Friday, March 24, 2017

It’s a Package Deal

“A man may, indeed, be able to figure out what is good, or bad, for him or for his family,”  writes William Stringfellow. “But that which is good for him, is bad for some one else, and, in principle, for everyone else in the world.”  Why? Because we are motivated in every sphere of life by our own self-interest, and as nations, by our national interest.  The religion many of us know is a religion that promises a personal reward—that is, something that is in our self-interest.  The prayers that we utter in our crises moments are prayers (most often) motivated by our own self-interest.  We have even gone so far as to make “salvation” a wholly personal thing:  “Christ died for me!”  

This is totally contrary to what we see in the ministry of Christ.  His was a ministry of “great extravagance—of a reckless, scandalous expenditure of His life for the sake of the world’s life.”  There is no self-interest!  Christ gives away His life.  “The world finds new life in His life and in His gift of His life to the world.”  The ministry of Christians in the world is the same as the ministry of Christ:  to be servants in the world and for the world—servants of the world in the name of God.

Jesus never comes to us alone.  He can’t!  He tells us so.  “I have other sheep…”  Jesus has a family!  And when Jesus comes to us, he always brings his family with him.  When Jesus comes to us personally, he immediately says, “Now, let me introduce you to my family.”

We might say, and we often do say, “No, Jesus, I just want you.  What I’ve heard about you sounds good but what I’ve heard about your family is not so good.  I really just want to be with you and forget the rest of those people (for God so loved the world—everybody) who are with you.”

And Jesus will say, “Sorry, we all come together.  It is a package deal.  There is no way I can come to you alone.”

What's good for me may not be good for everybody!

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