Monday, February 29, 2016

All In The Family

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It was a conversation I wish I hadn’t heard, but sometimes the words you wish you hadn’t heard make an indelible mark on your soul. They teach you something you needed to learn. This instance was a conversation between two family members. One, a man who follows Jesus, was passionately trying to “convert” the other, who just as passionately resisted. The scene was a family crisis and everyone was reeling from the pain.

“Have you ever truly given your heart to the Lord?” queried the Jesus-follower. He was pushing…hard…and I knew it was from a genuine concern for the other man’s eternity.

“I’m not here to talk about this,” replied the second man with a note of anger in his voice. “I came here to support my family!”

The air was thick with the conflict between these two men, both of whom I loved deeply. In reality, I had just as much concern about the heart of the second man as my kinsman who was trying to share the Gospel with him. Was my own failure to say something to a man I loved a lack of faithfulness? Was my Christian family member driven by guilt as much as by Gospel passion? I’m not sure I have an easy answer to those questions.

This whole event, which took place almost four decades ago, sprang to memory as I thought about our upcoming sermon series, “Take Me To Your Leader.”  Most of you have heard of one of Jesus’ apostles named Andrew. Some of you remember that he was the brother of Simon Peter. What you probably don’t know is that Andrew fills a unique role in the narrative of the Gospels: every time we meet him, he is taking someone to meet Jesus. Somehow, Andrew had a winsome way of connecting people to Christ, including his own family.  That’s huge for me, because I find that family are some of the hardest people for me to talk to about the life Jesus offers.

Easter arrives in March this year. The season of remembering the death and resurrection of Jesus remains one of the best opportunities you and I have to naturally invite those we love to come and hear about Jesus. All during February, we have been focusing on how to pray and “Take A Minute” out of our lives to show Christ’s love to someone in our path. Easter offers a natural way to take it a step further and invite people to church with us.

“Take Me To Your Leader” begins this weekend with some simple ways you and I can build bridges with our family during this holy season. I hope you can join us for a worship gathering at Stone Ridge Church. Can’t make it? Catch the podcast!