I once read, “What would the world think of us if we stopped demanding our way and starting laying down our lives and living sacrificially?”
What if we stopped complaining about gay rights or homosexuality hurting the sanctity of marriage and we actually began to stand up for the oppressed homosexual community with a sacrificial selfless love?
What if we stopped complaining about a people group coming into “our land” and we actually sat with them in fellowship and communion as often as possible?
What if instead of pursuing a comfortable retirement we helped others live with less discomfort now?
What if we stopped proclaiming that “we are right!” and we spoke out of loving humility and even admitted that we could be wrong?
What if we put an end to the emphasis we have on our status and took off our outer clothing and wrapped a towel around our waste assuming the very position of a servant?
What if we quit pouring millions into building larger, more advanced churches and instead funneled millions into the community to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and house the homeless?
What if we lived in a way that actually showed people that we follow the teachings of a homeless radical rabbi rather than living as we do now by the Gospel of the American Dream?
What would the world look like if our lives were lived sacrificially? What would your city or town look like if your entire church body (whether it be a church of 50 or a church of 5,000) stopped working for a comfortable life and instead worked to serve the outcast, the broken, the impoverished?
I don’t think the American Dream is what Jesus had in mind for us.
I especially don’t think that Jesus would advocate the church keeping more money for itself than it gives to those in need. I find it hard to justify paying pastors a six figure salary when it is projected that 750,000 people in somalia will die from the famine within the next few months. I think food for the hungry is more important than my nice house, my new car, my kids college fund, or my next vacation. It’s hard for me to justify spending $50 on a new jacket for this winter when I look into the eyes of the hungry.
I find it hard-pressed to try and explain to the dying why I spent X amount on “this” or “that” thing which I really didn’t need… and yet I do it anyway. Why? Because I don’t have to look a young boy withering away from starvation in the eye and say, “I can’t use my money for food, because I need it for my retirement. Sorry. ”
“When do I retire?”
“Well if all goes well, fingers crossed, I should retire in 2041.”
Makes complete sense to me.
Today, may you consider what Jesus did.
May you look at the stories of the Gospels and find the meaning of Love.
May you search your own heart and ask yourself the tough questions.
What if we actually were Lions who are Lambs?
Grace and Peace