The Hole in Our Gospel
By Richard Stearns
Have you ever found yourself ‘running for cover’? I am thinking of a game we played as youths. “Kick the Can”, remember? The whole of the game was to run and hide and when you were found and ‘caught’ you had to sit on the sidelines until all were caught or some one sneaked in and ‘kicked the can’ to set us free. Then the game started over again.
It was a fun game and we hid out of fun and laughter not fear, OK maybe a fear of being “IT” next game but no real fear. No real pain, no real uncertainty, we were not a hiding because we did not want to face a reality that might shatter our safe view of believing that the game would soon be over and we could escape to the safety of our house, our family, security of parents and space, our heaven on earth.
As I read the preceding excerpt from Richard Sterns’ book I could not help but think: When it comes to the depth and reality of embracing an emersion experience such as his do we subconsciously dismiss it as a game and hide or maybe even run to the sidelines waiting for the saving KICK to come; do any of us ‘want’ to be there when the time comes for us to realize the real cost of being there? Do any of us want to be there in the midst of another’s pain, sickness or hopelessness? Do any of us want to give up the safety of home or even the safety of sitting on the sidelines. Do any of us want to be there when we are faced with this sacrificial component of being ’Saved”? Do we even hide from any idea of a personal sacrificial component of Salvation? Does being there and not running require a belief in a Salvation, the foundation of which is deeper than the comfort level to which we so often limit this life Saving gift? I am one who would agree that the whole of Salvation is the greatest gift ever, in all of time. I would however say that Salvation is not for the future alone, it is for now. It is for this day, it is for this journey, it is for this event into which, I, you, all those called and yes Richard Stearns and many before and after him, all of us, are called to see the pain in the world as our brother’s pain, share it as our own pain; and not run and hide from it.
The “Can” has been kicked, we are saved from sitting on the sidelines and watching but unlike our childhood, we are saved for something not just from something. We are saved to be part of a greater purpose. As Richard Stearns experienced, we are saved to sit with those afflicted, to feel their pain, to cry with them, to love them and to, at some time, laugh with them and to rejoice with them. The Kingdom of God; The Kingdom of Heaven; is where the whole of the Gospel of Salvation is lived out. Perhaps it is time to live it.
What Do You Think?
As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please leave me comments, or tweet me up on Twitter!