The Good News Can’t Wait

Last night I was walking through the hallways of a hospital, and since it was after hours, I had a personal guide leading me.  He worked the security desk.  We started talking about hospitals, and work, and then church.  He’s planning on coming to church with me on Sunday.

A few hours before I was sitting at Starbucks.  A student asked me a question about his homework.  We talked about literature, then sports, and then church.  I plan on seeing him Sunday as well.

I’m reminded of one of the more obscure teachings of Jesus, where a man comes to him and says, “I’d like to follow you, but I have to bury my father.” Jesus says, “Let the dead bury the dead, you just stick with me” (Luke 9:59-60).  That one always sounded a little insensitive to me.  He wants to have a funeral, and Jesus tells him not to bother?

Many scholars take the possible but not-necessary tact that the man’s father was still alive and he wanted to wait through the end, or that he meant he would go once his inheritance was secure, or that he was following the (sometimes) Jewish practice of waiting a year to bury the remains of the dead.  All of this mutes the actual words of Jesus to make them more palatable.  Jesus’ message is actually very simple.

The good news can’t wait!

Any kind of delay, serving as a disciple-at-large while someone else shoulders the work, batonpass-300x230.jpgisn’t part of the plan.  Jesus tells us to go reach the world now.  Talk about Jesus when we lie down at night and when we get up in the morning, when we sit at home and when we walk along the road.  Talk about Jesus when we’re going to the funeral, when we’re at the funeral, and when we’re standing around eating egg salad sandwiches afterwards.  Talk about Jesus instead of the business of normal life.  The Apostle Paul will even say it’s better not to get married if it gives you more time to talk to people about Jesus.

You know who stops talking about Jesus?  Dead people.  Spiritually dead people lateral that ball to a teammate so that they can go about normal life.  The act of following Jesus is like rising out of the baptismal waters to new life.  Nothing is better than that, and nothing is more important than that.  Do it today, not tomorrow.

The good news can’t wait!