Yesterday our Pastor told a story that will not leave me. It pulls at my heart and I think it’s a story we all need.
He told of a young woman who came up to meet him after service last week. She came along with a friend. She said to Pastor Josh, “I haven’t been to church in over a decade. I stopped going when I turned eleven when my parents stop making me attend. But I came today because for the first time ever, I met a real Christian.”
Josh went on to explain to us that her friend, Jessica, works in the childcare center at Fitness 19. It was through a friendship that developed there that this young woman discovered what Jessica had was the real deal, an authentic relationship with Jesus.
It might seem to some that childcare at a gym may not be where you would find out about Jesus. But as Pastor Josh said, “People are watching you. There’s no such thing as living in neutral. You are either all the way in. Or you are out.”
What really got me about this story is what Jessica’s young friend said next, “I came to church because finally she asked me.”
She finally asked me.
Oh my friends. Who is watching? Who will notice if our faith is authentic and vibrant? Who is it that we need to ask to come to church? Who needs to be loved with the love of Christ? Who have we not asked out of fear, discomfort, or a chance of embarrassment?
It’s because of the resurrection that we have hope, fantastic, extravagant, supernatural hope.
I look around this world, this nation, our town, my neighborhood and see the lost and broken. I see so many who are so badly beaten up by life that they have given up, walled up, shut up, and shut down. They are hard, caustic, mean-spirited and deep down, utterly living in fear, bitterness, and regret.
We KNOW the cure; we know the healing, the forgiveness, and the joy. We know the hope of the world.
It is Jesus.
I’m just pulled at the core of my spirit that there might be someone in my sphere of influence that I haven’t invited in. Someone I haven’t asked to church. I grieve that they could be living in hope and I haven’t shared how. So on this Monday as I think about Christ’s triumphal entry and the dark days that the await him later in the week and His glorious resurrection, I’m moved to pray:
Show me who they are. Bring their names to my mind. Let me see who is watching me. Help me to live authentically, not perfectly, but to live with love, peace, forgiveness, generosity and kindness. As this week marches closer to the day we celebrate Your Victory, help me to release one more person from the prison of darkness. Help me to show them our hope. Show them Jesus. It is in His name I pray. Amen
Be blessed, Lynn
*Thanks Pastor Josh