‘Too long at ease in Zion…’

“Too long at ease in Zion
I’ve been content to dwell
While multitudes are dying
And sinking into Hell.
I can no more be careless
And say there’s nought to do.
The fields are ripe to harvest,
But labourers are few.
Here am I, my Lord, send me.
Here am I, my Lord, send me.
I surrender all to obey thy call.
Here I am, my Lord, send me.”

Just a little ditty we used to sing…in fact,  Brigadier T Clark used it at Trinity on Sunday night.
‘Too long at ease in Zion I’ve been content to dwell”  – harks back to the early followers of Jesus that would never have bust themselves out of Jerusalem unless persecution scattered them.  Zion, of course, an image for the Holy City….a place of familiarity, a place of the former things, a place waiting to be renewed with a New Jerusalem filled with all the things that God’s community in mission have worked for.  This is what happens when the people of God lose their corporate memory of missional-incarnational impulse that sends us out and deep into engagement with the world.
If anything is bound to mess my life up its always likely to be the call of mission.  Its a continual call to step out boldly.  The challenge is massive.  Lord, may it never be that I’m content to be at ease within the safety of ‘the church’.
‘While multitudes are dying and sinking into Hell’  – now, lots of conversation on Hell these days. Its not a popular doctrine.  And sure, it gets some bad press.  But, cutting a long conversation short, I believe ultimate loss is still a dangerous possibility for many.
This just won’t do.  I want all to taste the goodness of God.  This isn’t about preaching Hell, but it IS about living in such a way as to ensure that our life and mission is a continual invitation into the Kingdom.
“I can no more be careless and say there’s naught to do” – I guess this is a big temptation for a community like the one I lead that have a lot of people and do a lot of stuff.  Its easy to fall into the trap of believing our own hype.  But ‘to who much is given, much is expected.’  Not that this is a call to work ourselves to death…its a call to make sure we’re about mission and not just about ‘stuff’.
“The fields are ripe to harvest, the labourers are few.”  Thing is, there are enough labourers.  Its just that some of them are still out in the field to be harvested.  Some of them are at ease in Zion.  We need to hear the call…and as leaders we need to preach the call. 
God is calling you to Kingdom work, without exception.  It includes everyone.  No one is excluded.   Nothing you do is in vain.  Begin where you are today.  Another world is possible!

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