“Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” I’ve mentioned before that this question echoes into the 21st century and RAM has chosen to boldly answer, “Yes. God is in Nazareth!”
In Jesus’ day, his home town of Nazareth had an estimated population of 500 souls. Just a spot in the road on the “road less traveled.” Who would have thought that God Himself could be found there? Today, Nazareth still exists in the hardly known, but countless rural communities of America. Combined, these communities that are scattered across the landscape of the US total nearly 50,000,000 souls! And as it was in Jesus’ day, God is still found in Nazareth. Here’s why:
Jesus said if we ministered to “the least of these,” we were ministering to Him. The “least of these” are often those who go unnoticed, over-looked or are forgotten. Much of rural America is over-looked by its urban counter-parts. Rural Americans have become in many ways “the least of these.” Over-looked, unnoticed, but hardly unimportant. Quite the opposite, every time RAM ministers to someone in rural America, it ministers to Christ. God can still be found in Nazareth!
The Scriptures also tell us that Christians are Christ’s ambassadors. As the Holy Spirit lives in the disciple of Jesus He represents Jesus through the life and service of that disciple. Once again, as RAM ministers in the rural communities of this country, God is found in Nazareth; this time by the people who live there!
In a little more than a month, students from Oklahoma Christian University will be ministering in two rural communities during their Spring Break. Traveling to Mangum, OK (pop. 3000 & the County Seat for Greer County) as well as Carnegie, OK (pop. 1700), these students will find God in Nazareth as they are being Jesus to rural Americans. In Mangum, they will be reaching out to young and old alike as they serve alongside the members and ministers of the Mangum Church of Christ, participating in service projects and youth activities. In Carnegie, they will be assembling playground equipment for the children of Carnegie and sharing the love of Jesus with every new friend they make. These students, as they sacrifice their Spring Break in service to rural America, will find that God is still in Nazareth; in them and around them. Pray for them and pray for Mangum and Carnegie. God is about to do something really good!