Ebenezer’s and the Challenge to Love Unexpectedly

When I was in Washington a few weeks ago a friend took me to a coffee house on Capitol Hill, just a block or so from Union Station.  It’s one of the best coffee houses in D.C. and it is owned by National Community Church.  Their pastor, Mark Batterson, has a vision for a network of churches without buildings, traditional church buildings that is.   They worship in rented movie theaters near metro stops.   Instead of inviting people to stuffy church offices they do ministry in really cool coffee houses.

When we stopped at Ebenezer’s for a cup of coffee the only clue that we weren’t in any other urban coffee house was a small rack of books written by Batterson.  I bought two books and the one that I started reading first is Wild Goose Chase: Reclaiming the Adventure of Pursuing God It’s the prefect book for where I am at this stage in my life; side-tracked in my career, but on a path that God has ordained for my good and the hopefully for the good of his kingdom.

Mark writes that one of National Community Church’s core values is to “love people when they least expect it and least deserve it.”  Later he elaborated,

If you want to impact someone’s life, love them when they least expect it and least deserve it.  When people blow it you have an impact to impact their lives forever…. God’s love is proactive.  He doesn’t wait for us to get our act together.  God always makes the first move.  And we are called to follow suit.”

Today I don’t have a career, at least not a permanent one.  But I do have a calling.  My calling is to be a reconciler, a peacemaker, and an agent of grace.  I’m praying that God will lead me to someone today who has blown it, someone who has messed up his or her life in a major way and is feeling unlovable and undeserving.  And when I find this person, I’m going to “love unexpectedly” because I want them to know and experience Jesus, the one who loved me this way and then invited me to join him on a kingdom journey.

If you are in D.C., get a cup of coffee at Ebenezers, corner of 2nd St NE and F St NE.   While there, pray that God will open our eyes to the people around us who are hungry for his love.


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