Ok, I’ll admit it. I love the music in the new hit movie Pitch Perfect. My kids tell me I am the only 44 year old man in the world who will get up on a chair during dinner clean up and lip sync Bulletproof. (I take it as a compliment!).
One of our favorite songs is the Barden Bella’s rendition of “Price Tag.” The opening line goes like this: “It’s not about the money money money, we’re not about the money money money, we just want to make the world dance, forget about the price tag.” We’ve played that song so much I caught Storie singing it in the bathtub the other night.
I am convinced that many who have honest and sincere interest in Jesus, the Bible, and God never ask a Christian or a church leader because they think we are all about "money money money..." Or perhaps, "guilt, guilt, guilt " or "rules, rules, rules." Of coure there is the conception Christians are all about behavior management, or judging those who don't agree with them, or even the constant and mostly correct characterization that we Christians are all just a bunch of hypocrites.
If I were to sum up the gospel in a nutshell, I might sing a song like . . . "It's all about Life, Life, Life, its all about Life, Life, Life, He just wants to make the world dance, forget about the price tag." Why?
* Jesus said, "I came that they might have Life and have it to the full" (John 10:10)
- Jesus is all about giving Life.
* The Fruit of the Spirit of Life? "Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness and self control"
- Galatians 5:22 provides the ingredients and power for dancing through life.
* And the Price Tag? It costs Everything. Which is what HE gave. So the price has already been paid.
What do you think? How can Christians better communicate what the gospel is all about to those who have questions but would never ask?
Jesus says in John 10 that His sheep follow Him because they know His voice (vs 3). In preparing for my sermon a few weeks ago, I read a great book on prayer by Anglican Missionary Bishop, Alfred Stanway. Here are a few gems:
* We only learn to pray by praying. We only learn to hear God by listening.
* In prayer we not only get answers, more importantly we get God.
* When we pray God listens not as much to our words but the real needs and desires of our hearts.
- (He has our long term best interests in mind.)
* God speaks and answers usually with the purpose of increasing faith not fireworks.
Do you remember when Peter asked Jesus to let him walk on water? (Mt 14:28-31). Jesus called his bluff and responded with an invitation to act in great faith. When we come to the Lord in prayer, Jesus sometimes answers by inviting us out into a place requiring greater faith.
Our Bishop John Guernsey is a man of prayer who has spent decades walking with God and learning to pray and listen to the Lord. He tells the story of coming to God in prayer about participating in the $7 million dollar capital campaign for their new church. You can imagine his surprise when one day in prayer he sensed God asking him to give 10 times more than he and Meg were thinking they could afford. Wisely he sought counsel with wife Meg. To his greater surprise, she had heard the same thing from the Lord! So they decided together to begin asking God to provide for them the resources to give what the Lord was asking them to give. They took a step of faith in obedience to what they heard God say. Low and behold, God provided what He had ordered!
Hearing God can be risky! Hearing God speak may mean having to respond with risks, faith, and stepping out of the boat. As we are in a period of listening to God not only about our lives but about how we will participate in the future of Resurrection, may we take the time to pray and hear God speak and have the courage to obey wand trust Him with what He says.
About the ResBlog
Members of staff and Vestry will be posting on the ResBlog to help us think through who we are in light of the gospel so that we might “spur one another on to love and good deeds.”