There comes a point in every Christian’s life when you get tired. You just don’t want to be busy from dawn until dusk. You want to sit down and relax. You become willing to let someone else do all the hard work. I’d love to tell you that this day comes when you’re old and gray, but I’m a pastor and I know better. People are willing to pass the buck on action long before their bodies are wracked with the physical issues of aging. The sad fact is that this often happens right after they join a church. Not within the first month, but sometime around the one year mark, the majority of Christians will get a malaise about enacting their faith. It’s like their whole state of being is hurling Psalm 46 (someone said this to me one time in just this context) back at me with vengeance:
“Be still, and know that I am God!” (Psalm 46:10 NRS)
Without so much as saying a word, they seem to be holding this scripture up at me like a proof text: “See! Even God says to be still.” Yes, God does say that, but being still is not the same as not doing anything. Sitting there like a bump on a log for an hour of worship a few Sundays a month hardly qualifies for fulfillment of the Great Commission. If we’re going to be proof texting, I’ll add mine:
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20 NRS)
That’s right. Jesus said, “Go and make disciples.” While you want to take it easy and rest, you’ve got an ageless call to go and do something. That passage is not just for pastors; it’s for all of those who bear Christ’s name, every single Christian. That means that we don’t get to retire, rest on our laurels, pass the baton to the next new member. Jesus didn’t annotate that command with anything about the age of retirement. Are we ever too old to show mercy? How about compassion? Is there an expiration date on love? Then why do we act like there will come a day when we get to sit back and let someone else do all the hard work? That didn’t even happen for Jesus! He died doing hard work for others, then came back from the dead and continued to minister until he ascended into heaven. He didn’t even stop then! He promised to keep coming to us whenever two or more are gathered in his name. With millions of Christians worldwide, he’s a busier guy now than he was when he was alive the first time.
Sure, that’s Jesus, but we’re just human. Wrong, we’re anointed with the Holy Spirit. You have God with you all the time, strengthening you and leading you onward. This is why Christians die exhausted people, but deeply and profoundly satisfied ones. We are all going to die. You have to make the decision whether or not you’re going to die without regrets and with the assurance that you have done right by your Lord and Savior. You can take a chance and kick back in the boat, or you can get out and walk on the water like Jesus. The same Jesus who said, “Go and do likewise” (Luke 10:37).
(Image courtesy of hediedformygrins.blogspot.com)