“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.” Luke 4:18-19
Jesus announced that the time of the Lord’s favor, the day of Jubilee had come. This was a day where all outstanding debts would be paid (forgiveness) and the slaves would be freed (redemption). Jesus came for four types of people. First, he came for the spiritually impoverished, those whose morals and belief systems were all messed up. Second, Jesus came to proclaim that the captives will be released, those who are in bondage because of their addictions and emotions. Third, Jesus came for the spiritually blind, those who have bought into the lies of Satan. Fourth, Jesus came for the oppressed, those who have been demoralized and exploited by society. Jesus came to bring Good News to all, especially those who have been broken and hurt by life and often feel as though they are outcasts. The HOPE ministry at Southside has reached out to those who are hungering for a change, struggling with addiction, the marginalized, and those who have been oppressed and imprisoned. We offer God’s love and grace, a place of community where they can start over, a true day of Jubilee.
Alan mentioned several weeks ago that Kathy and I are retiring at the end of this year and Southside is now seeking a Life Recovery Minister. He also asked for prayers for discernment that God sends the right person to fill that position. Since that time, many have asked about our retirement plans. Let me first say, retirement is not a Biblical concept. Nowhere does it say, that when we get to a certain age, we can retire from our service to the Lord, although I do believe that there are times of transition from one form of service to another. Kathy and I have gotten to the time in our lives, considering age and health factors, where we feel we need to make a transition. As local Missions Ministers, we have oftentimes been at the front lines caring for those who have had physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. It has been a great privilege to serve this church and community for the past twenty years, but we feel called to serve in a different capacity. We are wanting to serve as Missionaries in Residence and would like to consider Southside as our home base.
What is a Missionary in Residence? We are still in the process of God revealing that to us. It means that we are willing to go where we are sent. It could be helping congregations start recovery programs, counseling missionaries, working with the deaf overseas, short-term mission work, writing recovery literature, or maybe things we have not yet thought of, but God will reveal. Please keep Southside, as well as us, in your prayers.