Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Charlie Bit Me...

(photo from www.knowyourmeme.com)
I have no clue who those two kids are, but that is one of the funniest things I have seen in a long time. If you haven't seen the clip, you can find it on youtube.com, and it's two brothers sitting together in a chair. One looks to be 3 and the other, probably not even a year old yet. In the beginning of the clip, Charlie (the baby) has bitten his older brother's finger. The older brother says, "Ouch, Charlie bit me..." but he's laughing about it. Then, what does he do? He sticks his other finger right into Charlie's mouth, and guess what...Charlie bit him...again.

The older brother then said, "Charlie bit me, and that really hurt Charlie, and it still hurts..." while Charlie is almost doubled over laughing. It was fun in the beginning, but the longer Charlie bit, the more it hurt.

It really doesn't connect with this morning's readings, but when I read Luke 11 this morning, that was the first thing that popped into my mind..."Charlie bit me, and that really hurt..." Then the next thing that popped into my mind was..."Jesus said that, and that really hurt..." Luke 11:45 says, "One of the teachers of the law answered him, "Teacher, when you say these things, you insult us, also." Jesus was fun in the beginning, but the more Jesus talked and taught, the more it hurt.

Funny how that goes, eh? It even happens in some of our own faith journeys. In the beginning there is a huge sigh of relief because we have been given a clean slate, our pasts are wiped away, and we can start this new life that we've been called to. But...the more we study and the more we read, the more we watch what he did and how he lived, and the more we realize we are called to the same...Jesus isn't as much fun anymore.

I've said before that he knew it was going to be tough, it's just that his followers didn't always get that. After he taught them about his body and blood being given for them, a bunch of them left. It was too hard. He even looked at those in his inner circle and asked if they wanted to leave too.

I can't imagine. Even as tough as it is sometimes, I can't imagine walking away from my call to discipleship, to follow, and to become (at least to the best of my human ability) Christ for someone in pain. Jesus knows we're busy. Jesus knows things are tough all around. But Jesus also knows that there is a world full of folks who have things a lot worse than we do, and maybe, just maybe, we can lend them a hand.

Now, I'm all about preaching grace and clean slates. In fact, that's the message I'm bringing this Sunday, but as a messenger, I pray that I never apologize for bringing a word of call to mission. Yeah, you stick your finger in Charlie's mouth and Charlie's going to bite you. You sign up to be a follower of Jesus, and Jesus is going to put you to work somewhere, sometime, and somehow. And thank God he does.


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