Thursday, May 29, 2014

A Thought

“Jesus opened [the disciples’] minds to understand the scriptures, and He said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in His name to all nations.”  Luke 24:45-47

Jesus made many other proclamations to this effect, teaching His Church that when the time of judgment is upon the world, He will take care of that Himself.  We need not concern ourselves with who will be saved and who will be condemned.  Until that time, however, The Church has a mission and each of us signs up for that mission when we take our vows of membership in the Church.  It is unfortunate that this point is not more purposefully set forth when new members step forward, but we tend to let it slide because we are so grateful that new friends have decided to make their spiritual home with us.  Then, of course, when the time comes for the work of the Church to be done to reach out to the community and make this Divine Mercy known, well …

Ministry to the community should bring us joy and satisfaction in knowing we are actively serving our Lord when we serve His creation and make His mercy known, but new ideas are rare – and the ideas put forth for some kind of “program” usually come with the expectation that “someone” needs to see to it.  I think maybe the reason “someone” never seems to show up is because we have made ministry a little too complicated and grace a little too cheap.  We forget that very simple mission Jesus assigned to His Body the Church to proclaim mercy to those who seek mercy.  Too often, however, nothing ever gets said because we are … embarrassed?  Ashamed?  Don’t want to be known as a “Jesus freak”?  Don’t have time? 

I am constantly amazed at the large number of professed Christians who insist the Lord has expressly excused them from doing anything for or with the Church, usually leaning on such ideas as worshipping the Lord on the beach or on the lake, that the Lord “understands”.  Would we be so understanding if we had put our lives on the line for those we love only to be left alone?

So it comes down to this.  What has the Lord done for us that He should ask for and expect our allegiance?  How has knowing the Lord made a difference in our lives and in how we treat one another, especially the stranger we don’t know or the jerk we don’t like?  What does being a Christian really mean to us?  Or is it irrelevant for daily living until we are on our deathbeds?  Is it really a “one-and-done” deal that we can “get saved” by the Lord and then live for the devil (“You have given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme”, 2 Samuel 12:14)? 

There has to be more to it.  I wonder what it is.


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