Ministry happens in unexpected places sometimes. Sometimes it happens when you are waiting in line at the grocery store. Sometimes it happens at a bar. Sometimes it happens at the gas station. These are places that many don’t expect it to happen. But maybe we should.
Why do we expect that God will be absent from these places? As if God is limited into where God will work and be. Too often we place limitations on God – that God will only be in worship in a church building, if we are fortunate. And even then, so often we make God jump through so many hoops that it is an actual miracle for God to show up where we claim God could show up.
Why don’t we expect God show up at a bar, or in a line? Not holy enough? Hmm.
“And as he sat at dinner in the house, many tax-collectors and sinners came and were sitting with him and his disciples.” (Matthew 9:10, NRSV).
See, Jesus did stuff that was unexpected. And often got in trouble with the powers that be. He dined with people he was not supposed to be hanging out with.
“When the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, ‘Why does your teacher eat with tax-collectors and sinners?’” (Matthew 9:11, NRSV)
I think too often we extend this limitation on God into our own lives too. Is God limited to certain areas of your life? Is God welcome to poke around with your finances? Or better yet – control them? How about when it comes to sex? Or children? Your job/vocation/calling? Education? Your health? Your relationships?
Or do we limit God to an hour on Sunday morning when we feel like showing up to church? Is the rest of the week ours to do what we want with it?
What do we expect of God?
What would happen if we lowered the walls we put up to God? What if we threw out the expectations? I wonder what kind of impact that would have on us. I wonder what kind of impact that would make on the world? It would probably change in unexpected ways.