Many children in Steamboat have an awesome (albeit potentially false) perception of reality. At least reality outside of the ski town bubble that is Steamboat. Steamboat has had about five fireworks displays this winter. All of which were longer and contained bigger and brighter fireworks than I have ever seen. It took about five years of my life to see as many fireworks displays as they have seen in one winter.
Most Steamboat children might think Easter is the time when a helicopter drops thousands of candy-filled plastic eggs from the sky. They might also think it is a time when 300 bikes are raffled off. And they also might think this is the purpose of the Christian church.
In an effort to convert as many people as possible, many churches attempt to take advantage of their large audiences on Christmas and Easter. I get it. I am very much a product of the church. And I do believe a lot of this stems from good hearts, kindness and love. But, I think we might be missing the point.
So, to all of the readers who do not identify as Christian or the ones who do but do not attend much church outside of Easter and Christmas, I am sorry. I know you probably heard the story of Jesus dying on the cross for our sins and being resurrected three days later. If that doesn’t sound crazy enough, you probably then felt pressured to commit your life to this dude. If I were in the same situation I would have felt very weird and uncomfortable with the whole situation. If you did, I am sorry. As Christ followers, we should have shown you love, warmth and acceptance with no agenda. We should have been friends to you with no agenda. If that is what you experienced, you went to the right place.
To all of my readers who identify as Jesus Christ followers: did you take this opportunity to show completely accepting and unreserved love? Were you annoyed that someone was sitting in your normal chair? Did you tell someone you didn’t know how happy you were to see them? Did you ignore everyone there you didn’t know?
Although I love the thought of Jesus base jumping from a helicopter down to the masses. Or Him pulling bikes and other presents from his robe to give to the children, I don’t think this would have been the case. I am no Bible scholar, but I am pretty sure Jesus made his first entrance in a barn. His second (days before His death) was on a jack ass. Not really helicopter status. I think He also liked to draw in the dirt. And rampage the temple when people were in it selling things. He also loved everyone. Especially the poor. And the lepers. And children. And the afflicted. And the burnt-out. And the people no one else loved. When was the last time we (as Christ followers) showed this type of love?
When someone comes up to me on the street asking for money, I often try to avoid them. Instead of sitting down and talking to them. Hospitals make me so uncomfortable. I don’t like to see people when they are in a weak and vulnerable state. Jesus probably would have loved hanging out with people in hospitals.
As the modern day, Western church, do we represent Christ’s simple, relentless, unreserved love? Or do we keep people at a safe distance by giving them helicopters and bikes but not really talking to them? Do we send mass emails or do we share meals? Do we spend energy showing love to the least of these or do we spend energy trying to convert? Trying to “save” people on our own instead of simply loving and accepting and then trusting God to work?
After a conversation about these very topics, a good friend sent me a link to a blog of a Christ follower who gets it. Here is the link. It is a lot shorter and less “preachy” than this post. Check it out.
*Editors note: After publishing this post, WordPress gives me suggestions on how to tag my post based on content. Today’s suggestions: video games, gaming, aviation and transportation. Wonderful.