Today I started a book called “The Hole in our Gospel” by Richard Stearns, the president of World Vision.
Have you heard of it?
A few years ago when I was working for a non-profit that worked in Africa, everybody and their mother from this church down the street was clamoring to start volunteering with us all of a sudden.
We thought maybe Armageddon was coming soon.
Why was there was a massive influx of people
ALL from the same mega church
ALL wanting to volunteer
All at the same time?
and then we found out.
Their pastor made them all read this book.
and most of them realized they had a hole in their gospel.
a big freaking fat hole.
a hole? you might ask...
Well, I’ll let our boy Richy speak to that…
“Being a Christian, or follower of Jesus Christ, requires much more than just having a personal and transforming relationship with God. It also entails a public and transforming relationship with the world.
If your personal faith in Christ has no positive outward expression, then your faith-and mine- has a hole in it”
Jesus came to transform the world, not to give us a comfortable life.
And if we think being a Christian stops when we ask Jesus into our hearts,
then simply, we have some gospel-hole issues.
I’ve been thinking about what this means in my own life.
I want to live and breathe and walk and talk a gospel that is alive and active
and is bringing heaven to this crusty earth.
One that bears grace and mercy, forgiveness and patience.
And one that’s willing to do the hard things and go to the hard places.
I fail a lot.
But there are these moments when I see heaven on earth as I watch a believer engage with the world in deep, humble and sacrificial ways.
This happens every day as I watch the staff in the aftercare home pour life and love drop by drop.
Almost a month ago we received two sweet precious girls.
Scared and trembling they came to us.
One child specifically feared the darkness, for in her past, the black of night only meant terror.
And I watched as little by little, day by day, this sweet blossom of a girl began to open.
And I also watched as our staff pressed in fiercely to be by her side,
night and day when the fears reared their evil head.
And soon the radiance of light began to replace the darkness.
There was no hole in this gospel, the beams from heaven were already crashing in.
Just last week this same child, with a sparkle in her eye and a smile on her face whispered softly and gently to one of our staff…
“ I have never felt loved like I do now. It’s because you guys are Christians, isn’t it?”
friends, I cried the happiest tears my little heart could spout.
This little girl,
from a broken home,
a hindu home,
KNEW we were Christians by our love.
Isn’t that the way it’s supposed to be?
That we are known by our love?
Our staff did not force, coerce or dictate this girl to Jesus.
Our staff member loved this sweet girl to Jesus.
A Jesus that embraced this little one’s scars,
Held up his own scars,
And said “I gave my life for you and love you higher and deeper than you even know”.
There are no holes in the gospel when we choose to love people to Jesus.
When we engage with
the hurting, the broken, the scarred, the wounded, the hopeless.
Our gospel is alive and whole.
praying we can all do a little examining this weekend and find the holes that may be present in our gospel.