8/7/15 Shelly and Robert 50's
A home going service or wake can be a time for deep reflection on eternal matters by people who wouldn’t normally set foot in a church. I was at one recently, and a Jewish woman, Shelly, and her husband, Robert, sat next to me. We talked for a while about their connection to the family, and I asked if they’d had any significant religious experiences. Shelly described how she had received a kidney from someone in her synagogue whom she was barely acquainted with. It really touched her deeply that someone would demonstrate such love, and her husband Robert added that “It’s one thing to say you are loving, but this was physical proof that can’t be denied.” The point they were making was that talk is cheap, but they had found a real sense of love in their synagogue that they haven’t experienced anywhere else.
Fast-forwarding to much later in our conversation, we had talked much of the three Abrahamic religions – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam – and we had agreed that the basic question of each is “How can we have a right relationship with God despite the fact that we all too often ignore Him, deny Him and rebel against His rule in our lives? Both Judaism and Islam say we must try to earn a right relationship with God, and even though we will fall short, God demonstrates His love by forgiving us anyway. “But how can we know for sure?” I asked. “Christianity teaches that God did physically show His love for us, on the cross. It’s like the person who demonstrated their love by donating their kidney - “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
From the questions they continued to ask, I could tell that making this connection had an impact on Shelly and Robert. If we listen to how God has already been working in the lives of unbelievers, we can help them “connect the dots” to see the bigger picture of the Gospel that has often been right there all along.