Everybody Waves Back
I finished my "Them vs. Us" series this past weekend with a message titled "Everybody Waves Back." I unpacked the story of Cain and Abel and pondered our responsibility to other people. When God asks Cain about the status of his brother Abel, I love how the Message paraphrase captures Cain's response: "Am I his babysitter?"
We often wonder the same thing today. What responsibility do we have to the people around us?
Jesus addresses Cain's question when he tells a story about a man with one hundred sheep (Luke 15:3-7). When he loses one of them, he leaves the ninety-nine to find it. While this is inspiring if you happen to be that lost sheep, it's also a bit illogical if you are one of the ninety-nine. I have personally learned that if you apply this same logic in the church, the ninety-nine will send you emails to let you know you've left them behind.
For each of us the invitation is to switch from asking "What is best for me" to instead ask, "What is best for all of us?" And the second question may lead us to choose things that are not as beneficial for us personally. This would redefine the way we practice Christianity too. As Rachel Held Evans said,
“The gospel doesn't need a coalition devoted to keeping the wrong people out. It needs a family of sinners, saved by grace, committed to tearing down the walls, throwing open the doors, and shouting, ‘Welcome! There's bread and wine. Come eat with us and talk.’ This isn't a kingdom for the worthy; it's a kingdom for the hungry.”
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