Today’s blog is a guest post from Clay and Amy Churchill, the founders of Just One Africa, a mission dedicated to bringing clean water and the love of Jesus to the world just one person at a time.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners. Christ died for us.” -Romans 5:8
An Invitation to the Table
Jesus made it possible for you and me to be invited to the table, to partake in the gift of relationship with Him. This man named Jesus, who could have come and overthrown kingdoms, took a different, quieter way. He took his place in this earth, not on a throne, but at the tables of the everyday common person.
As disciples of Jesus we have a mandate to reach out locally and globally so His house will be full. Our hearts beat in tandem with His for the lost, sick, broken, hungry, thirsty, and oppressed. He has created a place at His table for them, but they needed to know they are invited.
Our hope for the table to which we invite people is that it can be just a whisper of what the table for the Supper of the Lamb will one day look like. Jesus sat at tables of brokenness and joy. He sat at tables filled with questions. Tables filled with doubt. Tables filled with hope. We can allow our tables to be a place where His love can shine bright. Our small YES to obediently reach out can reveal a larger invitation, the invitation to life everlasting.
And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is My disciple, truly I tell you, he will never lose his reward.” –Matthew 10:42
Just One: Our Story
Our work in Kenya through Just One Africa is in response to the work of God in our hearts and it exists to reach people with the tangible love of Jesus, going to the places where people are in pain and without hope so they will know there is a place at the table for them too. This organization was sparked while our family was on a mission trip and we began learning about the growing number of people needing access to safe water. While we felt God leading us, we felt very overwhelmed wondering if anything we could do would make any difference for such a tremendous problem. Our hearts were once again convicted and God brought to our remembrance the parable found in Matt. 18 about the Lost Sheep and His value for the ONE.
If He shared it was worth it to leave the 99 in order to rescue the 1, then who were we to say that one life was insignificant. Each of us carry inherent value because we are made in the image of God – we are His, bought with a price. In our family we believe it truly takes JUST ONE person to change the world, and JUST ONE person is worth making a difference for. We are committed to this model and pouring out our lives for the sake of Jesus, in whatever way He asks of us, JUST ONE person at a time. Jesus cares about the details of our lives, even those who struggle with access to clean water. We invite people to the table for a drink of clean water, but our prayer is that they will receive so much more than physical water at our table.
When the Pharisees ridiculed the people Jesus ate with, He said clear as day, “Who needs a doctor: the healthy or the sick?” -Matthew 9:13
3 Characteristics of a Table Laid With Meekness
This is our story and our table, but it is not the only way to invite people to the table. Let us be intentional people-gatherers: whether it is through a clean water program, a meal in our home, or a conversation on the street. However we set the table, let us choose humility at the table the way Jesus did. A table illuminated with meekness is the most piercing of all.
Here are three characteristics that best and most concisely explanation what we know for the heart behind a table laid with meekness:
- It’s unadorned: A humbled and meek table shows up unadorned because the people at the table are the treasure. Meekness at the table pulls out a seat for the exile, the weary, the poor, and proclaims, “It is my joy to eat with you, not my burden.”
- It seeks out the other: Pouring yourselves out at the table looks like taking the humble position Jesus did with the person sitting right in front of you. It looks like intentionally stepping away from the preoccupation of your own concerns and instead looking to wholeheartedly engage with the need Jesus has brought to your table.
- Those who are invited are truly seen: There are two kinds of people in the world. Those who walk into a room and say, ‘Here I am’ and those who say, ‘There you are’.”
Filling His Table
May we all be people who throw open the doors to our lives and say, “There you are!” May we choose a strong life full of love and servant leadership instead of status. Let that love be the compelling force drawing people to their Creator.
Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.” -John 13:14
Jesus is coming again and His heart’s desire is that His table will be full for the marriage supper. He has commissioned us to go into the highways and byways compelling others to come to the feast. Let us be about our Father’s business.