The Junction of Extremes


We tend to define many aspects of our existence in the context of continuum. We view our climate, for instance, as a range from polar chill to tropical swelter, most often finding ourselves somewhere in between. The same holds true for our view of health, wealth—even spirituality. We identify the extremes and gauge where we happen (or strive) to fall within the moderate continuum that lies between.

Jesus didn’t position Himself in the continuum of the moderate. His admonishment to the Church in Laodicea leaves little room for speculation about His views on middle-ground faith: “ ‘So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth’ ” (Revelation 3:16).

On the contrary, Jesus spent most of His earthly ministry at the junction of extremes: granting instant sight to a man blind from birth, restoring full mobility to a paralytic, liberating a condemned prostitute from a vengeful mob and, most vividly, freeing a demon-possessed man to worship the one true God.

In this issue you’ll meet a short-term team member who entered one of the darkest prisons in Latin America and preached the true light of the gospel. You’ll see how poor and destitute Cambodians received physical, emotional and spiritual healing through the ministry of a short-term Alliance medical team. You’ll read about students at LIFE 2013 who ran a marathon and raised a heap of money to fund an inner city, after-school program. You’ll encounter a Mongolian teen who was freed from the grip of a tragic childhood to share the liberating love of Christ with fellow college students. And you’ll hear from an Alliance leader who is unabashedly passionate about raising up the next generation of bold, fearless agents for Kingdom change—whether as short-term specialists, leaders in the marketplace or full-time Christian workers.

Christ’s Great Commission call often draws us to the base of the barbed-wire fence that separates light and darkness. Then He invites us to climb. We may hesitate. So did He. We may get bloodied. So did He. But as we step up in courageous obedience, His assurance is clear: “ ‘And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age’ ” (Matthew 28:20).

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