January 19, 2011

Being Out There

Luke 15:1-24

The Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
Luke 15:2


Something precious is lost—a sheep, a coin, a son. It’s a time for searching and watching. But when the lost is found, it’s time to celebrate! Jesus lives for this.

Yet some people thought his methods were too far “out there.” Getting cozy with tax- collectors and prostitutes is risky business. You’ve got to keep an eye on your wallet with such people around. Their bad habits will rub off on you. You’ll water down the truth, and time-honored traditions will be compromised. Is that worth the damage to your reputation, Jesus?

When evangelist Bill Hybels started competitive sailing, he invited experienced, “salty” types to be in his crew. Most were not yet Christians. When his boat lined up for the start, occasionally vulgar language could be heard by other boaters who knew Bill to be a church going man. It’s the kind of price you pay to be “out there” for the lost.

Doesn’t Jesus’ church live for this? We’re a team of shepherds working the high country for lost lambs. We’re a sisterhood of women sweeping every corner to retrieve coins bearing God’s image. We’re a band of sons extending from our Father’s open arms till all his wandering children are welcomed home.

You don’t have to sail to be “out there” with Jesus. But it can’t happen if we always play it safe.

Savior, each one of us is precious to you. You’ve gone out of your way for us, and heaven applauds our rescue. Make us your mission network. Amen.

About the author — Norm Prenger

Rev. Norm Prenger is a graduate of Calvin Theological Seminary. He pastored churches in Alberta and British Columbia before he was disabled by a heart attack and a post-operative stroke. He now lives with his wife, Gwen, near Thunder Bay, Ontario. He enjoys fishing, writing, drumming, and encouraging his fishing partners and neighbors to follow Jesus.

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