Friday, September 4, 2015

In His Steps

It was a beautiful Sunday morning in the little town of Raymond. The members of the First Church of Raymond were all decked out in their Sunday best and were enjoying another inspirational worship service. Rachel Winslow, an attractive young lady, had just finished singing a beautiful arrangement of a song, “Where He Leads Me I Will Follow”. The pastor, Rev Henry Maxwell, stood up, walked to the pulpit, and began to deliver his message to the congregation. The message was on discipleship and, as usual, Maxwell did a great job challenging his congregation. Just before the end of the service, a man who had been seated at the back of the church, stood up and made his way to the front.

The man looked to be in his early thirties. His clothes were dirty and torn; he looked as if he hadn’t had a bath for several days. He turned to face the congregation and said, “I’ve been wondering about something ever since I came in here, and with your pastor’s permission, I would like to say a word or two before the close of the service. First of all, I want you to know I am not drunk or crazy; I am perfectly harmless, but if I die, which is very likely, I need to know I have had my say”.

He told the congregation that he was unemployed, even though he had been looking for work. Then he asked them, “What does it mean to follow Christ? What do you mean when you sing ‘I’ll go with Him, with Him, all the way’?”. He continued, “There seems to be an awful lot of trouble in the world that somehow wouldn’t exist if all the people who sing Christian songs went and lived them out”. Then he just shook his head and looked at the pastor, saying “I just don’t understand, but what would Jesus do?”.

This incident didn’t really take place, but comes from the Christian classic “In His Steps”, a book written in 1896 by Charles Sheldon, who was a pastor in a small church in Kansas. Over the years, this question has developed into young people wearing bracelets with the initials WWJD inscribed on them. This really is a haunting question - one that should be one of the foundation stones for our ministry together - always asking in each situation “What would Jesus do?”.

“We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God was making His appeal through us”.
(2 Corinthians 5:20)

Truly, all that we say and do, how we act and react to situations around us, has an effect on those looking at our lives and seeing if we are consistent between what we say and how we walk.

May God give you His strength and wisdom as we walk together!

Pastor Roger