The alarm went off. It was 4.30am. I’d heard about that time of day, wasn’t sure it had actually existed until that morning. I got up, got dressed and started to make my way through the streets of Brooklyn. I caught the subway across the city to meet up with a mission for the homeless. Today we were going to go and feed people who had no place to live, and nothing to eat.
I wasn’t sure what to expect. I wasn’t sure who I was going to meet. I mean who on earth is going to be around wanting a cup of soup and some bread at this hour of the day.
I arrived at the mission, and after some preparation we made our way across the city to one of the parks. I walked around the corner to the park and my jaw hit the floor. It was 6.00am and there were people everywhere, like thousands of them! People had been queuing from the night before just to try and get something to eat. We started to hand out the food and my heart began to break for these people.
I have to admit that I almost didn’t go that morning. There was a huge Christian conference in the city at the same time that I had tried to get tickets for. When that didn’t work out I filled my diary with other things, that morning being one. But as I stood there I was reminded, there are thousands of Spirit-filled Christians in the city for that conference, and there are 10 of us handing out food. And so I asked the question, “If Jesus was in New York today, where would He be?”
Don’t get me wrong, I would have loved the conference. I would have met with God there, and if the opportunity arose I’d definitely go in the future. But at that moment, I looked in the face of those hurting people and I knew, Jesus would be right there with us.
See, as Christians, we’re very good and pointing the finger and saying where He isn’t. I think its time we started to change that, and instead of trying to tell the Church where He isn’t, we start showing a broken, lost world where He is.
Jesus made a couple of statements about where we’d find Him:
“For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.” – Luke 19v10
“Healthy people don’t need a doctor–sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” – Mark 2v17
It’s important to realise that most of His interactions with people happened outside, with people that the religious people tended to avoid.
And so, it’s important to ask ourselves – where is Jesus today? I promise you He’ll be in places you never expected, with people you never expected Him to be with.
He’s with the single mum that lives across the street who feels all on her own. He’s with the young person who’s causing havoc in your area. He’s with the kid who is misbehaving just looking for attention. He’s with your workmate who is aggressively against you and your faith. He’s with the person who stacks the shelves in your local shop. He’s with the drunk you walk past and think “Isn’t that awful”.
And so I challenge you to ask the questions today: Where is Jesus? What is He doing? Who is He speaking to? How can I get involved?