Two weeks ago in a sermon, I asked everyone where they thought Jesus might tend to hang out in Murphy, NC. We livestream our services and they are broadcast on the radio, so I was a bit nervous that no one would answer back. We are United Methodists, after all. Typically we don’t talk in worship unless it’s during the passing of the peace or the words in the bulletin are in bold. But the list the congregation gave me is long.
People said Jesus might tend to hang out at:
- the jail
- First United Methodist Church
- Chevelle’s and The Daily Grind
- the park and out in nature
- Industrial Opportunities Inc.
- the homeless shelter
And the list went on.
I asked the question because the great commission is for Jesus’ disciples to go. Of course, it’s important that we invite people to come to worship with us on Sunday. But the great commission is for us to go.
I shared this line from A River Runs Through It where Paul, one of the main characters, says, “Nobody’s put in a good days fishing unless he’s left a few flies hanging in the trees. You can’t catch fish if you don’t dare go where they are.” Or another way to think of that: you can’t share the good news of Jesus with people if you don’t dare go where people are.
We often ask the question, “What does God want us to do?” I think a better question is, “Where does God want us to be?” And even better than that, “Who does God want us to be with?”
I have a list of places in Murphy where people are, and where Jesus has gone on before us. Jesus is up to something here, and I want us–First United Methodist Church–to be part of it. So I/we have this list of places.
When do you want to go? If you’re already hanging out in these places, I’d love to come with you.