Apparently New Zealand is geographically as far from Jerusalem as you can get – it is ‘the ends of the earth‘. It is also where I was born and raised. It is my homeland.
This week I’ve been struck by the kind of love that compels someone to leave all that is familiar, safe, and easy and to travel to the ends of the earth for someone they do not know and who may not believe, appreciate or honour them for their sacrifice.
This is the kind of love I want to know and share.
and I’m not there, yet. I want to know that love so fiercely that I am compelled to love others, unknown others even. To live that love so completely that I would give it all so they can have a glimpse of that love. I want a faith that doesn’t feel the need to apologise for itself, one that doesn’t feel embarrassed in case it causes offence.
Because true love is not offensive, true love, humble love, generous love is addictive and speaks to the depths of who we are. True love is the love that lays itself down for another. Love that goes all the way to the end of world.
This week I have been humbled by thinking of the love and commitment those early disciples/missionaries had. That love that lead them to extremes of geography and experience – perhaps they didn’t get it all right, neither do we, but they went with such love it compelled them to courage, mercy and sacrificial generosity.
1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
This is what I have stitched this week the earth, New Zealand and the tracks of light that made it (not without sacrifice and pain) to demonstrate transforming love – all the way to the ends.of.the.earth.
The complete reading:
1:1 In the first book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus did and taught from the beginning until the day when he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. After his suffering he presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.
While staying with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father. “This,” he said, “is what you have heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?”
He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority.
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”