Have you heard the story of a rabbi living in Russia in the last century?
This Jewish teacher wandered in the coldness of a late winter evening, discouraged by his lack of direction and purpose in his life. His head hung low, hands pushed deep into his pockets fingering sunflower seeds. He walked through empty streets, faithless, questioning both the Scriptures and his call to ministry.
That night the rabbi’s feet were as aimless as his heart. By mistake he wandered into a Russian military compound.
A guard’s voice broke the self-absorbed silence of the rabbi’s despair.
“Who are you? And what are you doing here?”
“I said, ‘Who are you and what are you doing here?’”
The startled rabbi gathered his composure, took his hands out of his pockets, and then in the gentlest tone he could muster, the rabbi asked the guard, “How much pay do you get every day?”
“What does that have to do with you?”
“Well,” the rabbi said, “I’ll pay you the same wage you get if you will just ask me those same two questions every day: ‘Who are you?’ and ‘What are you doing here?’”
This is an old story set in another place.
But here, in Virginia, God is making it a new story for us. He is doing even better than that Russian guard ever could.
God is prompting Celebration Church to get clear not only on who we are, and what we are doing here, He’s letting us know who He is and what He is doing here.
Getting clear on who God is changes everything for us, including the way we see ourselves, and just like with that rabbi, answering to God’s voice takes our hands out of our pockets.