What’s your Samaria?

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. | Acts 1:8

The question of what is my Samaria, has been on the back of my mind since the conference last week. In Acts 1, we see that Jesus has told the apostles to be His witnesses in four different places: Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the end of the earth. What are the differences between these and is there even any distinction between them? I would say, yes, there are many differences. But rather than giving a deep exegetical explanation on this passage, I am going to jump right to application; applying what these places would have been to the apostles, to what they could be to us. Hopefully this will make sense.

Jerusalem = Our home. The place where we are most comfortable. It is not difficult to be yourself in this place because everyone else is like you. Culturally, ethnically, experientially, etc.

Judea = A little bit outside of our comfort zone. It looks similar to us, but deep inside, we are much different. When we are in our Judea, we tend to hang out with people who are similar to us, rather than hanging out with those who we know are different from us. We need to reach out of our comfort zone and expand our worldview in this context.

Samaria = This place looks nothing like where we originally came from. It is not home. We do not know it, trust it, nor do we want to be there. It is the place you desperately try to avoid. It is the people you would not want to be caught dead with.

The end of the earth = You get my point. Continuing on the theme of Samaria. Not easy. But there is lots of work to be done there. And we are being called there if we like it or not.

We need to stop and ask ourselves what is my Samaria? Who are those people, groups, places that we are scared of because of differences? Then we need to ask why? Why do we hold these grievances, prejudices, judgments, and fears against some others?

We need to do something different. We need to take a risk and follow Christ into the unknown. To the places where we are not comfortable. To the places where the people are different then ourselves. To the places where we feel vulnerable and where we feel outcast. To the places where God can show us He is a good God. As we go out into our Jerusalem’s, Judea’s, Samaria’s, and go out to the end of the earth [wherever that may be for you], go, serve, transform, and see God at work in our lives and in the lives of the others. Become a credible witness no matter where and everywhere the Lord may lead; to whoever the Lord may lead you to. Together we need to be a good and credible witness to the end of the earth: as the body of Christ led by the power of the Holy Spirit. No matter what differences we may have, we must serve and love God’s world together. As we unite together, even together with our differences sticking out like a sore thumb [if a sore thumb really sticks out that much], we would be transformed to become more like the people we were meant to be.

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NSC 2010

National Staff Conference (NSC) 2010. I am here. What a ride it has been and it is only Tuesday night – still have 2.5 days to go. What is NSC you ask? Well it is a week long conference for all Canadian Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship staff that takes place every 3 years.

It is good to be here with all the other staff from across the country. Learning, challenging, worshiping, praying all together. We are studying Acts 2, 6, & 10 over the week. It’s both terrifying and exciting to study passages like these because there is a clear and powerful call to move forward. To take risk. To be uncomfortable. All for the glory of the kingdom of God.

As we learn and listen together, as we pray and ask the LORD to reveal to us His next invitation, we need to wait upon Him. But waiting on the LORD is not passive, but incredibly active. Waiting on the LORD requires movement. We have a wonderful speaker who is teaching us this week: Brenda Salter McNeil. I loved her descriptor tonight when she was talking about waiting as active. When you are waiting for guests to arrive at your home for a thanksgiving dinner, you are not just sitting on your ass waiting for your friends and family to knock on the door. No, you are busy preparing a delicious meal, setting the table, cleaning the house. It is an active waiting. So as we wait on the LORD, let’s do so with active eager expectation.

Just some food for thought…

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Walking and Eating

Since we’ve moved to Fergus, we haven’t had a lot of time to explore the area. Other than running around the neighborhoods and biking around the trails, we haven’t done much more exploring. But today I was a tourist in the town next door. My family and I (and about 9 others) went to Elora, ON (just 5 min down the road) to go on the Elora Culinary Walking Tour. It was delightful. We got to go to 7 different restaurants and pubs (all within walking distance – hence the ‘walking tour’) to taste the goodness that Elora has to offer. For 2 hours we taste tested avocado oils, ails, crepes, chili, salads, and much more. And for only $10! I even discovered that there are 2 vegetarian restaurants in Elora! This makes me very happy. If you’re ever in the area on a Saturday afternoon, you should totally check out the tour.

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New beginnings

Ah, a new blog. What does this mean? Well creating a new blog means that (1) I got bored and decided to create a fresh new look and (2) I have a feeling there is going to be a fair amount of ideas and wonderings that I would like to write about in the coming months/years.

As I briefly mentioned in my ‘who am I?’ page, I have recently come through (and am currently in) a time of transition. It has been a long number of months worth of transition, but it has been good. Through it all, I keep on saying, the Lord is good. Without boring anyone with a lengthy detailed story of my life in these past few months, I will say that through all the changes and transition, the Lord has been leading us (Chris and I) to a good place. A place where life isn’t necessarily comfortable in the eyes of the world, but it is good. It is good because it is a place where the Lord is. Why would I want to be anywhere else?

Anyways, this is a little intro to this new blog of mine. As I begin a new ministry, have new experiences, travel to new places, and meet new people, I hope to share my learnings, my challenges, my joys and more. Otherwise, I will just end up having two blogs that I don’t use, instead of just one.

Until next time,

– nyssa ariel

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