We had a fantastic day in Pennsylvania as a band. Along with the guys from Polen Band, I had the privilege of leading worship for a great event for high school students. The event was called “Wayumi Youth Day” and it was all about exposing students to overseas missions and unreached people groups. It was very cool.
All day long the students participated in “Survivor” type challenges and activities, and there were three sessions throughout the day with a message and music.
Between the second and third session, several of us went out for our daily 5k. We ran 3.2 miles in 29 minutes and 22 seconds, which is an average pace of 9:03 per mile. It was an especially great run for me, as my legs were still a bit sore from yesterday’s long run. They were not too sore, though. I actually considered going a lot further, but decided to play it smart and just settle for 3.2.
After the event, we packed up our gear (with a lot of really great help from the event staff) and hit the road to head for home. I just literally walked through my doorway at 1:30am, so I am technically posting this a day late (sorry). We always try to make it a priority to get home from an event in time for church on Sunday morning. Obviously that is not always possible, but if it is possible we make it happen. I can think of several occasions where we made it home with just enough time to jump in the shower and make it to church.
Yes. We are crazy. But church is important.
For some reason I have had trouble remembering what chapters I am supposed to read each day. You would think it would not be that difficult, but I have been struggling, so today I wrote out a calendar for the rest of the month. Today (I guess technically yesterday) we were supposed to read Luke 14-16.
There was a ton of great stuff within those three, shorter chapters. What stood out to me the most, though, was the section at the very end. What a bizarre parable.
“There was a rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate was laid a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover, even the dogs came and licked his sores. The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried, and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. And he called out, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am in anguish in this flame.’ But Abraham said, ‘Child, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner bad things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’ And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house— for I have five brothers—so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’ But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them hear them.’ And he said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if someone goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ He said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be convinced if someone should rise from the dead.’” – Luke 16:19-31
With this single parable, Jesus seems to have summed up all three chapters. He once again reveals the eternal insignificance of earthly riches. He also reiterates the importance of the Moses and the Prophets (essentially the Old Testament). We also get a practical glimpse of what it looks like for the first to be last and the last to be first.
What stands out most to me in this parable, though, is what happens in that moment that the rich man realizes that hell is real and that he will be there forever…
He becomes an evangelist… of sorts.
And he said, ‘Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house— for I have five brothers—so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’ – Luke 16:27-28
Though he could not tell his brothers, personally, he begged Abraham to send Lazarus to them so that they could be warned of the reality of hell.
Of course, this is just a parable, but the truth of it remains.
And I wonder: what will it take for us to become passionate about warning others of the eternal anguish that is in store for those who refuse to put their faith in the One who is greater than Moses and the Prophets -and who really did rise from the dead?