Monday, January 11, 2010

In the Diner

It’s pretty quiet again this morning. Not many people here this morning.

One of the regulars died over the weekend of a sudden heart attack. I spent quite a while talking to him on Thursday. He had been snowblowing later that day. Then he died, apparently outside on his way to the car to go somewhere. He was probably in his sixties, I guess. I heard about it Saturday night.

Sometime ago he and I had a conversation about church and the gospel. He knew about Jesus and the facts of the gospel. I am not sure that he knew him though.

He was in good health, so far as I knew. But he’s gone now.

We must never forget how short life is, and how unexpected death can be. Our life could be over in a hurry. So could the lives of those around. So teach us, Lord, to number our days.

One of the reasons I come here is for visibility. Everything I do here, I could do in my office, except have someone bring me more coffee, and talk to people. And that’s why I come. I am not a great conversationalist. But I want to be known by people in the community and the only way to do that is be seen in public and be meeting and talking to people. Of course that might sound strange, like a politician who goes places just to be seen.

But I am not running for anything. I don’t think I am on an ego trip. For me, I want to be known as the pastor. I want people to see me and think about the church and about the gospel. I want that to be the catalyst for conversations of all types.

I say all that because I see another man I just met last week. He approached me at my table to ask me to pray for him. On Wednesday, he will be having his sixth or seventh surgery in the last eighteen months. He is scared. Understandably so.

He approached me because he knew I was a pastor. He goes to church somewhere, but promised to come and visit our church sometime.

So I pray for him—not just for his health but for his soul as well.

I think it is important that Christians be seen being Christians, that they be known as church-going, Jesus-loving Christians.

Your job might prevent you from setting up shop in a restaurant somewhere. But it won’t prevent you from oozing Jesus from every pore of your existence.

Jim Berg says, “If we are not known to be God-loving believers by our obvious extravagance for the Lover of our soul, why should those who follow us bother with Him either?” (Changed Into His Image, p. 219).

So for the sake of the gospel, be visible as Jesus-loving people.

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