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Posts Tagged ‘L’Arche’

Bullies 8.16Sinner.

Bully.

Amazing human.

These words jumped out at me as I captured this graphic from an atheist Internet community.

“You are an amazing human” YES! Everyone who is, was and will be is absolutely amazing. Absolutely unique. And as a Christian, I can confidently add this: absolutely cherished by the creator and master of time, space and the universe.

To make the point as strong as possible, what I just wrote applies to me, to you, to Donald Trump, to Jean Vanier (the extraordinary founder of the international L’Arche homes for several disabled people), to the most sickening ISIS terrorist and the most committed community volunteer.

There are NO exceptions. How can I know this? As a Christian, I refer to a section of the Bible simply called ‘Romans’: “there is no difference between Jews and [non-Jews]; God is the same Lord of all and richly blesses all who call to him”.

“You are not a sinner”. OK, then besides being an amazing human being, what are you? Or to really make you think, what is an ISIS terrorist? I imagine you (like me) have no trouble calling an ISIS member a sinner. What about Jean Vanier…has he ever done anything wrong (or failed to do something right)? I’ve heard Jean on detailed TV interviews; he would have no trouble calling himself a sinner.

So if someone as “saintly” as Jean Vanier knows he’s a sinner, what does that make me? Or you? Or ANYONE of ANY age? I’m referring to the little girl in the graphic; can anyone honestly show me a six or seven year-old who hasn’t uncaringly whacked their sibling or ripped a toy out of their hands? Really?

“Bully” is an inflammatory word in North American culture, with school boards, teachers and parents on the lookout to stop this nauseating, soul-destroying behaviour. But does the word apply to people who are telling you and I the TRUTH about our condition?

Sure, they might be telling you in a judgmental, patronizing way (in other words, a sinful way), but that doesn’t change the truth of our condition. Acknowledging and acting on this condition is important because God knows us better than we know ourselves and so that’s inevitably how He sees us.

In fact,  that ‘Romans’ section of the Bible puts it like this: “All have sinned and are not good enough to share God’s divine greatness.”

So if you’re still with me, are you willing to admit you are (1) an amazing human being and (2) a sinner who doesn’t need anyone (least of all an obnoxious bully) to convince you of these two things?

If you’ve said yes, then consider that your creator doesn’t want you to live and die in your sinful condition. He wants to come into your life and make you more like the person He knows you can be. And he wants to do that through His Son, Jesus Christ.

When you accept Jesus into your life — and understand that He died to make up for all the wrong things you’ve done and all the right things you’ve failed to do — then you welcome God into your life. And when this life ends, you’ll spend all of eternity in the glorious presence of Jesus.

Interested? Yes or no, post your thoughts below and let’s have a conversation.

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Good Christians 5.14Have you encountered Jesus followers like those described in this graphic? I’m pretty sure the answer is YES. In fact, I’m sad to write that there may be one or two of you out there who would name ME as one of those people.

All too often, those of us who claim we are Jesus followers act the same as everyone else on this planet. We are obnoxious, two-faced, self-righteous sinners who are usually ready to point out the errors of others while ignoring our own shortcomings.

Sometimes, we even go so far as to claim we are being persecuted while we are busy persecuting others.

There are times when people wish we would do what our leader did when He was physically on earth: help those for whom our culture has little time or regard.

Jesus did that repeatedly, treating people from other tribes and cultures with respect, defending a woman caught in adultery from heartless “religious” leaders, having dinner with people who were scorned by arrogant authorities and more.

I’m glad to tell you there are many examples of Jesus followers who behave in ways that make it clear, without any need to declare it, that they ARE good Jesus followers. Here are a few:

  • I know of many Jesus-following doctors and nurses who volunteer to serve in hospitals in the developing world.
  • We often read in the news about church leaders protecting people from heartless deportation or from death during violent times.
  • Most major North American cities have Jesus ministries whose entire reason for existing is to feed and shelter homeless people.
  • Canadian Catholic humanitarian and theologian Jean Vanier started a worldwide network of non-profit communities called “L’Arche”. Those communities provide homes and support services for mentally challenged people. Vanier certainly wasn’t perfect, but he did follow Jesus to the best of his ability.

There are many more examples, but you get the point. In each case, these Jesus followers are being the hands and feet of Jesus to a world that we all know isn’t doing well.

Could Jesus followers be doing more? Of course we could. That’s why we gather at churches (or “do” church online), to understand how we can overcome our shortcomings and be “good” Jesus followers. Without having to tell people that’s what we are.

What about you and your failures — the bad things you’ve done and the good things you’ve failed to do? Do you want to know how you can overcome them through an awesome power that’s truly beyond your understanding? Then check out Jesus. He’s God’s gift to everyone who’s willing to accept that gift.

What are your thoughts? Post them below and let’s have a conversation.

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