As Resurrection Sunday approaches, my mind naturally inclines to Calvary, to the glorious and complete redemption there.
But- it further goes to the churches in our land of late.
To pondering what the sermons across the country will consist of…
Will humble gratitude for the cross prevail?
Will a brokenness over the broken body of our Savior have its proper place?
Or will the disturbing trend for feel-goodism be front and center?
It can be a blatant parade of back-patting and busy work, a focus firmly centered on egg hiding and hunting and new clothes…
Or it can be more subtle, a type of gladness without the substance.
Doing the things because we always do the things, but all without pausing to contemplate why we do the things…
Or, sometimes, even if they are God’s things!
Yes, indeed, speaking His name, singing His praise,and doing good unto others can most definitely be His things!
But, then, there is also speaking His name in an attempt to gain His endorsement over sin, doing what we call good deeds that do not a thing for someone’s eternal destiny, aligning with what we deem the “correct” culture that has not a hint of Biblical correctness or an understanding of what mercy really means, and singing in a soulful, hip sort of way, but rarely inviting Him further than our lips…
It is a something that has infiltrated our churches at an alarming rate.
I did not coin this phrase, but it well suits where we are-
What we are far too often presenting is:
A social gospel.
An attempt to “cool” up and make “user friendly” the message of Christ that strips all the meaning.
And it sure doesn’t have to be Resurrection Sunday to see it.
But this season we celebrate His indescribably beautiful sacrifice to us does emphasize for me the disparity existing far too often between the soul of the church and the soul of the Lord…
So, all that spiel to say I offer you a perhaps different something to think on this Good Friday.
A list, if you will, of what the Gospel is and is not about…
It’s not about being cool.
It’s about being faithful.
It’s not about putting a happy face
To every gritty ounce of grace.
It isn’t the nod to embrace
The filth of our sin.
Rather, it is the precious breaking of
Those terrible bonds
Our mind must stay upon.
The cross must brutally remind
Of the Salvation we could not
Sundays of lapping up a self-soothing
Cannot cure the disease of humanity’s
For your belly with fill for a while;
You might even dare a smile.
But the hollow, sin-shrunken frame
Stays on your back mile for mile…
You trade true freedom
For endless, useless scrabbling,
A weak, powerless strum
Over allowing Jesus in to blast away
All the wastelands you’re still
“But, I want to feel good, ” a grumble
Rises in the crowd,
“Jesus means all I do and all I am is
Let me float on my mellow cloud
And the rest of you can just sit there
Letting your Bible and your truth bog
Down your mood…”
“Ah, but friend,” comes the pleading
“There is but one Bible. One truth. One Christ.
Christianity has never meant you’ll
Feel good for always-
Not in this life, anyway…
It’s about Jesus taking on the
Degradation we could not will away.
Not that we might stay in it,
But that He could split the veil
And show us a better way….
It is about endurance of hope
In the recognition of every high and
It’s about denying self and taking up
Knowing the depth of His love
Covers every cost.
It is mercy, to be sure.
But blended perfectly with His
And this alone, church,
Must be our answer-no compromise!
For only in His truth do we begin to recognize
Desperate humanity’s cure….
May we hold fast to His truth this Resurrection season and always! Blessings and prayers on your Good Friday, dear friends! ❤