Oh, the ‘p’ word. Nobody wants to say it, even breathe it out loud.
Really hard to talk about—in the capital of all places. Hey, want some fun Grover couple trivia? Did you know my husband and I are on two sides of a political coin? Oh, yeah (please feel free to imagine the Kool-Aid man saying this)!
John was one of the few conservatives on campus, and I remember quite vividly participating in several local Dems petition pushes at our college in small town Maine. But, he thought I was cute and he wanted to take a chance, so he decided to join my (non-partisan!) Birthday Club meetings in the dining hall (this was the best club ever, by the way-it was all birthday card making and cake decorating).
“Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them. Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’” Matthew 19:13-14
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20
When listening to Chelsea's sermon on Sunday, I was reminded by an article by the Christian satire site The Babylon Bee called Congregation Prays Graduating Senior Be Protected From Basic Secular Arguments They Never Bothered To Prepare Her For.
Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:13-21 that God intends to use us as ambassadors, His representatives that help to reconcile others to God through Christ. This is an important job! How can we possibly do it right?
Thankfully Paul helps us out—he tells us that we need to allow Christ’s love to control us rather than our own perspective, to see others with the compassion that Christ would see them rather than through our own preferences and interests. Once we can see others through Christ’s eyes, then we can begin to treat them with appreciation the way Christ would and represent God properly.
Once, we were in the water, floundering, without any hope. We were afraid of the shark. Even when there’s no shark and the water seems pleasant, it’s only a matter of time before a storm comes along. Or, if we stay out there too long, we’ll get tired and drown. Either way, the water is the problem, even if we don’t see it at the moment. Whether it’s the sharks, or something else, the water is deadly. Like sin. If we stay there, we’re doomed.
That’s why Jesus came along, and offers to rescue us, to lift us into a boat with Him. Colossians 2:13-14 NLT says, “You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross.”
For those that don’t know me. I’m one of those people who cannot hide their true feelings. My facial expressions would tell you how I really feel in a heartbeat. I can only imagine how my face would look if my boss came up to me and said, “Robert, I know it’s late, but I need you to write up a 24-page report and I need it by tomorrow morning. If you have to work overtime to get it done, just remember, you don’t HAVE to do this, you GET to do this.”
Verbally, I’d be super motivated, and say “You GOT it, boss!”. But my face would be saying something totally different. It would probably be talking about his momma, and how his ties are too short and always stop mid-way down his sternum. But that’s because in that moment, I’m really only thinking about how I “get” to stay at work longer than I have to. Nobody wants that. Sitting behind a desk, crunching numbers till the wee-morning, you might not be able to see the bigger picture of what your boss is telling you, which roughly translates to "if you can get this task done, you can help the company get more business.” And more business, in turn, allows them to hire more people or even give bonus to their employees. But now imagine if you were a doctor or an EMT and your shift is just about over, but someone is rushed into the hospital with life threatening injuries, and your supervisor says to you, “Looks like you’ll be pulling overtime to save this person’s life. Just remember you don’t HAVE to do this… you GET to do this.” It’s easier to feel like your work actually matters when there is a life on the line, doesn’t it?
Have you ever noticed that what you focus on becomes all-consuming? That what's in your mind can become something to obsess over?
If you don't believe me just remember what it feels like to be ‘hangry’. If you get very hungry and irritable, you know that you’re driven to find food and that drive won’t be satisfied until you have some food in your stomach.
Here's another example. Think of when you were a child or a teenager and wanted something really badly. Did that become an obsession for you? I can recall how I irritated my parents into getting me a toy robot that turned out to be very underwhelming. Or how I finally got permission to play first-person shooters and to watch movies like Terminator and The Matrix. Or when I started dating in defiance of whether my parents wanted me to or not.