Published: 12:05 am, Sun. Aug. 23rd, 2015
An angel appears at a faculty meeting and tells the dean that in return for his unselfish and exemplary behavior, the Lord will reward him with his choice of infinite wealth, wisdom or beauty. Without hesitating, the dean selects infinite wisdom.
“Done!” says the angel, and disappears in a cloud of smoke and a bolt of lightning. Now, all heads turn toward the dean, who sits surrounded by a faint halo of light. At length, one of his colleagues whispers, “Say something.”
The dean looks intently at his colleagues gathered around him and says, “I should have taken the money.”
A minister was making a home visit to one of the younger families in his parish.
A five-year-old boy answered the front door and told the minister his mother would be there shortly. To make some conversation, the minister asked the little guy what he would like to be when he grows up. The boy immediately answered, “I’d like to be possible.”
“What do you mean by that?” the puzzled minister asked.
“Well, you see,” the boy replied, “just about every day my mom tells me I’m impossible!”
Richard W. Patt asks an interesting question: What seems to be impossible in your life these days?
Is it some task you are facing in your personal life?
Or maybe as you look out on our weary world and society today, you are prompted to ask, “Who is going to accomplish all the things that seem so impossible in our world today?”
In such times Jesus Christ is asking you and me to join with him in being partners in the impossible.
To his friend and follower, Philip, Jesus once asked, “Where can we buy enough food to feed all these people?”
An impossible task, indeed! But as we look at this question of Jesus in the Bible, let’s try and take hold of the encouraging truth that emerges, and it is this: Christ never asks us to do the impossible unless he himself provides the power and resources to get the job done.
So the encouragement is this:
confidently answer his call for he is our divine partner in doing the impossible! Sounds simple enough but now the question is, do we really believe this and will we act upon it?
It’s that time of the year, you know. The telephone rings, you answer, it’s someone from the church. After a bit of polite chit-chat, the caller gets to the point: “The reason I’m calling,”
the caller confesses, “is that we would really like it if you would consider teaching Sunday School next year, or serving as a Bible study leader, singing in the choir, chairing a particular committee, whatever.”
And you think: “Dear God, they must really be scraping the bottom of the barrel,” or “I already have so much to do,”
and all of the good, logical reasons for not saying “yes” come immediately to mind.
Someone asks you to lunch.
You know each other, but then again, you really don’t. He says, “I’ll be honest with you.
I’m about as lonely as I have ever been in my life. I need a friend, someone to talk with, and I was hoping you would be that person for me.” And you think, “Oh, Lord, I’m not up to this.”
A friend gives every evidence of addiction; a neighbor’s child bears the marks of abuse… it would be easier, and probably smarter for you personally, just to stay out of it all, to mind your own business.
Dudley Weaver notes that we may feel sorry for the person trying to recruit volunteers in the life of the church; sorry for the person who needs a friend; sorry for the friend with the addiction, sorry for the child with the bruises and broken skin, but when you add it all up, all you have to offer are five little loaves of bread and two scrawny fish.
There is nothing that you can do. The task is simply beyond the scope of your ability, the limits of your time and energy, and so what you do is – nothing.
Jesus, though, just keeps asking “What are we do to about this?”
Why can’t he just leave well enough alone?
I’m just sayin’.
Have a great Sunday! (EDITOR’S NOTE: David Grousnick is the pastor at First Christian Church.)