s spiritual life dry? He led us to a small Korean church looking for someone to preach in English with the goal of reaching English speakers in the area.

The first Sunday here, after listening to Korean songs, preaching, and prayers, standing in line to eat extremely spicy Korean food, with all Korean chatter filling my ears and images of beautiful Asian faces surrounding me, I whispered over to Danny,

“Did we just get transported to Korea??”

We had several different job offers…at some really great, friendly (and mostly white) churches.

But after that second Sunday, and a meeting in broken English with the head pastor, we couldn’t deny it.

We both felt called to this place.

And over the past year and a half, with Danny preaching an English service, we have seen God do some beautiful things in the small flock of English speakers that He has drawn to this place as well. And it was refreshing to learn from and intermingle with these precious Koreans.

And then, we abruptly were notified that the service and ministry Danny led would be ending.

We were shocked.

They said they would like for us to stay but were free to go if we were so inclined. Not to mention the very humbling and confusing series of events surrounding this situation, staying meant worshipping each Sunday in Korean, and having a little headset for someone to translate the Korean sermon into broken English so we could have a remote clue as to what was going on.

And just as God brought us here to minister, God also brought us here to learn, and to be humbled, and to strip down completely anything that keeps us committed to a place other than for the sake of His beauty displayed in Her…

The beauty of a Savior who washed peoples from all cultures and all nations so that there could be a beautiful image of His love and unity in His bride,
The Church.

Not the activities associated with what the Church does.

And, if anything, this whole humbling mess brings questions that clear away the fog of what we think we are committing to on a Sunday morning…

Why do we show up to a place of worship each Sunday?

Is it for the awesome praise band? Is it for the preaching (my husband’s a really good preacher, if you don’t mind me saying so)? Is it for socializing with all the people I can easily relate to and receive encouragement from? Is it a grand social club? Or entertainment? Or a spiritual message that makes me feel better? Is it even just for the sake of ministry?

Or is it the coming together of unlikely siblings to rejoice together over a common love of a common Savior that has made us into an uncommon family. And despite language barriers, and cultural barriers, can I show up in expectation that I will meet my Father, and hear my Savior’s voice even in the eighties praise songs joyfully belted out in Korean, or the sermon translated into very simple English with a lot of disconnect in ideas, and a very different leadership style. Do I really believe that when I show up to all the foreignness that I show up to experience the fullness of Him who fills all in all? (Ephesians 1:23)

Do I show up because I long for…

Him?

And HE has made her to be His means of moving and speaking and ministering, this side of glory.

I long for all the fullness….even fullness that gets uncomfortable

So,

I show up because she is HIS.

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. 3arrows
    Apr 04, 2013 @ 19:13:40

    Good word, Kimberly. We are presently not involved with a particular “church” and I got to thinking about what I miss about it and just how Jesus included the church building into this life and ministry. He visited the synagogues, even taught there. He visited the temple, even causing a stir among the religious prigs. But, mostly he met with people on the street, in their homes, by the sea. He didn’t hang a shingle that read, “Weekly Meetings by Jesus, 7pm”. He just followed the leading of the His Father in Heaven, with whom He was One.

    If our Heavenly Father leads us somewhere other than church one Sunday, why do we feel guilty and disloyal? Who are we loyal to?

    I could go on, but you have touched on a tender side of the issue and done a fine job… how do you find the time to write these wonderful blogs with your busy life? 🙂
    ps. – We lived in Maitland (a sub of Orlando) for 5 years and loved it!

    Reply

    • kimzhis
      Apr 05, 2013 @ 02:32:34

      Thanks for your words and insight! The Church is just like a family. You are stuck with “them” for a reason- to learn the lesson of the cross…the lesson of laying one’s life down in order to love. It’s not so much about achieving the perfect family…or church, but to dig down into the mess of things that we might be stripped of our selfishness…a painful but beautiful process. And in terms of writing, I have an amazing husband who takes the kids on a daddy date on Saturday mornings and I run away to a coffee shop to think and write. It is such a gift from him!

      Reply

  2. Trackback: Where’ve I been…. | ...to the least of these...

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