At church this Sunday, the Pastor opened his sermon by showing this video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9NK1RsItAAs. He then began to discuss a specific kind of Christian, the “hitchhiker”. This is someone that is fully behind the church and wants to see it grow but doesn’t want to put in the work and as soon as things get difficult they are gone to “better” places. It’s such a sad thing but it happens all the time. But why should we not be a hitch hiker? While in the past I have heard many sermons about the importance of church, the one that I heard this Sunday has provided me the strongest imagery (loosely retold).
“During a trip a Pastor was spending a few nights with a husband and wife. During his stay he noticed that they showed so much devotion to their dog. They fed the dog the same food they were eating, it had its own room and bed, and they were constantly giving it attention. In fact, it was almost as if they were giving it more attention than their guest. The Pastor was shocked and amazed at their behavior. So one night he asks them why they don’t have any kids. They gave so much attention to the dog, they would make great parents. The wife ran out crying and the Pastor asked why it offended her. The husband told him that they once had a son but he died of a terminal illness and the wife was told by her doctor that she could no longer have children. The dog actually belonged to the child so when he passed away the couple devoted all of their love and attention to the dog because they loved their son so much.”
The Pastor then challenged the congregation to put this in the perspective of Jesus and the church. If we love Jesus and God so much, shouldn’t that love flood the church? Shouldn’t we want to do everything that we can to help it grow and thrive?
This is such a powerful image for me because I know that I have been so blessed and have experienced the love of Christ that I know others have not yet seen. It is so important for those of us who know what that love is like, to be able to share it with others. This is what church is and this is why we shouldn’t be hitchhikers. We are not called to take everything we can out of church and then leave it high and dry. We are called to grow the church and stand by it, giving everything that we take. I think we can all agree that the love of Christ is a powerful thing and that everyone should be able to experience it.
I hope you all are having a great week and don’t forget to take a moment each day to share the love of Christ with others in any way that you can.
Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.