Ok. There is something that has always kind of bugged me. I have to be careful to write this in a way that doesn't seem condemning. That is not at all what I intend to do. I just have always wondered why we don't get more excited at Church. Some Churches I have been to, I just wonder why folks don't come across as more excited. Sometimes, I would like to watch a sporting event with some of the same people. Perhaps they just don't get that excited. I know I get wildly out of control with sporting events. If I can get that excited about a football game, then why can't I get that excited about Jesus? Michigan may have more football victories than any other school in NCAA history, but did they reconcile me to a Holy God? Dale Jr could be the greatest race car driver (except his Dad of course!) in the history of auto racing, but did he rescue me from my sin? The Cleveland Browns aren't even that good, and I can get pretty excited for their games. I can assure you that they never made me a new creation. God has done all those things through Christ. Why am I not leaping down the aisle?
I am not sure. I think sometimes we just don't take it all in. We read when Paul says that all have fallen short of the glory of God. I think we picture falling short, in the same way that the Wolverines fell short of beating Ohio State. Michigan lost by one point after attempting a two point conversion. That is not even close to how we have fallen short of the glory of God. Picture 5 year olds playing on an NBA court, and attempting a slam dunk. Now take that picture and multiply it by millions and millions, and you are still not even close to how far we have fallen short of the glory of God. There is a gulf between God and man, that we could never hope to bridge in our own strength! I think that is something to be excited about!
Perhaps we look at all the evil in the world, and believe that we are not that bad. Maybe that is why we don't get that excited. We don't get excited, because there are evil people who God has used so much more grace to bring to himself. That is just not at all accurate either. Paul says that if you break one law, then it is as if you have broken all of the law. God doesn't really make distinction between murderers and just ordinary selfish human beings. If you look at all sin, and take it down to its root cause, then it all becomes the same sin of pride. We as fallen creatures have tried to place ourselves on God's throne. That is the first lie. That we could be like God. We may have been created in the image of God, but we can never be like God. He will always tower over us. Think about the young ruler that comes to Jesus and asks him how to get to heaven. He tells Jesus that he has always obeyed all of the law, and Jesus says take everything you have and give it to the poor. Even though this man had struggled to stay righteous in the eyes of man, Jesus essentially tells him he still has miles to go in order to be made right with God. Isn't it exciting that Jesus has travelled those miles so that we don't have to?
I have been attending The Gathering for a couple of months now. The Gathering is the evening service at The Chapel here in Akron. It is a service that is designed to reach the college students of the nearby University of Akron. In the time that I have been going there, I have been able to see several baptisms. I have never been to a church that does baptisms like The Gathering. I have to be honest, that I just love it. In the middle of some closing songs of worship, and in complete silence from the baptistery, we are able to witness someone symbolically die to Christ and be raised a new creation in him. I am especially excited to listen to the amazing reaction of the congregation. People begin to hoot and holler. People cheer and clap. It is just so awesome. Why shouldn't we be excited? It is amazing to share such a great moment in a new believers life. This is their declaration to the community believers that they have chosen to leave the old life of the flesh, and to follow Jesus in a new life that is lived in him. I love to clap and praise God as we welcome someone to the family of God.
I hope I didn't offend anyone. I certainly would never want to do that. I would like to cause people to think. When you catch yourself screaming at your TV as your team has just taken the lead, ask yourself if you would get that excited for your Savior? I think we should be a million times more excited for the work of Christ, then we are for anything else in this life. The work of Christ is for eternity. The works of your team are so temporary. This is especially true of Cleveland fans. Jesus' work will last for ages and ages, while the Browns will probably lose the lead before the end of the first half. Which of the two should you be the most excited about?