Community Bible Church

“And He Sends us Out”

     “And He sent them out to proclaim the Kingdom of God and to heal.” Luke 9:2

     To say that Melody’s and my recent trip to Iceland was epic would be, in many ways, an understatement. We were able to see and experience some of God’s most amazing handiwork. It is truly a land of wonder and beauty.

One thing that was very striking was the number of church buildings present around the Island. It seems as if every enclave or family farm had a small church building on the premises. On one occasion I asked an indigenous person the reason for all those tiny churches, and to my amazement, they could not answer. Really? My quest was now more resolved, so I asked again. The answer was actually quite practical: in the days before automated transportation (i.e. only horses) churches were too far removed for easy access. And because “Christianity” as they knew it was an important part of their lives, they built what amounted to personal family churches to practice worship. Today, they are relics, used almost exclusively for weddings, christenings, and Christmas holidays.

A cursory observation of “religious life” in Iceland reveals that the predominant “church” or “practice” is Lutheranism, which came to the country in the 16th century not long after Luther’s Protestant Reformation. Following a close second would be Catholicism (and there are a few magnificent edifices to be found here). Evangelicalism is a remote 4% of the population, churches that would be more in line with our passion and commitment to the Christ of the Gospels.

The fastest growing group/religious movement is called Asatru, a form of new-paganism finding its roots in the pre-Christian belief system of the Nordic settlers. If you are familiar with some of the recent Marvel movies, names like Thor, Odin, Loki from the kingdom of Asgard will mean something to you. It is a religion, by their own admission, on of “peace and tolerance.” According to one publication, Asatru has grown 675% since the year 2000.

This newsletter article is not aimed at Icelandic religious practices. I merely mention it because it mirrors in lesser degree our own country (and in many way USA has tremendous influence in other parts of the world). What is happening in our own country? In our own state? How about our own city? What is the predominant “movement” in our own time and place? My guess, and research bears this out, is that we, to borrow a phrase from Calvin Miller, “dawdling toward Gomorrah.”

Our task is really no different from that of the first disciples who followed Jesus. On one occasion Jesus gave the 12 a task, a specific job: He divided the troupe into pairs and sent them out to do two things—proclaim the Kingdom of God and to heal. Three things are worth remembering here:

There is divine wisdom in bringing the good news together in community. Henri Nouwen says, “In many ways Jesus makes it clear that ministry is a communal and mutual experience.”

Proclamation is both verbal and experiential. We proclaim by both declaring the truth and living the truth.

We bring healing by grace and mercy extended toward those who are wounded and broken.

We are being sent out by Jesus to bring His kingdom in the place. Are you willing to go?

Blessing on the Journey,

Pastor Dewayne



Blessing on the Journey, Pastor Dewayne