What a mockery we make of the gospel.
There’s a man curled up for the night, his only earthly possessions tucked into a threadbare bag which props his head off the hard ground serving as his bed. He’s right there in front of us and yet we can’t see him because we’re too busy worrying over that woman who visited our church last week in stilettos and a mini skirt. And we aren’t worried about her soul, mind you. No, we’re incensed by her scandalous attire, completely forgetting that Jesus came to save even the prostitute who doused his weary feet in sweet perfumes.
There’s a couple whose marriage is crumbling from the strain of a struggling economy and the loss of their unborn child. They’re hurting and broken and in need of encouragement, but we’re too busy standing on our soapbox fighting for or against a few statues representing a historical period in our nation some want to remember and others forget. We’re impassioned and inflamed and determined our view is the right one and in the process of defending it, we forget all about the hurting, bereaved couple Jesus is trying to comfort.
There’s a child right in our home who’s a little lost, wandering down side roads never meant to be traveled. And yet we don’t go after her to bring her back because we really have to pull those extra hours at the office to afford those unnecessary necessities. There’s never quite enough money to make ends meet as tidily as we’d like and it gets stretched a little too thin trying to squeeze all those extras in where we want them. The children will come out alright...EVERYONE is busy these days, after all. And so we leave her wandering until one day we realize she’s so far gone she no longer recognizes OUR voice, let alone that of the Spirit.
There’s a community around us bereft of the gospel and yet we’re too busy talking about their depravity to share what we know. Because, gasp, there are people living in sin out there! Men are dressed up like women, girls are claiming they were meant to be boys, two of the same gender are entering into marriage, and everyone and their uncle is getting stamped and pierced and then some even have the nerve to come in to the church. It’s almost as if confusion is reigning just as the Bible warned us it would. But we’re too busy giving those people the cold shoulder, or a hardy what-for, or a tongue lashing on social media to invite them in and break bread with them. To see the sin-heritage we share with them. To share the Jesus who died to save them.
Is it possible, my friends, that we aren’t sharing Him because we don’t actually have Him to share? Or is that possibility just a smack in our self-righteous faces?
Because the gospel I read is of a Savior who sought out the lost. Who mingled among the wretched. Who dared touch the untouchables. Who loved the unlovables. Who fed the hungry and healed the suffering. Who sat with the sinner so He could then rise up with the saint.
I don’t see Jesus on His high-horse pointing to His “cause”. I see Jesus on His knees pointing to His Father.
The living gospel is a call to service. It’s a stimulus to action. It’s hope for the hopeless and a light in the darkness. If we’d give them Jesus rather than our opinions and views and false doctrines built largely on pride and tradition, we’d see the world change radically before us.
Because we aren’t here to fix what’s broken so much as we’re here to lead the broken to the One who has the power to fix.
If we’d close our mouths until we’d hit our knees and opened our Bibles, seeking Him who is able to change US, He’d give us the words to say and the patience for the right time to say them. But more than that, even, He’d show us what to DO and how to do it.
We don’t need to strive in our cause, we simply need to abide in His truth.