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What Is...The Pelican Life?

What Is...The Pelican Life?

But...this is our opportunity to take the blinders off. This is a chance to shift our perspective and truly discover our cities with fresh eyes.

Mike Rhoades | Oct 25, 2017

The Pelican Life is based on a powerful metaphor portraying the sacrificial life of Jesus. In Central America, a mother Pelican is known to peck at her own flesh during times of famine to feed her babies. Effectively, she is willing to endure pain and ultimately sacrifice herself to ensure her young have the opportunity for life. It’s a gruesome image, but the parallel to our Christian faith is undeniable. Jesus, also known as Father God, came to earth during a time when most of the world was spiritually bankrupt. The Jews (God’s chosen people) hadn’t heard from God in over 400 years. During that time, they had been conquered and reconquered multiple times. With each new ruling nation came new cultural influences and new governmental pressures. Jesus arrived on earth to a Jewish nation ruled by the Romans. By this time the religious leaders were more political than spiritual. Faith in God was replaced by rules, religion, and classism. It was in this time of spiritual famine that Jesus came to pay the ultimate sacrifice for our souls. Like the metaphor of the mother Pelican, Jesus put His body through immense pain and sacrifice to give us our best chance at life. The Veil Was Torn In the Jewish temples, a giant veil or curtain separated the outer portions of the temple from inner Holy of Holies. It was a place reserved for a very select group of priests to spend time in the presence of God. Through Jesus’ sacrificial work at the cross, the veil was figuratively and literally torn, causing God’s presence to spill out onto His people. In an instant, we were given free access and direct access to God. We are living in a remarkable time. This is a time when we have the opportunity to freely engage with God. It’s a time of abundance, during which our souls can receive an overflowing portion of God's presence. The Pelican Life is about recognizing the sacrifice Jesus made and returning the favor. We do this by sacrificially loving our communities, and freely sharing the presence of God with those who have yet to experience Him. The Pelican Life is about following God's lead and allowing Him to dispense His power through us. Living The Pelican Life begins when you take stock of your own community. What is happening? Who is a part of your community? Where is there a need? Where do you feel a pull towards people or problems? This journey begins when you choose to share the abundance of God’s love and provision in your life with those around you. In My City… Have you ever taken the time to “get to know” your city? Fill in the blank, “In my city…” Do you know what is happening in your city, what the real needs are? Do you know where to form strategic partnerships that will impact your community? It’s easy to overlook the obvious. We get so busy doing life that we somehow miss what is happening right in front of us. Psychologist call this, perceptual blindness. It seems our brains develop a “blind spot” to otherwise obvious things when we are presented with too many stimuli. We all suffer from this. Life is busy with a seemingly endless stream of people clamoring for our attention. It’s no wonder we overlook the things going on in our own cities. But...this is our opportunity to take the blinders off. This is a chance to shift our perspective and truly discover our cities with fresh eyes. Stop And See_ In Luke, Jesus gives us a good example of what the Pelican Life looks like. While talking with an “expert in the law” Jesus tells this story.
….so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” In reply, Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” - Luke 10:29-37
Living The Pelican Life_ Each man had the opportunity to serve, but only one took the time to see the need. What are you overlooking in your city because you’re moving too quickly? Do you have too many “important” things to do that keep you from serving others? Begin to relearn your city. Start living The Pelican Life by looking for ways to sacrificially serve other people. Become a difference maker.  


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