This isn’t a question about the time of day, but it is a question about the time in which we live – and it’s the first question that must be wrestled with when it comes to discipleship.
We see it with the disciples as they come face to face with the reality of Jesus’ death: What time is it? Or, when he is resurrected and ascends back to heaven: What time is it?
This isn’t just an arbitrary question; it’s a foundational one. You see, good disciple-makers know the time they live in and the events surrounding them. The disciples, in the time of Jesus, were asking this question as a way to guide them forward. They were essentially asking: What is the environment in which we step into? What is the spiritual situation of those we see around us? What is the political landscape like? Where is society currently situated? Where is society going? And, perhaps most importantly, how does the message of Jesus relate to and impact the world around us? They are asking: What is the time in which we live?
At M28, we are asking the same questions as they relate to discipleship. What is the situation we’ve stepped into? What time is it?
As we look out into the Central Pennsylvania area, we see the time we live in. It’s full of poverty, violence, addiction, income inequality, racism and hopelessness. Some believe things are beyond repair. But there is a way through.
Jesus offered Himself. He entered into life and did life on life’s terms but didn’t end there. He challenged His followers to do the same. So, that’s what we’ve committed to do where and whenever we can. We’ve decided to enter into our communities and do life with those who are in situations of desperation, offering our lives, resources and social capital to those in desperate need of a taste of grace.
We are committed to fulfilling Jesus’ Great Commission (Matthew 28) in our cities and communities. We are involved in the hard work of figuring out the time in which we live, so that we can mold the radical message of Jesus into something transformational for our communities. Because, in the end, discipleship is about doing life with those around us and being the hands and feet of Jesus in tangible ways – no matter where it leads.