This last weekend I had the privilege of being part of the team that led our church in remembering the death of Jesus. I was asked to share a short sermon, so I based it on the ways that I usually have to get my head right as I approach the cross of the Christ.
If you’re interested, have a listen. It takes about 15 minutes.
When you’re done, check out this song by Bethel Music. We used it in the service, because it reflects so well the spirit of what we were trying to communicate.
Throwing out a minuscule response to the refugee crisis this week, it seems I ruffled a few feathers and I thought a longer response might be the order of the day, so here goes…*deep breath*…
I read a tweet recently regarding refugees from Syria that went something like this: “For all you bleeding heart liberals that want to welcome refugees: I’ve got 10,000 M&Ms, and only 10 are poisoned. How many of you want to grab a handful?”
“I know you didn’t ask,” I responded, “but consider this: Jesus would eat all of them, buddy. That’s how much he loves M&Ms.”
The response I got from this was terrific. A lot of people obviously love candy. Others probably have a sweet tooth, but think it should be satisfied by munching on confectionaries in moderation after careful inspection. Still others guard their health above all else, and would toss the whole lot in the trash at the first signs of a tummy ache.
The quote of the week goes to my friend Jeff. While we were in a lengthy discussion that spanned multiple subjects, he posited that Jesus would eat all the M&Ms and then reach for the Reese’s Pieces after the rapture had taken place.
But I digress.
What I’m stuck on, I guess, is the fact that God’s outrageous love stretches even to the wack-job wearing a balaclava, holding keys to a cage in one hand and a jerry can in the other. I’m not saying I understand it. Lord have mercy, there is a dark part of me that doesn’t even approve of that kind of affection. Give me a couple pieces of wood, a hammer and some spikes, and I’d have that jihadist up on a cross so fast I’d get the Legionnaire of the Year award.
He’d be hanging in the shadow of Jesus.
And then the refugees come, and people are peeing in their pants with the fear that they all look Middle Eastern. Our Prime Minister seems anxious to prove something, and wants to usher them in with an expedience that has us suddenly standing in front of our families while reaching for our sidearms.
So the refugees hang there on their own cross beside Jesus, just down the line from the ISIS madman, lost between the people that want to kill them and angels who would welcome them.
It may very well be that we only have time to rescue one.
We live in a world that needs order. Without proper logistics and due process the refugee crisis will simply take the off-ramp onto the boulevard of a different set of problems. Is there anyone who disagrees with that?
So screen them, form the queues, do the research. I’m all for it.
But while there are already processes in place to cover security issues, some who claim to follow Jesus are willing to slam the door in the face of fathers and mothers who walked away from home and country because they don’t want their children to die under the knife. Safety comes first, these “Christians” say. My friends, if there is crap in heaven it just hit the fan. In my opinion, at that point we have finished having a dialogue about safety and have surrendered to the jihadist’s cage and the terrorist’s howl of “Allahu Akbar.”
I am a Christian living in Canada. I have helped elect politicians that I pray will have the backbone to lead us through this time, vigilant but without fear, willing to put our nation in harms way for the sake of a value greater than safety.
America, my dear neighbour, is your’s still the land of the free and the home of the brave? Join hands with us and prove it.
“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.” 1 John 4:18-21 (ESV)