Well…here are all (AKA some of those thoughts) I told you I’d write. My oldest daughter has officially been dunked in the water. There are days that I see people baptized and it moves me to tears and excitement…and although I am thrilled for Hads, more than anything I feel the weight (and joy) of what it will look like to disciple her. In no way do I feel like this event of being baptized was a finish line of “welp, we got her saved onto the next one,” but rather the beginning of her walk with Christ as she just said “Hey people out there who love me…I am a Christian now…saved by grace through faith. Hold me accountable, disciple me, love me, forgive me, and teach me how to do all of this too.”
This week the lights at our church went haywire. They would flick on, flick off, flick to an even off-er state, flick back on, stay off for 15 minutes, come on for five. You get the idea. Technical difficulties when a lighting system is connect to a computer system.
As I sat there in the dark listening to Pastor Chris teach I thought about religion. I’m sorry, if you are uncomfortable in the dark. I’m sorry if this is not what you wanted. I’m sorry things are a smidge different than last week. But not really. I thought about people who sneak to houses at different times of the day just to keep from being found out about so that they can meet together with other believers. I thought about the people in prisons for their faith. I thought about those who made their church out of mud and sticks. I thought about those who sit on dirt floors in both hot and freezing temperatures just to meet with other believers and worship together. I thought about those who take their faith and simplicity of meeting together for granted because it’s so easy. I thought about those new believers or those who may have endured a tragedy and are on the verge of breaking, waivering, hurting, etc. who leave the church because of “church people”.
Over the past 9 months or so as Hadassah has been asking questions about becoming a believer and getting baptized I have done lots of thinking.
I don’t want her to know religion.
I don’t want her to know religion. I don’t want her to solely walk through church doors three times a week and sit stagnant. I want her to know Jesus! And I want her to know him in a deep and intimate way!
At her funeral one day when she dies at 105 I don’t want the speaker to say “Hadassah gave her life to Jesus at 8 years old and was a member of ___________ church.” I want every person there to know she lived her life in a way that was pleasing to God. That she loved Him and loved people. Had patience. Self-control. Joy. Peace. Kindness. Goodness. Faithfulness. Gentleness. I want them to say she was a prayer warrior who trusted in God to do miraculous things. I want her to disciple people. I want her to deeply desire Christ above all other things. I want her to go beyond useless religion and truly know, love, and serve Jesus in a way that leads people to come to know, love, and serve Jesus.
When she faces wretched situations that are heartbreaking and life changing I want her to stand firmly on the foundation of Christ. When she screws up and makes the biggest mistakes, I want her to recognize forgiveness. I want her to forgive. To speak truth. To know Him beyond Sunday morning.
So when the lights go out or the carpet is ugly or the banners are outdated or the songs aren’t her style or the chairs are uncomfortable or whatever blank fits…I want her to care zero because she is so enamored by Jesus that she doesn’t even recognize the earthly distractions.
But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 19:14