These times upon us are the best and the worst, colliding simultaneously. We all will get through it very differently, depending on our personal perspective. In a visual, it seems as if humanity is drowning. Many are drowning in a raging sea of fear, anxiety, sadness, loss, death, and the sheer terror of the weight of the unknown enemy warring against us.
If you throw a drowning man a life preserver and he doesn’t immediately take it, it could be because of multiple panicked reasons. It seems that in not thinking straight he can’t admit he’s drowning. He may think he can save himself. He is in too much fear of drowning to see that his rescue is inches away from him. It can’t be that he’d rather drown than be saved by the person throwing the preserver! Right? Why would a drowning man not want to be saved?
Our Purpose As The Church
As followers of Jesus, we believe and know Him to be the source of strength, hope, joy, forgiveness, provision, faith, salvation, redemption, purpose, mercy, protection, and peace IN the storm. Why is it that often when we try to offer those things, much like throwing out a life preserver to a drowning man, it is rejected? Of course, “none is so blind as he who cannot see.” And humans also are “right in their own eyes.” Certainly, there are those obstacles to get past.
I offer that perhaps we as the church have failed. We have shined bright like a diamond, yet not really a diamond at all. We have often become some sort of glorified subculture instead of representing Jesus as His hands and feet. Let us remember His hands and feet were scarred as reminders to us that love is costly. We cannot offer it as a cheapened option.
The church was NEVER meant to just be a building. It was meant to be a living, breathing organism – HUMAN. The church was meant to be the one rescuing the perishing, the lost and broken, the widow and the orphan, the unlovely and the stranger. “Learn to do what is right! Promote justice! Give the oppressed reason to celebrate! Take up the cause of the orphan! Defend the rights of the widow!” (Psalm 68:5)
In short, our purpose is to get down and dirty in the filth of this life to save others. Period. As a youth evangelist Bob Lenz so passionately said, “We need to love people all the way to the gates of hell!”
It’s Time For Change
In the second grade, the teacher often sent me to stand in the corner. I stood in the corner so much I started signing in! The whole point of being cornered is so you STOP your current behavior and CHANGE! It took me a while to get that concept. Rather than change, I actually mocked the corner by signing my name on the wall, proudly. What? Really? Second-grade rebellion. Point being, I offer in all humility that we have ALL been sent to the corner. The whole world is on time out!
It is time for us to save souls. We are not on vacation; we are being given a chance – we are being given an opportunity to shine bright in the darkness. The flicker from the flame of a candle can light the darkness up to two miles away!
How do we reach people from home? The ways are endless in the 21st century. Write a blog. Share a podcast. Sing a song and upload it. Electronic evangelism. Send a letter or card. (Remember stamps?) Share loving gifts of surprise to a lonely neighbor. Send a gift through Amazon. Order groceries for someone. Check on those who are alone. Don’t argue on social media – instead, encourage. When you can, go serve the down-and-out. And pray. Pray from the deepest gut level within. You know Jesus prayed so hard He sweated drops of blood. “And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling to the ground.” (Luke 22:44) Ugly-cry people to Jesus while there is time. “You are the only Jesus some may ever see.”
We Have The Light
“So Jesus said to them, “The light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going. While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.” (John 12:35, 36)
I think at this no-end-in-sight time we will find out if we are the ones drowning, or the ones equipped to throw life preservers, or the rescuers down and dirty in the filth of this life-saving others, or if we are the ones stuck in the corner repeatedly signing in.
May we all be good representatives of Jesus in the year 2020. May we all see clearly the task at hand. “Ye are the light of the world; a city set on a hill cannot be hidden.” (Matthew 5:14)
Read more by this author: Dirt Friends Are The Best