WE ARE HERE FOR YOU
Do you remember the first time the good news of Jesus met you right where you are?
When it pulled close and shook you to your core? Made you imagine a life that was filled with hope, and could actually change? A life where you were no longer stuck in the same cycles, because God came and entered your life and showed you a new way?
I’ll never forget when this happened to me. In Spring 2003, a few “unschooled, ordinary men” (Acts 4:13) came and met me right where I was. Normal people who decided to care about me and what I cared about. They coached my sports teams. They spoke my language. They learned my story. They laughed at my terrible attempts at jokes. I guess some things never change.
Yet, Josh and Aaron were also different. They were people who had hope where I didn’t. They were people who found a love that would never leave or forsake them. They were people of faith, peace, salt, and light in the brokenness of my constant striving and searching. They lived a different way that showed me unconditional love was possible. They did it all for no reason other than me finding Jesus like they had.
It is not very often that the world WELCOMES us in, to share hope.
It is even rarer that it would allow us to do so in a place like the Collective Seattle, where it seeks to find refuge from hopelessness. A place where we will get to be a people who “live and move and have our being” in Christ with others who are seeking to flee from His loving presence. These folks may even have justifiable reasons to want to flee God’s love. Things like abusive church hurt in their past or pure exhaustion from the pains of life in their present. Or maybe they have never tasted, felt, or experienced the incredible love of Jesus for themselves yet?
That’s WHY we go just as He first did.
In the scriptures, Jesus commanded us all to “go”. To meet others just as He took on flesh and went to all who had left Him. We get to be with Jesus as His hands and feet to those who His love is running towards. Pulling close to fellow prodigals simply longing for his healing embrace.
When Jesus enters our life he accepts us as we are, but doesn’t leave us there. Instead, His love transforms us and invites us to more. He quickly sends us out, two-by-two. Along the journey he tells us to trust Him, and to take nothing that would hinder us from what we are called to in embodying and proclaiming God’s gospel. He also tells us to find “people of peace” wherever we go.
The staff at the Collective are “people of peace” in a world and city that often despises the idea of the gospel we are sharing. They generously opened their doors for us to see Jesus’ kingdom come in Seattle at our co-led Coat Lunch in February. They are doing it again for our season ahead. They don’t merely want to tolerate us here, either. They want to give us every opportunity to share a gospel that some of them have yet to fully embrace themselves. That should be convicting to us.
It should challenge us as Jesus-people. to likewise make room for our neighbors in full confidence in the hope we already have!
According to Luke 10:5-7, a person of peace is someone who may be from any walk of life, but he or she will welcome you, listen to your message, help you with your livelihood, and allow you to stay in his or her home and influence his or her family and the community for the sake of the Gospel.
As a church, we want to be people of peace to our city.
We want to see people receive God’s love, to love God, and to make disciples. To be people who live the greatest life Jesus offers (John 10:10). From the beginning, we have committed ourselves to partnering with our city for its welfare (Jer 29:11), and welcoming neighbors in Jesus name.
This move will help us to do so like never before.
We will get to be a church that embodies God’s radical generosity, embraces diversity, and reconciles all things in Jesus. These are not just values but practices that personify our new reality in SZN 3 at ASC. Not just on Sunday either, but for the other 167 hours a week too!
The question then is: will we be people of peace like our neighbors have been to us?
Will we honor their hospitality but giving incredible love through it. Will we go as Jesus sent us in Matthew 10.
To preach that Jesus’ “kingdom of heaven is near.” – Matthew 10:7
To “freely give as we have freely received” – Matthew 10:8
To heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, and drive out demons. – Matthew 10:8
The future is not always clear, but the one who holds it is. All authority in Heaven and on Earth has been given to Jesus (Matt 28), Thus, we will go in that authority to the Collective and continue to make disciples like He did. We will baptize them in to life with Jesus. We will teach them to obey everything He has commanded. And as he promised, He will truly be with us to the very end of the age.
I ask you to join me in praying this blessing over our new home and ministry in the season ahead:
May God’s peace rest on us in this new house.
May it transform us and our neighbors’ lives.
May we all live the greatest life Jesus offers.
A life of love that lasts.
And may we see Jesus’ Kingdom Come in Seattle as It is in Heaven.
- Pastor Tyler & The A Seattle Church Team