So many people seem to think the Christian faith is about arguing, constant, never-ending arguing. Now, don’t get me wrong. I like to argue and debate and talk theology most of the day. But then, there comes a time to stop arguing and simply . . . BE. To be still and know He is God. That’s the life I really want. I read recently that the toughest part about being the Church is this: We have an experience of God that changes our life. And then, we try to replicate that for other people. (Is that part of what is behind all our arguing?) The problem is: you can’t replicate it. We can only try to help others get in a position where they can be open to the Holy Spirit. That’s it. You could say that our job is to put out chairs and tables. (Or is it to throw out the chairs and tables???!!!)
I want Christ for everyone. I want everyone to know the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control that I have found in Christ. But alas, no matter how good the music is, no matter how many stellar programs we have in the church, no matter how exotic our mission trips are, no matter how many youth lock ins we have, no matter how many visits I make, no matter how hard I preach, no matter how many children and youth workers we have, no matter how many lay witness missions we schedule, you simply cannot replicate that experience. We can only invite others in, set the table, put out some simple elements, bread and juice, speak the holy words, invoke the Holy Spirit and . . . . WAIT.
Those who will come, will come. Just yesterday, I read once again the words of Jesus: “a sower went out to sow. And some seed fell on the path, some on the rocks, some among thorns, and some on good soil.” That is my life’s work. For some reason, I feel called to keep running after those on the path of this world, along the rocks of temptation, and among the thorns of distraction. For some reason, I keep worrying about that lost sheep more than the 99. Is there something biblical about that? Or is it just spiritual ADD? I’m not sure.
But I know this: the first person that I need to worry about an experience with Jesus is me. That may sound selfish to some, but really, I can’t help anyone else until I “attend the ordinances of God.”
So, Lord, help me! Come and meet me again this morning and use me in your service this day. For you are the Lord who reigns, One God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.