“As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed with demons begged him that he might be with him. And he did not permit him but said to him, ‘Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.’ And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and everyone marveled.”- Mark 5:18-20
“The man from whom the demons had gone begged that he might be with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, ‘Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.’ And he went away, proclaiming throughout the whole city how much Jesus had done for him.”- Luke 8:38-39.
I would rather follow Jesus to the ends of the earth than follow Him right where i am. It is the simple truth. I hear rumors in the distant parts of the world of supernatural healings, many conversions, and even people being raised from the dead. Whatever your position on the supernatural gifts, whether they are still present with us or not, it is true that following Jesus is always, it seems, more appealing anywhere but where i am at the moment. It seems more romantic, more adventurous, to live in a hut in a third world country than in middle class America. It seems more daring and epic to spend my time in another culture, in another city, in another context sharing the good news of Christ. Surely it isn’t wrong to do these things, and God calls some of us to do them. But for now, He hasn’t called me there. No, He has not permitted me to follow Him there. He has told me, “go home to your friends, go home to your family…” My friends? My family? These are mundane things! He tells the man in the story to go home to the context in which God has placed him, to the ordinary, to the mundane. He says, “Go to the people you see every day. Go to the context you were born in. I will do my work elsewhere, but as for you, you go do my work in the mundane.”
I hear much talk of going abroad, of going to different cultures and contexts, and yes and amen to that! But who will minister to middle class Americans? Who will minister to those already hardened and calloused, to those who believe themselves to be safe and secure because of their status? Is this simply a cry from my own heart to retain the little wealth and prosperity i already possess? Perhaps. But i would still rather go elsewhere many times. And yet He says to me, “go to your wife and love her, tell her by your voice and by your actions how much I have done for you.” He says, “be faithful in your local church, to your local people.” He says, “go to the mundane, and be faithful in the mundane.” But the supernatural stuff is going on elsewhere! The adventure is elsewhere! But have i forgotten that i am proof of the supernatural? That the supernatural has been done in me? That my heart of stone has been transformed into a heart of flesh? That me, an enemy of God, has been made a son of God through Christ’s blood? Have i forgotten that the extraordinary has been wrought in me? That the Spirit resides within me? That i am unified with the Son of Man? That i have been born again and transformed? So wherever i am, there is the extraordinary, there is the supernatural. For Christ is the extraordinary and the supernatural. And He is in me by His Spirit. So as i touch the mundane, it is touched by the extraordinary. It is worth pausing today to consider where Christ has called me, and though it may not be to the romantic parts of the mission field, the mundane mission field is no less extraordinary. Why? Because He is there, working through the ordinary church, to ordinary people, in supernatural, extraordinary ways. And He promises to work. This man went back to his context, and they all marveled. Though i may never see massive marveling, i can be sure that where He is, He is always working.
Lord, help me to be faithful in the mundane.
I am thankful that God put this story into His book, for it gives me hope in the midst of the everyday life, in the routine of the ordinary, but also extraordinary, life. Let us recommit to being faithful to Christ in traffic, being faithful to Christ in our marriages, being faithful to Christ in our families, being faithful to Christ while watching t.v, being faithful to Christ while serving in the local church. In being faithful to Him in every circumstance, Christ will move, and our lives, though ordinary and simple, become beacons of the supernatural and testimonies to the extraordinary.