Friday, February 18, 2011
Lesson of The Seagull
I had an interesting experience on the beach when I lived in Florida that illustrated the condition of our world and the church. I was with a group of students who were having a picnic. As you know, if you are having a picnic on the beach then there is going to be seagulls. This one particular seagull me a very valuable lesson that day.
As the students were enjoying their meal, this particular seagull became entangled in a string tied to a tree. As the seagull struggled to get loose, it became more and more agitated. The more it struggled, the more it became entangled.
Seeing this, one of the students walked up to the seagull and tried to release it. The seagull began to try and attack the student. Another nearby student decided since the seagull was being uncooperative and combative; he would club the bird to stun him so the other student could save him from the string. Before this could happen however, the other student was able to free the seagull and he flew off.
This is a perfect picture of how the world sometimes response to the gospel and how the church responds to their rejection. We want to help the lost but sometimes they are unresponsive or combative because they don’t know that we are trying to help. Then when the lost don’t respond to the way we want or don’t listen, we either want to “clobber” them with our message or we just want to right them off.
The sad part of this whole story was the number of us, including myself who sat and watch. We gave advice from the sidelines but we never really tried to help. At least the two young men were trying to help the seagull, the rest of us were fascinated by the scene.
The lesson for us as the church. The world is entangled in sin and destined for destruction without Christ. They are going to fight, reject and wonder what we are trying to do. Yet, this does not change the fact that the Holy Spirit has given us the power and the message to help them become untangled for a life of sin. We don’t clobber them; we love them, try to understand their context and reach out to them in love..
The second lesson is that we need to get involved. It is easy to sit on the sidelines and give advice. However, the Great Commission calls us to be involved, not sitting on sidelines watching the scenery. With the large number of unchurched in our neighborhoods, it is time that each of us begin to help others become untangled from a life of sin and soar to freedom in Christ Jesus. Lets work together to see that happen