Passover in the Pub


The problem with visionaries is that we have vision. It’s a constant challenge to sift through vision that is Spirit breathed and that which is formed from good intentions.

The later is often guises by “this is surely a God thing” to the rubble of self-defeat. Soaked in mercy and strengthened by grace to get up, and walk on, a little less confident in ourselves or our “vision” and much more confident that it’s not really the vision that matters but our ability to trust that God is breathing vision and that He will also bring life to it.

Another challenge is that we hunger for tangible things: boxes, paradigms, systems, or processes that could bring life and form to that which we envision.

You see, vision can come quickly; it often rolls in like a thunderous cloud ready to unleash a torrential downpour of ideas for what the future could look like. It is here that many of us scramble to scoop up and bottle those ideas only to be poured out before they become stale.

Stale vision is a dreaded ingredient to the life of any visionary, or so we think.

So, when it comes to building missional community we begin to realize that there is something that supersedes and precedes any vision we have bottled up…simply, the mission of Jesus. Here, then, is where many of us visionary types can either stumble or soar.

Unless our vision is birthed and rooted in the cause, calling, cost, and celebration of the missional life then it may likely stay bottled for a good long time. Perhaps it’s better off on the shelf, then.

For as we delve into learning to live out and build authentic missional community we are forced to admit that form is elusive.

In Nelson, we are not driven by (although it is tempting) by “the model” that will work. Rather, we give our lives to intentionally building something that is not easily defined. Like a painter who begins with paint and canvas to create a work of beauty without knowing what it will exactly look like.

It’s not until they began painting would the work of art begin to take a shape. They need to keep painting, propelled forward by the simple love and passion to paint. It’s the painter’s passion that keeps them painting even in times when inspiration becomes stale.

Passover at the Pub

From dancing to the recreation centre, skiing to casual connections with neighbors, house parties, to Wal-Mart, we are everywhere, learning to deeply embed ourselves into their spaces… the pre-Christian. It is in every nook and cranny of the every day that we seek to find Him at work, believing that He is at work and can be encountered and experienced in most any place and at any moment.

We had spent the previous Friday scanning the bar of dancers and imagining what could be. It was the ordinary person: the wealthy, the poor, singles and those who were married (not many), the lonely, the desperate, old, and young; just ordinary people battered by the world, hungry for meaning and desperate for something more.

It was Friday, again, and the 20+ people that we were convinced would accept a dinner invite to our home were there, again. We were in the mix, feeling like we were the only Jesus people. Feeling slightly overwhelmed by the magnitude of the task, we settled into an evening of connecting with our many friends.

I think it began with a conversation with our friend Peter, when in the course of casual conversation we mentioned that as a family we hold a Passover Seder in our home (or this year, in our kid’s school) each year. Knowing he grew up in the Jewish community in Vancouver a great conversation sparked.

He knew we were Jesus people but it didn’t seem to matter. “ Do you hide the Afikomen (the hope of the Savior to come)?” “Yes”, I replied, not expecting him to become so exuberant.

“Do you drink the three cups of wine and say all the blessings?” “We do,” was all I said before he literally leapt into my arms and shouted “Rabbi!”

Now, I’m not Jewish nor am I a Messianic Jew. I do realize, however, that THE Passover lamb was distinctly Jewish; he had to be. I also recognize that He arrived and lived in a culture that was obviously Jewish.

There was something in me that grew in those particular five minutes in the bar that Friday night. It was an excitement that swelled as I began to imagine what could be with Peter and the many others we had been labouring to love. I also remembered that we (a few Vineyard people infiltrating the ranks of the “yet-to-believe’s”) needed to be there because no one else was.

It wasn’t so much about Judaism as it was about the connection that was made and the seemingly insignificant link that now bound Peter to us. There we stood, a Jewish”ish” man and a small group of Messiah followers. As he cried “Rabbi,” my heart wept for him. I felt the presence of the Messiah right there.

Imagine, the very One Peter had been waiting for for over sixty years was right there. It was a humbling moment but one that has propelled me forward to continue reimagining what “mission” and the Passover really mean for us here in our sacred spaces.

For, although we are still “finding our form” here in Nelson, we are convinced that our God is a missionary God and that it is the powerful love of Daddy that propels us forward and helps us realize that anything, ANYTHING is possible!

Daniel Snell
Nelson, B.C.

~ by blueporch on May 10, 2012.

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