16th Sunday after Pentecost
Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me – Mark 9:37 Click on pic to enlarge
It was a stark and disquieting day – the day he admitted that he didn’t really believe in Jesus. He admitted it as he was reading the Bible and all he could think about were the questions he had swirling around in his head. The scripture said, “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all” (Mark 9:35). He admitted that he wasn’t particularly interested in being a servant of anyone, much less of everyone.
He admitted it as he thought about all the questions he had about how the Holy Spirit worked through the waters of baptism and the bread and wine of communion. He admitted it as he thought about how on the surface he appeared to be a very “good” Christian. However, he knew that underneath that very thin veneer there was a man who lived stingily and cautiously, and not like someone who really ever believed in a transformative gospel.
He admitted that he was truthful with himself, he didn’t want to give away his hard-earned money to the poor. Sure, he desired to help the starving children in Africa – but honestly, he really, really desired a flat-screen plasma television.
He admitted that any shred of faith he had now was completely unrecognizable from the faith he had as a child or even as a younger adult. He thought that admitting all these things might spin his faith off into some void, that he might somehow become lost forever in a sea of unbelief with no way back.
Rather, it led him back home again. His admissions, his confessions, reminded him why he so desperately need a Savior. By refusing to just play the part of a Christian anymore, he was coming closer to being the real thing than he had in a long time.