Well, it seems there is a great convergence going on. You know: when multiple things come together and form one powerful thing.
It’s like when you experience something; there is a tug at your heart. You start to ask God about it. Then you read something in a devotional, then an article, then read something similar in another book; you take notice, it’s growing. Then you hear a sermon on Sunday, and have a conversation with a friend on Monday; it’s coming together. Two or three blogs you subscribe to seem to be discussing variations of the same theme, then your sister calls you and says the speaker at the conference she’s at is teaching on the subject. You turn to the next chapter in your Bible the next morning, and God’s talking about it, too. It’s becoming clear. Do you think He is speaking? :-)
My friend and worship pastor likens this phenomenon to tributaries in the rainy season all rushing in to form one big, brown, raging Class V river. Convergence.
This has been happening to me, and yes, the topic is still “Sin.” Why do people not even like to say the word? In reality it’s an archery term that means “missing the mark.” I don’t have any trouble at all telling people I missed the mark. I messed up. Why then do we have a problem saying, “I’ve sinned”?? Maybe a dose of reality would help:
In my last post I quoted from James 5 where we are told to confess our sins to one another and pray for each other so that we may be healed. “The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” I didn’t read on farther that day, but I did today. The last verse in that chapter reads, “If anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.”
Wow. That’s pretty powerful. Sin is not only something we should watch out for in our own lives, it is something we should watch out for in the lives of our sisters (and brothers) because it could cost them their lives. I have friends who were “brought back.” This means their friends went after them when they were messing up. Had the guts to do it. Loved ‘em enough to do it. I hear those stories and cry. As a “prodigal daughter” three times over, I don’t recall being pursued like that. I don’t remember anyone trying to rescue me. Though perhaps people tried and I was just too stubborn, willful, self-centered, and rebellious to hear. But I do know that there were times when not only was I not pursued, I was shunned. And I wonder how many times I turned an ignorant or a blind eye to my sisters who needed me to have the guts and grace to come after them…
YET — look at the blessing the rescuer gets according to this verse! Having been the drowning, I would like now to be the rescuer. Do we have the wisdom and desire to see and remove the log in our own eye? Do we have the guts and the grace to help a sister out with the speck in hers?
My prayer is for this “convergence” to become one mighty, raging, unstoppable river — sweeping in believers in to its swift current and causing a cleansing, a renewal, a keen and quick understanding of sin, of confession, of repentance, of redemption and of so much love for one another that we cannot bear to see a sister washed ashore and left behind. THIS should be what the church is all about.