And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. 19 For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. 20 So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” 2 Corinthians 5:18b-20 (NLT)
Some years ago I served a church in the Gator city, Gainesville, Florida. The city-wide pastime there is finding a street without a traffic jam. I used to take a shortcut down one of the side streets every day on the way to the church because it was usually never crowded.
There were a number of very beautiful yards on this street. Driving by one day, I noticed a large hole had been dug in the middle of the front yard.
It was curious.
The next day the hole was twice the size.
On the third day the hole was humongous, covering nearly half the yard! I almost stopped to check it out, but resolved if there was time tomorrow I would stop and ask the owner what was going on.
On day 4, there was a hastily made sign near the hole – a half-sheet of plywood, propped up with a two-by-four, facing the street for all the curious drivers of cars to see.
Three words were painted in angry red, announcing: It's a Pond!
We don't live in a friendly world any more. For the most part people hang their signs out that say, Leave me alone – Don't stop – Don't ask – Don't bother me!
That's not the way they really feel. But it's a conditioned response to growing up in a scary world. It's like whistling in the dark; the louder you whistle the more frightened you may be inside.
People are afraid to trust. There are so many voices. It's scary to trust.
But the Father has called us to fellowship. He's called us to be trustworthy, and vulnerable, and open. And all so the sign-makers of this world will see that we were meant to love each other.
And the sign-makers of this world really do want you to stop and ask; they've just been taught to be afraid.
There are hurting people with their little signs posted all over.
For You, Today…
Will you ignore those signs and stop anyway?
Will you go to those without hope?
Will you share the peace of Jesus you've found?
Will you find those potential brothers and sisters in Christ?
Will you call them into the fellowship?
Will you tell them it's alright to come home?