i’m setting up chairs for bible club.
joshua and i teach children’s church once a month at the little detroit body we’ve been calling home on sunday mornings. the sun is flooding in through second story windows and i’m feeling humbled.
i tried to plant a church. whether or not you think i tried hard enough, i tried.
and here i am three years later, getting ready to preach.
but apparently kids are a real threat.
i don’t have imagination enough to make that real in my mind, in my heart and i don’t have stomach enough to google the images and videos i’ve read about.
i didn’t know this when i set up the chairs in a semi-circle yesterday.
i didn’t know this as we read about paul being a missionary, being stoned and beaten in lystra, and i said these words, “sometimes doing the thing that god asks you to do can be hard.”
the children play with lincoln logs after we pray asking that if god wants any of them to be missionaries that they’d be brave enough to go and that he’d keep them safe.
accepting jesus. confessing jesus as lord.
look a little closer at the terms.
neither one is an easy thing.
it’s not simple to accept something. it’s a process. say your daughter told you she was gay. you’d be processing that until you looked your friends in the eye and said, “i’ve accepted that my daughter is gay.”
it’s not simple to confess something. if a suspect for a double homicide were taken in for questioning and after hours and hours of denial he finally confesses, “yes. yes! i killed them both.” that’s a lot different than hearing a four-step plan of salvation and with a shining smile saying, “yep! i confess that jesus is lord.”
confession and acceptance.
not a once believed fleeting assenting to a set of beliefs, but rather a process, a tear-stained admitting that yes. yes. jesus is lord. okay? fine. i accept it. it’s true! i confess that there is no other name, alright?
chased down and cornered until i surrender to jesus.
so people are being killed.
jesus – why?
what would the amish do? can you forgive in the face of such grotesque evil? the absolute bait of war? of religious war?
we’re reading from the thin pages and looking at a drawing of paul’s hat getting knocked off as the rocks hit.
what in the world?
jesus like the pulse under the finger of humanity. the source and the answer. the question and the confession.
i have no words.
i stack up chairs and lead the children, my own children, back down the steps to the room where these lovely detroiters just took communion and now are singing, sharing food.
it’s just another sunday morning among those who have admitted that jesus is lord.