How many join you in your calling? Our pastor this morning asked if we had invited many to church. He said this season was an ideal season to call them in, because everyone feels spiritual around the holidays, especially Christmas. He’s not wrong. People do become more sensitive to family issues and holiday traditions around Christmas, because every family has something, many of whom involve going to church. So yes, this is a good time to remind others that “Jesus is the reason for the season.”
That said, it can be very lonely being the voice that invites. We have become very sensitive to religious freedom and identity, even the lack of it. Christian itself is consider a hateful religion, especially in the West. So to invite someone to your church can sometime be akin to inviting someone to join the KKK. Ouch!
Is that true in Eastern Kentucky where I abide? Not really. Around here people know church as the place you go to because Mama went and Granny went. And they were holy. Around here church is for the old, and for those who have sown their wild oats and need to get right with God. So they wait until they are nearly dead. I wish I was kidding.
I’ve been a Christian since I was 12. I don’t understand someone waiting until they are old to give themselves to Jesus. I’ve also lived with a sense of duty and guilt; duty because there are things expected of me and guilt because I haven’t done them. There is far more temptation for the Christian who has grown up in it, than one who has lived their whole life apart from it and knows how bad life can be without Jesus. A lifelong Christian is tempted to find the line, while the old convert knows where the line is and vows never cross it again.
Yes, I’m in the former category. I’ve probably given more than one person reason to reject Christianity based on the way I’ve presented it. But I also hope that some few have found Jesus because if something I said or did. I won’t know until I get there. Until then, it can feel pretty lonely on the journey. May I encourage you by saying you are not alone? Not only is Jesus with you, but every other believer is with you, including me. We are not alone, and we are stronger together. Your voice is not the only voice in this wilderness announcing Jesus is coming. God is using each voice to shepherd the lost to Himself.
May God bless you today.