Today is supposed to be a day you contemplate your faith. This is after all the day when we remember Christ’s death on a cross. This isn’t Easter Sunday – yet. It’s a somber day. Maybe it was with that in mind, or maybe it was by complete chance, that I picked up a new book I’d received called The Hole In Our Gospel by Richard Stearns. A pastor at my church had mentioned how it had flattened her and made her realize we are not called to a “comfortable” faith. Her message was compelling so I’d ordered the book. Then I added it to the top of my “stack” (I’m a reader but I’ve found in the last 18 months almost NO time to read anything other than a short article out of Parents) and grabbed it when I treated myself to an early morning breakfast out.
I’m going to be reading this book for the next 20 years. That is how long it will take me to finish it. I had to keep setting it down. I had only made it to page 7, of the PROLOGUE, before tears sploshed onto my pancakes.
On this Good Friday, I was captured by this passage:
Bob Pierce, the founder of Word Vision, once prayed, “Let my heart be broken by the things that break the heart of God” But who really wants his heart broken? Is this something to ask of God? Don’t we pray that God will not break our hearts? But as I look at the life of Jesus, I see that He was, as Isaiah described him, “a Man of sorrows…acquainted with grief.”
Never has that been more true a statement than on this day. A man, a Saviour, without sin took on every single sin that had ever been or ever would be committed and bore it to his death so that we might have the opportunity, the choice, to spend eternity with Him. The ultimate sacrifice. And yet here I sit with a VERY comfortable faith. I give to church, without sacrificing any of my wants. I help those struggling, if I can find time in my very busy schedule so not to be inconvenienced. I share about God’s grace, if I know my audience and won’t offend anyone. I’ve grown increasingly comfortable as I’ve acquired more things and received a bigger paycheck. My faith doesn’t rock the boat. This book, these few pages, are rocking the boat. And I’m seriously concerned that if I finish it, my boat might just capsize, and I may see there’s a lot God has called me to do but most of it won’t involve me being comfortable. And I’m just not comfortable with that yet.
On this Good Friday, I challenge you to pick up your Bible and read John and Romans and look at the gospel with fresh eyes. Maybe pick up The Hole… Pray. Spend some time without the noise of your life blaring in your head. See if you’re comfortable staying comfortable. If you dare. Easter Sunday is around the corner and ready to be celebrated. But I hope this Easter is the beginning of an annual anniversary for me – one where I make sure that the gospel I know doesn’t have a gaping hole but rather is the whole picture of what Christ is calling me to here and now.