The promise to Israel of a season of harvest replacing a season of wartime is a recurring theme in Isaiah.
"He will settle disputes for many people.They will beat their swords into plow blades." Is 2:4
"Though you search for your enemies, you will not find them. I will make you into a threshing sledge, new and sharp with many teeth."Is 41:12
It should be a recurring theme for churches too. When a community has unsettled disputes, the gosple always suffers. When its peaceful, the gospel is allowed to flourish. But that requires that leaders intentionally 'do the work of an evangelist,' not satisfied merely with a loving church, but wanting 'all men to know that you are my disciples.'
We must learn to leverage community peace for the gospel's sake.
We recently started four Alpha courses in four homes - partnering teachers with people who are great at hospitality. Most of the teachers are pastors doing the work
of an evangelist.We started last night with our neighbors, Cory and Crista, who became Christians less than a year ago. So, a room full of our neighbors, who are cautiously open to investigating the claims of Christ and I'm thinking, 'how do I put these people at ease.'
During my 10 minute talk about Jesus, a throw away quote from Bono, turns into an hour long discussion about U2. I discover a room full of U2 fans. One USC professor says he has attended 15 U2 concerts and his wife admits he plays air guitar to the Edge! I'm trying to imagine a USC prof doing air guitar. Anyway, its a common bridge, that will hopefully become a common bond, and I can hear God sharpening his plow blade.