Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Warning: Before You Become a Christian

by Beth-Anne

Matthew and I have been reading through a book my Aunt Shari gave us for Christmas, have a little faith by Mitch Albom. We read together at night usually and last night there was this part in the story.

“As a general rule, Judaism does not seek converts. In fact, the tradition is to first discourage them, emphasizing the difficulties and suffering the religion has endured.”

I stopped Matthew and commented that I thought it was interesting that they did that. I said how that’s kind of what Jesus did when He would tell people “the Son of Man has no where to lay His head” when people asked if they could follow Him. We only paused for less than a minute but some thoughts had begun to germinate.

Then today I was reading from Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell and he mentioned this, “He [Jesus] is constantly trying to find out who really wants it. And so he keeps pushing and prodding and questioning and putting it out there until some leave and the diehards stay. We never find him chasing after someone, trying to convince them that he really wasn’t that serious, that it was just a figure of speech. He didn’t really mean sell your possessions and give to the poor.”

I have never felt that when I was young and being a Christian was talked about that something challenging but rather it was as if we were being begged to join.

There is something thrilling about Christianity, the call of Jesus, that would say, “Hey, this is amazing, and incredible, but it’s serious too. It’s going to break your heart and mold it stronger. It’s going to shatter your view of yourself, the world, and everything there is, and heal the depths of your soul. The call of Jesus to follow Him is not to be taken lightly, but it’s worth every second.”

That makes my heart beat a little faster and I want to stand with those who ready to follow Jesus, even though it will cost everything--because the risk is worth the reward.

“...we are reclaiming the simple fact that Jesus said the way is narrow...The call of Jesus goes the other direction: It’s about making our lives more difficult. It is going out of our way to be generous and disciplined and loving and free. It is refusing to escape and become numb to and check out of this broken fractured world.

And so we are embracing the high demands of Jesus’ call to be one of his disciples. We are honest about it. We want our friends to know up front that the costs are high, which is what is so appealing about Jesus--his vision for life take everything we have....

This is what we are all dying for--something that demands we step up and become better, more focused people. Something that calls out the greatness that we hope is somewhere inside of us.”