Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Asleep At the Wheel

Every Tuesday of 2011 I have written about my desire to be part of a Jesus Revolution.  Today I want to focus on one of the primary reasons such a revolution is so slow in coming.  It's because we Christians have a tendency to fall asleep at the wheel...

In Mark 14: 32-40 we read about Jesus going to pray in the Garden of Gethsemane.  This was right after the "Last Supper" and just prior to his arrest.  As was often the case at the most important moments in his ministry, Jesus took Peter, James and John with him.  They were his guys- his inner circle.  As Jesus goes off to pray, he asks them to wait on him there.  Three times he does this.  Three times they are asleep when he returns to them.  It seems unbelievable that his best friends could fail him like that- but they did.  Jesus needed them to be there for him- but they simply fell asleep.

In many ways the followers of Christ have been dealing with the same problem ever since.  We know what needs to be done.  We have all of the teachings and theology that anyone could ever hope for.  We read the words of Jesus that command us to love God, to love other people and to carry the message of His love to the world.  We know there are things need to be done.  But we're asleep at the wheel.  Our lives motor down the highway accomplishing "important" things that make us more significant in the eyes of man, but we are fast asleep as we pass the exit signs that say Jesus Revolution.  We tell ourselves that others will take care of that stuff.  We fool ourselves into believing that after we become successful and powerful that THEN we will honor God.  We go to work, we manage our lives, we manicure our lawns and we amuse ourselves.  And then we give Jesus what is left over.  But there seldom is anything left over-  so like the disciples, we sleep.

The institution of the Church (in USAmerica, anyway) is not much better.  We are often so busy with buildings, committees, fundraising and "minding the flock" that ministry to the lost and hurting takes a back seat.  Too many of our churches today believe that the best way to take Jesus to the world is for us all to be "nice."  Christians are nice.  We can do nice in our sleep- and that is exactly the problem!  Followers of Jesus should be loving and respectful, but we should also be RADICAL!  We prefer taking political stances and preserving our "Holy Huddles" to actually taking the risky, radical, world-changing love of Jesus to our communities.  Listen to these words from the late, great Keith Green:

The world is sleeping in the dark, and the church just can't fight
Cause it's asleep in the light, How can you be so dead?
When you've been so well fed
Jesus rose from the grave
And you, you can't even get out of bed

The teachings of Jesus seem wild and sometimes outright ridiculous when compared to the standards of the world we live in.  If your faith and your belief-system make you feel comfortable and safe, then you need to go back and take a look at the things Jesus taught.  You may well be "asleep in the light."  If there is going to be a Jesus Revolution that brings hope, peace and joy to those who are sleeping in the dark, it is going to have to come from those who claim to be disciples of the risen Savior.  If we are to live out Matthew 25 and minister to the homeless, the hungry, the naked, the criminal and the rest of the "least of these," then we are going to have to get off our couches to do it.  If we are going to change this world in His name, then we need to stop arguing politics and theology and wake up to the challenge of sharing God's love with everyone. 

It's time to realize that for far too long we have been happy to play church and take our naps.  Nap time is over.  The world needs Jesus, and it is time for some spiritual No-Doze.  Who's with me?

Because of Jesus,

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous4/26/2011

    The church does need to wake up...NOW!~


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