Refusing the Rescuer
We went to Farmer’s Branch on Sunday. In his sermon, Chris mentioned something that really stuck with me. There are so many people who are still in New Orleans, refusing to leave their flooded, uninhabitable houses. CNN reports that many of these people are now delirious from lack of food, water and clean shelter. Yet they hang on. They are witness to the death and decay that has come in the wake of this tragedy. Yet they hang on. The police are coming through daily with bullhorns telling them that if they don’t leave soon the will be physically removed. Yet they hang on.
About all of this, Chris said that they are grasping to the world that they’ve known. They are clinging tightly to what the world has said are the only things they have. And they refuse to take the hand of the rescuer sent to bring them to safety.
This was a powerful image for me. What better way for our generation to understand the resistance that many people have for the Rescuer. We are so afraid to let go of what we think we have that we don’t realize it is completely rotten and decaying.
One of the residents at Reunion Arena is a pastor in New Orleans. He has ministered to me on several occasions during the last week. He spoke of going into a church sanctuary and coming to grips for the first time that the newly built church he left is probably gone. He said that at that moment he tearfully turned over the burden he’d greedily refused to give to God. Your kingdom come Lord! God’s Spirit does not live in tents made by man.
We are the Body of Christ and the Temple of the Lord God.
And so there is a rescuer dangling from helicopter, urging us to take his hand. This message is for us all, because just as Paul continued to battle with self, so do we today. To be continually conformed to the image of Christ is to learn to lean upon him and acknowledge our continual need for rescue. This requires us to let go of what we think are our only possessions. I wonder how much decay there is in my own life that I have continued to cling to as though it were shiny and new?