Posted on August 10, 2014
Posted on August 10, 2014
A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I were discussing the recent developments in the Middle East; the war between Israel and Hamas in particular. We were talking about the significance of the events, and how they may signal the biblical prophesy of the second coming of Christ. My husband felt urgency, for those who don’t know Christ to come. He said,
Drop your bong and come. Wait. Come with your bong!
I smiled, thought to myself, he gets it, and we had a good laugh. Those words have stuck with me over the last couple of weeks though. And I’ve been thinking about how, as Christians, we say we want people to “come to Jesus.” But what we say and what we do are often two different things.
When we want someone to just COME – come to Christ. Come to hope. Come to grace and mercy and love. Are we free to accept them to come as they are? Does the pothead have to drop the bong before he can come? Does the prostitute have to leave her profession to come? Does the gay man or woman have to renounce their lifestyle to come?
No! Jesus says, “Come. Come as you are. Come as the drugged up, worn out, used up, good for nothin’ ragamuffin you are.”
You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule. (Matthew 5:3 MSG)
This morning in church, we sang a song that absolutely hits this particular nail on the head. The Same Love, by Paul Baloche:
The same love that sets the captives free, the same love that opened eyes to see is calling us all by name, you are calling us all by name. (You can watch/listen here)
It’s true you know. He knows your name. He’s calling your name. He’s asking you to come. Come as you are. Come with your guilt, your shame, your screwed up, messed up life. Come with your faults, your excuses, your addictions and your battle scars. Just come. Bring it all. You don’t need to clean up, make up or cover up to come to Jesus. He loves you just as you are.
I’m reminded of the plaque that stands with the Statue of Liberty. The statue that stands as a reminder of our freedom as a nation. Ellis Island nearby was the place where hopeful immigrants came to find freedom and life in America. The poem, The New Colossus reads in part:
…cries she With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
There is liberty in Christ. There is freedom in Christ. The tired, the poor, those yearning to breathe free. There is freedom for all of us. Just come. He didn’t just die so you could die to sin, he died so you could be alive in him.
He says, Give me your tired, your poor. Are you yearning to breathe free?