5/5/13 Pablo, 50's
Before church this morning I went out to share on the street the same good news I would soon be singing about in the pew. I found a man named Pablo coming from a bait shop, on his way to a fishing pond. When I asked about his beliefs he talked about various religious experiences he’s had, from his Catholic background to visiting Puerto Rican and African-American Pentecostal churches, to following prosperity-based TV preachers and experiencing demonic forces in connection with séances conducted by his mother. All this has left Pablo confused about the basic truths of the Bible – which he has never read – so that all he really has to go on would be the opinions and teachings of others. Why doesn’t he just seek the truth for himself? Many Christians believe that in the age of the printing press and mass media and the internet - and with a church on every corner in our “Christian” nation - the Gospel is readily available for anyone who wants it. Why share it if people can figure it out on their own? But the problem with so many people – including Pablo – is they don’t even know they need it. He sees faith as an option rather than a necessity. He has basically thrown his hands up in confusion over all the different religious beliefs there are, and combined with his basic belief that God is supposed to be forgiving, he is very comfortable just living day to day and letting eternity take care of itself. People like Pablo can live entire lifetimes in this relative comfort, ignoring church activities all around them, while too many Christians wait for them to come to their meetings on their own. In the meantime, others will have their influence; the false teachers that Jesus warned would come in His name, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, and prosperity preachers. If we continue waiting, expecting the world to come to us rather than us going out to it, our attempts at heartfelt worship every Sunday morning will start to seem more and more hollow. Good news is meant to be shared in addition to being sung about. And we are meant to share it.