Monday, December 24, 2007

Jesus ... crashing, kicking, plowing ... and waiting

You ever go anyplace you were not invited? Perhaps you "crashed" a party or invited yourself to a friends house when you knew the timing might not be the best. It's a strange feeling, isn't it? I remember intentionally going to the home of a person in a church I served once, knowing that he did not like me. As a matter-of-fact that is precisely why I went. No, I didn't want to confront anybody. I didn't go to sew seeds of discontent or to argue. On the contrary. I hoped ... I prayed ... that my "dropping by" might open the door for new opportunities. Healing. Reconciliation.

It did not work. True, we talked. We swapped a story or two. Still, no headway was made. No healing took place. By all appearances it was a wasted visit. I will never know for sure. All I know is that I tried. Sometimes trying is all you can do. There is no forcing friendship. No coercing companionship. Life does not work that way. Oh that it were so simple.

So it is Christmas Eve. Oh Holy Night. The night that Christ followers celebrate the coming of baby Jesus into a world over flowing with sin, evil, self righteousness, and a blatant rebellion against God. He was not invited. He received no request for a visit.

And yet He came anyway.

He could have come to tell us "how it is." You know. Twist the arms of several billion people. Force the issue. Insist on instant compliance with His plan.

That just isn't His way.

Still. It does not change the facts. "While we were yet sinners Christ died for us." He crashed the party. He kicked in the gate. He plowed the road. He totally opened the way for me ... for you ... to go from "self server" to "Christ follower." But even though the party is crashed, the gate is kicked, and the road is plowed the door knob remains firmly in one hand. Mine. And your door knob remains in yours. Everything on the other side of the hearts door is cleared. The path is ready. Only the door remains to be opened.

And only I can open mine. And only you can open yours.

As for me and my house ... we will serve the Lord. I deeply and sincerely hope that you will join us in that life giving endeavor.

Oh ... and Merry Christmas.