Friday, December 10, 2010

The First Time

I remember the first time I caught a bass, me and my sister had caught countless sun fish from my great aunts dock. When I saw that bobber go under like I had never seen before my heart jumped I set the hook and reeled in a bass. The wonder I felt was amazing. It was so much bigger than the sunfish I had been catching. I don’t know how big it was but in my eyes it was as big as a 15 pound bass.
I had that same feeling the day I gave my life over to the Lord. I felt awe and amazement I had only felt when I was a child. There was a God who loved me, a God who loved me so much he inflicted pain on himself for me. I could not imagine someone loving me that much. I felt like that boy holding the bass; it was a prize I had pulled from the water. But this prize was so much greater. It wasn’t a green monster swimming beneath the surface instead it was the gift of life that had been there all along for me to find.

Everyone needs this gift. Yet we are not doing much to help people find it. I am just as guilty as most. We meet people everyday but don’t engage them don’t try and understand them. Instead we pass them by. I read a book that has changed me, “The Celtic Way of Evangelism” deals with how one man started a mission to reach the “barbaric” people in England. The point I have taken most from this book is St. Patrick met people where they were and embraced them. He loved them first, became their friend and allowed them to see Christ. We do the exact opposite we tell people about God first and then invite them into Church.

I think Church should be a place open to those outside where they can come and experience God, where they can see those inside, form a relationship and be loved. People want community not to be bashed over the head and told they are sinners. Matthew 22:39 says “And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.” How is telling someone they are a sinner who is going to hell a loving them? We need to be more like Paul in the book of Acts. The account on Mars Hill shows Paul using an opening in the Greek culture to share about God. He did not tell them they are sinners only about the Love of Christ. We too need to do the same.
We need to allow people to see God and the amazing gift he has for us.  People need to feel the way I did when I caught that first bass and the day I was saved.  We as Christians need to love those around us and expect people even there faults because we all have them.  Remember that feeling you had the first time you caught a bass, help someone feel that way about God.

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