Sunday, September 11, 2005

Sickness and Health

A few weeks ago I went to a horror convention. My interest in this genre rarely goes beyond 1930’s – 1960’s B-movies. The type which have no real script, a pointless story, flat acting, and special effects are so bad you wonder how they thought a hubcap on a string could ever pass for a flying saucer. These people are hard core to the point where many were dressed up in costume. A friend of mine who is a comedian and knows I’m a Christian (I’m a bit of a novelty he likes to introduce as a future reverend, go figure), while hanging out an attractive woman dressed like the devil (which included red body paint) walked by. My friend says to me, ”She is your enemy. She’ll try and tempt to you.” I was struck by his statement because we have developed an Us Vs. Them. We shouldn’t be seeing them as enemies, but instead we need to seem them as Christ did which is as sick needing a doctor. Christ very often hung out with people society considered undesirable. He met them at the well of their lives. Though He confronted her with brutal honesty about her sins he loved her in spite of them. He accepted the person, not the behavior. Which is how he found us, broken and sinful, offering redemption freely. That whacky thing called grace. And yet we act so smug and privileged? Mike Yaconelli often told a story about a young woman who ministered to gang members. Somehow she managed to get them attend a Bible study at her church. I’m sure that would be a story in itself. One night the pastor happened to be there and the gang members thought he was pretty cool. They asked if they could attend one of his services. At first she wasn’t too sure, but figured it would be a good thing. That Sunday she took them up to the balcony. As the preacher came down the aisle the gang members started to cheer and yell, “We think you’re cool!” The parishioners were appalled at the gang members lack of etiquette and asked them to never come back. Mike said they had failed for instead of asking them to leave they should have been invited down with the rest of the congregation. Amen to that Mike. We often forget we were once up in the balcony. It is always easier to love the people we know will love us back.

posted by Out Of Jersey | 10:49 AM


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