Thanks to Sandy, Toni, Gail, Nick, John, Liz, Lyn, Phillip, Merlyn, Bob, Lisa and Jill for their comments on yesterday’s Catch. As Phillip pointed out, we are all very busy and don’t always get to all our emails so that some people don’t respond just because they never saw it. I realize that, and that is why, when I think I have something very important for everyone to see, I will repeat it or mention it in subsequent emails. This is one of those times so if you haven’t read yesterday’s Catch, please do so, and please include your comments on line or to me privately by replying to any Catch sent to you by email.
We are talking this week about going out. One of our Millennials pointed out that Boomers have a tendency as they go up in age to go inward in terms of focus. As the world gets more and more chaotic and life grows shorter, the temptation is to eschew everything outside and stay inside where it’s safe and comfortable, and many are already in retirement and pretty much disengaged from the outside world anyway. For that reason, he insisted that Boomers instead should make themselves go downward in age (with Millennials and GenX and Z) and outward in direction into the world.
That’s exactly what we are talking about doing here at the Catch, especially as we remember that Jesus was crucified outside the camp and Hebrews 13:13 encourages us to go out there and meet Him, and share in His disgrace. That may not sound like a lot of fun, but it is when you consider we also meet the grace of God outside the camp, a grace we can turn outward to all whom we meet. That’s the real church — people who are aware of their disgrace, but are constantly aware of the grace of God who loves them and gave His Son for them.
This is what witnessing is like as a Christian. It’s like standing up in an A.A. meeting and announcing, “Hi. I’m John, and I’m a sinner.” And those gathered around you answer approvingly, “Hi, John,” as if to say, “We know. We get it. We’re sinners too.” And yet the grace of God reaches us all here.
You see, if you aren’t continually focusing on your sin AND your forgiveness, you soon get the impression that sin is no longer an issue, and then you are only a few steps from never mentioning sin anymore, and then assuming we are all righteous, it’s only one quick sidestep to being self-righteous, and thinking other people are the ones who really need Jesus. And from there it really gets ugly, with arrogance and bigotry, racism, misogyny, demonizing everyone who doesn’t agree with you, insisting on being 100% right, and on and on. And where did all this start? A failure to meet up with and address one’s own sin.
So this can be solved. Make your way outside where the sinners are (so you will be where you belong). Outside where other tribes and other races are equal, where privileged and underprivileged are the same, where strangers and foreigners are welcome and sin abounds, but grace much more abounds.
All I can say is, “If none of this is resonating with you, you really gotta get out more.”