Relations > Recitations…

Ben Schoettel   -  


My favorite part of the musical Hamilton is the song “You’ll Be Back” sung by Jonathan Groff as King George III. The whole song is a farce where King George is supposedly singing of his love for his subjects, all the while not being all that loving with his proposed actions. The line that sums it up is, “And when push comes to shove, I will send a fully armed battalion to remind you of my love.” He keeps saying he loves them, but his posture and plans say otherwise.

The Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-12) is a well-known passage of the Bible. In fact, the Sermon on the Mount has been cut and spliced for generations to form many of our commonly stated ethics within Western society. The problem… We can say, write, post, (sing?) the words of Jesus all day long while living as though these words isolate us from the world. Jesus does not isolate from the world through law, he infiltrates the world with love. Jesus was not sharing this good news for the disciples to make wall art for courtrooms and living rooms, He was describing what this new life in Christ should, and will, be in his kingdom.

The rest of this week’s devotional comes from Trolls & Truth by author, Pastor of Church Under the Bridge, and Executive Director of Mission Waco in Waco, Tx, Jimmy Dorrell. Jimmy and his family committed their lives to be being on the frontlines of ministry and standing in the gap for those who were marginalized and oppressed in their community and beyond. Jimmy and his wife planted a church in the roughest part of Waco, TX that met under a bridge so that all people would have access and feel welcomed. The church grew to hundreds of people that would meet every Sunday as well as serve the community throughout the rest of the week. Their church became a beautiful mosaic of God’s kingdom where doctors, bankers, and lawyers would praise, confess, and serve alongside the unhoused, addicted, and any other person who felt like an outcast. Jimmy embodies and advocates for living incarnationally as the church, or in other words, being kingdom builders with Jesus.

“The unbelieving world quietly observes the social patterns of the church. Though they may not fully comprehend the gospel message, they are astute enough to know that Christians proclaim a higher order of compassion and relationships than the world. They know enough of Jesus’ teachings and earthly activities to know that He was an inclusive teacher. Yet these same people often discount the validity of the church because they see little difference in their patterns… (while) the social order of the kingdom of God manifested in part by local congregations is inclusive and has room for everyone. This inclusivity is more than tolerating or relegating a seating section for them… As the Spirit of God transforms churches, there must be a social transformation of relationships that sincerely creates a place for all.

A church living out this new order of fellowship inherently becomes evangelistic to the world. As the early church experienced while living out their new faith, the power of the relational gospel brought outsiders into their fellowship… More than the cheapened evangelism tools and tracts used frequently in evangelical churches, God uses dynamic Christian fellowships that supersede the culture with a new way of loving and living. In this growing postmodern culture that rejects technique and mechanism, the impact to bring good news where there is little of it will be revolutionary… To see the gospel being lived out is transformational.”

May we discover those people and places where we reveal and receive the relational power of living the ways of King Jesus.