Sunday, April 8, 2018

"It’s time to lighten your rucksack, friend."

Helping vets is soldier’s mission
Daily News Miner
Keith Kurber II
2 hrs ago
"It’s time to lighten your rucksack, friend. It’s time to get found."  
Keith Kurber II

FAIRBANKS — As a career soldier, everything I did for the military was based on a mission statement. It didn’t matter whether it were a peacetime training exercise or a wartime operation, the mission gave us the “who, what, where, when and why” of our task. In Luke’s gospel, Jesus Christ provided his mission statement and it reads like this: “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost." (Luke 19:10, New American Standard Bible). Because I am a follower of Jesus, his mission becomes mine. Wherever I go, I am to seek out and save the lost.

The seeking part of the mission seems fairly straightforward; it means I am out and about, looking for those who need to be saved. The idea of saving is also an uncomplicated notion, as long as I don’t forget that what saves somebody is pointing them to Jesus. Personally, I can’t save anyone, but I can tell them all about Jesus, who can. I can tell people that he is the answer to their deepest needs, especially their aching fear of the unknown, their chronic lack of peace and their confusion. Who wouldn’t want that?

But sometimes lost people don’t want to be found. As a young man, I regularly resisted the advice of well-meaning Christians trying to “save” me by pointing me to Jesus. And being lost isn’t a great feeling either. No matter what you call it, being lost, confused, unsure, unclear, perplexed, disoriented or bewildered, it’s largely an unpleasant experience. When you understand that the original meaning of “being lost” also encompasses being destroyed, rendered useless or killed, it takes on a very weighty sense. The bottom line is this: Being lost is not a good place to be, especially eternally so.
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Keith Kurber II is the senior pastor of Harvest, a church that he and his wife, Nola, also an ordained minister, founded in September 2010. They look forward to many years serving Fairbanks and the Tanana Valley together through Harvest. Keith retired after serving 30 years of Army active duty, reserve and National Guard service as a colonel of special forces. He is also a Drop Zone graduate, having attended in March of 2018. Insight is sponsored by the Tanana Valley Christian Conference.