I’ve read it repeatedly. In fact, I’m thinking it may be the catch phrase of October 2013. It goes something like this;
“….we need to do better _______(fill in the blank)” or “.…we need to do more about _________” or “…c’mon ________, let’s rally for ______“
The blanks could be a million different things. Maybe even a billlion. I’ll give you just a few examples.
We need to do better, parents! We need to do better, church! We need to do better, special interest group A, B, C or D.
We need to do more about the environment. We need to do more about social justice. We need to do more about extra needs issues. We need to do more about funding for schools. We need to do more about saving the whales. We need to do more about the economic downturn. We need to do more to raise awareness about lymphoma and breast cancer and diabetes and parkinsons and every other disease or ailment there is. We need to do more.
C’mon, privileged North Americans, let’s find Kony. C’mon, wealthy citizens, let’s give to the children in third world countries. C’mon those who give to third world countries, let’s give to those in need in our own neighbourhoods. C’mon those who are giving in their own neighbourhoods, you should be giving to those in third world countries! Let’s rally for the babies who are being aborted, let’s rally for the orphans who need a home, let’s rally for the kids who can’t afford to play sports, let’s rally for the whales, and the ozone and the independent business owner.
Don’t hear me wrong, now. These are all things worth spending our time and our money and our resources on. Each one of them! I’m not bashing any of the above, I’m not, but I do wonder how we treat each other when it comes to the special interest group of our own choosing.
It struck a chord this week when I read about young Davian. I’m sure by now you’ve seen it on the news or the morning talk shows or read about it online. The young boy who has been in foster care his whole life who walked into a 300 person church on Sunday morning and asked if someone would be his family. This took guts, for sure. He sounds like a brave young man. But what I’ve heard since the event is that not one person out of 300 CHRISTIANS stood up and offered to be this boys family.
I’ve heard things like, we need to do better, church and I can’t believe that out of 300 people who SAY they love the Lord, no one would help this boy and we should be doing more and trying harder and …..and…..and…..
To be honest it makes me want to scream.
Cause here’s the thing about loving Jesus – NOT ONE OF US IS GOOD ENOUGH! (Yes, I meant to yell that!)
We aren’t. To say that we need to do better and to try harder and tack a snide “christians” on the end is to not understand the gospel! Jesus died because we aren’t good enough and we never will be. He died because we’ll never be righteous enough on our own merit or because we’re doing all the things and checking all the boxes.
Adopted an orphan. check
Donated to charity. check
Ran for water. (or any of the other ten thousand things we run for) check
Fed the homeless. check
Mowed my neighbours lawn. check
Said 7 prayers today while on my knees and in secret. check
Sacrificed a lamb at the altar. che – what?
Of course, all of these things are right and good, sans the lamb bit. But are we not turning it back into the law? By saying we need to do this and do this and do this?
I have no doubt that there is more that some of us could be doing but the second we turn it into backlash against a church for not adopting this particular boy who asked is the second we turn away from the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Now maybe someone in that church should have adopted this boy. Maybe the holy spirit was prompting but they were too afraid to stand up. Can we all agree that we’ve all been there? We’ve all been in those moments where we should have done something but didn’t?
It’s called grace. It’s called forgiveness. It’s why we’re called to repentance.
Not each one of us is called to do everything. We can’t be. Maybe no one in that church was supposed to adopt this boy. But perhaps God had this plan of a boy in a suit asking for a family and a church not stepping up and the news getting wind of it and someone else who God had orchestrated before the beginning of time would hear about it and come forward because this was their prompting to do what they’ve always felt called to do.
What about that?
I just can’t help but feel that if we’re throwing this church under the bus for what they didn’t do that day that each one of us should raise our hands and voluntarily step forward in front of a microphone and state to the world the time that we sat on our hands.
But I don’t want to. I’m pretty sure you don’t either.
Not one word was ever said about anyone in that church that day who may have had a tear in their eye or been pleading with the Lord that day as to whether this was for them and felt that it just wasn’t. Yet we judge. And we say do better. And we think that if we were there we would have been the one to boldly stand up and take this boy home. But would we?
And even if we had, would we have made it through the home study and the costs and the scrutiny of the ministry of children and families? Perhaps there were some in that congregation who had tried to adopt previously but were turned down.
We need to remember, church, why Christ died. We need to remember that we’ll never be good enough. That we can’t pull ourselves up by our boot straps and do better. That we can’t save the world.
But He can.
And so we walk forward in humility. Without judgement. Without using Jedi mind power to improve ourselves. But in full trust and reliance on the one who has a plan and who offers us mercy.
Let’s not add to the gospel. Let’s instead simply cast our gaze on the one who is worthy of it, shall we?