Rip the roof off.

HopeI sorta suck at inviting people to know Jesus.  Not gonna lie to you here.  I have always struggled with the actual physical discussion whereupon his name is used and an invitation is given.  Whether you are a stranger or a family member, I have traditionally been slow to a good hearty invitation to know the love of the Lord.  Feeling kinda guilty about it.

Only recently have I broken through with a pretty honest and carefree approach to evangelizing.  Today’s gospel helped me a ton with that.

I love Mark 2:1-12.  I love all the images of people coming and going.  Jesus sitting inside a house with a roof made of mud, straw and manure then having is crumble around him…then pays no mind to the mess.  I love the doubt and the miraculous.  I especially love the descriptions of people’s faces whether anger or awe.  Who knew forgiveness would cause such a raucous?

Jesus did.  Sound like a dumb answer? Fine.  Track with it for a minute.

At the heart of every great spiritual encounter and every great relationship is forgiveness.  Our baggage is what we carry around with us and it is want alienates us from each other.  Our own agenda and brokenness creates barriers and blind spots.  We blame our schedules and our business for our lack of relationships, but it really boils down to effort.

Effort comes from hope and hope comes from a sense of belonging to something bigger and better.  Hence, forgiveness finds its immense role.

We are hopeless when we have our lives completely figured out and secured.  We are hopeless when all of our needs are met and we long for nothing.  We are hopeless in our technological euphoria and self-actualization.

Hope creeps into a longing heart.  Longing comes when we prioritize and recognize true need. Not material need, but that unexplainable ache of the soul (St. Augustine) need.  We all have it.  Some of us are just better at disguising it.

In Mark 2 Jesus forgives.  No real news flash here.  He does it all the time.  The real boom comes from the fact that he forgives as a means of both spiritual and physical healing. Oh, and it really pisses off the Pharisees.

Who has the most to gain from Christ…the broken, wasted, hurting, empty, suffering, lost, etc.  Who has the least to gain…the perfect, the actualized, the self-proclaimed rich.

This isn’t a new idea by any means.  It is simply theeeeee idea.

Lead with forgiveness…your need for it and recognition of its awesome freeness in Christ.  Recognize the healing power of the king of king and his desire for hope in all of our lives.  You are forgiven.  Just like me.  Now let’s really get to know Christ. We will all be ripping the roof off of our buddy’s homes in no time.

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