"You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless. You are the light of the world-like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house…” -Jesus Christ (Matthew 5:14-16a)
How much time have we spent (wasted) in seeking to be relevant to a people who have gone their own way, ignoring God, seeking to please themselves? Today, many of us have been intimidated and fooled to believe in the lie of our own irrelevance we as Christians we have to our culture. We have been misled to believe this because we want to avoid the offense that the message of the cross of Christ brings with it. It is an exclusive, narrow message that there are eternal consequences for our sin if each of us do not take a hold of the God’s one and only provision for salvation. And we know that MOST will reject this message. So we try to make it more palatable, change it or even obscure the message so it will be more acceptable. WHEN we do that WE DO BECOME IRRELEVANT!
The most relevant message we can offer is right under our noses. Yes, it is in our very hearts. It is a human problem that we have been born into and is with us our entire lives. It is a fear that we all have but don’t like to admit we have or don’t like to dwell on it. Like Halloween trick or treaters “whistle in the dark” when we walk past the graveyard. What is this problem? IT IS THE FEAR OF DEATH! And as those who contain Jesus Christ and His message, we hold Him as the key to overcome it! “Since the children have flesh and blood, (Jesus) too shared in their humanity so that they by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death --- that is, the devil--- and free those who ALL THEIR LIVES WERE HELD IN SLAVERY BY THEIR FEAR OF DEATH.” (Hebrews 2:14-15 emphasis added)
It is a singularly human fear. Our two cats sure don’t seem to struggle with it. I don’t think Mitzi or Smokey contemplate about their inevitable death. They only think about that next can of Friskies canned cat food they will eat or the next nap they will take.
The pandemic has revealed something about us in America that should be no surprise. We fear death. We fear it so much that we are willing to go through almost anything to avoid it from coming too soon. Many of us are willing to give up our freedoms we have taken for granted our whole lives as long as we can feel safer, maximally protected, to delay the inevitable and postpone death a little while longer. We have been taught to believe that reality is only what we can see and touch and a conscious existence after death is an unproven superstition. Many are opting to believe today what awaits us is just non-existence.
As Americans we seek is comfort, anything that will give us a greater sense of peace and security. We are open to anything that will help us escape the weight of thinking about this lifelong fear. So, we become vulnerable to government overreach and control. We become fearful and suspicious of others.! We as Christians have allowed ourselves to be bullied to believe that we are irrelevant at best, and at worst, a threat to the peace and safety of others. Hence, we often cower in silence.
It is time to stand in the truth that we as Christians ARE relevant, not so much because of ourselves but because of WHAT WE POSSESS AND TO WHOM WE BELONG TO. We possess a most relevant message. It is as relevant as a parachute would be for someone ready to jump out of a plane at 30,000 feet. We who carry this message are no more a threat to others than a lifeboat would be a threat to a drowning person in the ocean!
Thank you, Lord, that through YOU I am very relevant in addressing the greatest human fear that we have… the fear of death. Please show me when I am being bullied into watering your message down to make it more “palatable.” Forgive me for seeking to please people rather than helping them know the YOU who is the Way, the Truth and the Life!
Written by Jamie Bohnett. Contact the Author: firstname.lastname@example.org