Catherine says - I have just read Davids latest blog draft and said to him YOU REALLY CAN'T PUBLISH THAT!!
so here, instead is a tongue-in-cheek excerpt from Luke 25
The funny bit
There was a long queue of people waiting for Jesus and his disciples, the sick, the paralysed, those overcome by paint fumes (like the authors as they write- will the decorating ever be finished!). But because church has now been established there are one or two procedures to adhere to along the way...
Jesus: 'let the little children come to me'
Leader: 'er, can we just see your full disclosure CRB first'
Jesus: 'My what? I only want to have them come and sit on my knee and talk to them'
Leader: 'Ooh, we can't have any of that even if you have got your CRB - no affection to be shown whatever!'
Jesus: 'Alright - anyone here with long-term issues from the past?'
Mary: 'Well, I've always had problems with...'
Leader: 'Sorry to interupt, but as a single man, we really don't advise you to deal with this young woman..'
Jesus: 'But all I need to do is pray for her and she will be free..'
Mary: 'Just pray? Oh I don't think so, I've already been in counselling for two years, there's no way you're going to fob me off with a quick prayer'
Leader: 'Well, if you're going to get into counselling people I will have to see your accreditation'
Jesus: 'Accreditation, thought doing the fathers will was all that was needed'
Leader: 'You are a joker, trying to do something without the correct qualifications, do you realise the trouble you could be in! You can't do a job like that, we need the certificate before you can do anything - just because your father did it isn't enough!!'
Jesus to the disciples: 'look guys you're going to have to do stuff too, the queue is getting longer because of these rules and regulations'
Peter: 'right I will go and set up a Bible school, so that we can all be properly trained away from all these difficulties - do you reckon 3 or 4 years should do it?'
John: 'great I could run the church planting conference with you'
Nicodemus: 'well I am a professional, reckon I could do a bit of business planning for you'
Joanna: 'For goodness sake there are all these people here now, we have God with us, why can't we just get on with things'
Crowd: 'Don't be so unwise', 'I don't know how to talk to people', 'it could be dangerous', 'we can't just go round praying for people, might do more harm than good', 'we are not professionals', 'my diary is full till easter'
Jesus: Exit stage right, head in hands, weeping...
David says - Catherine's getting Josh to sleep whilst Becky watches 'Little Mermaid', so here's a slightly edited version of the forbidden blog - don't tell her...
The forbidden bit...
Ok, so let’s be clear from the outset, when you’re taking big risks, you need to be careful. The risk itself is, well, risky. You don’t want to add unnecessarily to the risk by being stupid. So I’m all for being wise, all for thinking ahead, all for avoiding pitfalls and the enemy’s traps.
But, and I say this with all due respect, TAKE SOME ******* RISKS. Let's stop sitting on our backsides shouting words of caution from the sidelines! There are people dying out there – some literally of course, but many more who are dying inside. Lots of them look ok - just like you on the outside - but if you look into their eyes, if you spend a few minutes really asking, you’ll find out that they are dying inside.
Janet & I used to work in Relief & Development. Classic dilemma; young child dying of dehydration, all you have to hand is unclean, contaminated water. What do you do? YOU GIVE THE CHILD THE WATER!!!! If you don’t it will die. If you do it might die from water-borne diseases, but if you don’t IT WILL DIE.
The person in front of you is dying inside. If you invite them into your life it might be messy - who knows where it will end? You’ve never handled this kind of thing before, there are probably others more competent. You’re frightened of screwing up, of making it worse. You don’t really have the time, the resources.
Jesus reinforced the command – ‘love your neighbour as yourself’. So to avoid it they asked ‘Who is my neighbour?’ I mean, if it’s the nice, same culture, same class, same point-of-view person from my church / club / work / neighbourhood then great! If it’s a person I believe I can help – that would actually make me feel good and valued – it would hardly feel like helping at all.... But Jesus doesn't let them get away with that! Instead he tells a story of the religious bigot from the feared part of town. He makes the point that your neighbour is whoever God brings across your path with a need. But they deflect it again by arguing they don't have what it takes to fill the need. So the gospel tells of the time the disciples are surrounded by an impossible need – around 10,000 men, women and children without food. He makes it clear – 'Right now, these are your neighbours, get on and sort it'. They moan ‘We don’t have the resources’. But if God has defined someone as your neighbour. He has the resources, you need to trust Him for them. The little boy did.
The person in front of you is dying inside. You feel grossly uncomfortable, getting involved might wreck your plans. Worse, it seems to fly in the face of conventional wisdom. Shouldn’t you wait to get other people involved, until you’ve had the training, until the kids have grown up, until we have the resources? What if it goes wrong and you end up hurting them, what if you don’t have what it takes? WAKE UP, THEY’RE DYING, THEY ARE YOUR NEIGHBOUR.
Please, don’t have a prayer meeting about it, don’t email everyone saying how worried you are about those who are actually getting their hands dirty, don’t write a policy on it. DO SOMETHING, THEY ARE DYING.
Of course, as you are rescuing, seek advice, be accountable, follow or write the policy, pray like crazy. BUT ACT, DO IT, DO IT NOW. THEY ARE DYING. Tomorrow may be too late.
Jesus showed them time and again. Ultimately He showed us all.
Sorry for the shouting, for the graphic language. Truth is, the cross was ******* inconvenient. But God thought that we as neighbours were worth it.
Let’s prove Him right.