Sunday, March 18, 2012

Hope and Anguish.

I once saw an add for a pastoral position posted inside a church, that the church I was attending was using while our regular meeting place was otherwise occupied. The note on the wall stated the qualifications that they were looking for was someone with sales experience.

I've always found the notion of selling faith as undesirable. To me, it has always seem manipulative or something. It's like caring more about moving product then it is about the customer. I  have a friend that once made mention about getting into ministry, and the pastor at the time told him that he couldn't until he lost a lot of weight.

I was unaware of the scriptures that state that there was a certain weight prerequisite for ministry.
Modeling, yes. Sales, sure.. some times.  Bringing the good news of a risen Savor to those who are perishing, No.

Who is this Jesus that these people are selling?

I never saw him in a board room or being carried carried off on the shoulders of the team after throwing the winning pass or shooting a 3 pointer at the buzzer.  He didn't dress in Armani suits or drive a range rover.  The Guy I know wasn't after your money, he is after your heart.

He rebuked people for being as white washed tombs, because they had it all together on the outside but inside... they were lacking. Things like compassion. Service. Sacrifice. The elements of love that produce fruit by the spirit.

My Messiah, My Savior, The man that the bible calls Jesus...  scripture says he is the man of sorrows.

He was despised and rejected and forsaken by men, a Man of sorrows and pains, and acquainted with grief and sickness; and like One from Whom men hide their faces He was despised, and we did not appreciate His worth or have any esteem for Him.
our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted.

How bittersweet. I find it both terrible, sad, and refreshing. I am so grateful that he knows what it feels like to be alone. He knows what it is like to be rejected. To be abandoned by the ones closest to him when he needed them the most. My heart breaks for that, but it also rejoices.

There is hope in the anguish.  We have hope on behalf of his anguish. 

As a representative of faith, proclaiming the risen Messiah, this Savior who suffered and was called an outcast...The guy who didn't fit the image... The man who looked very unremarkable..
AS ambassadors on his behalf..

Why is it that we aren't going to the hurting and the lost and showing that there is one that understands their brokenness because he felt it. There is one that understands.
No, instead, we slick back our hair and demand that man take upon our image. We say walk this way, talk this way, act this way act this  way and then... Then people will see how Godly you are.

I look at this paradigm and I honestly sometimes wonder ... how many of them are closer to God that we in the church.


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