Archive for August, 2009

Today’s Samsons

One of the men in our church sent me the link to the Youtube video of Nate Larkin telling his story. It’s quite a story.  Pastor seeking prostitute on the way to the Christmas eve candlelight service he will be leading.  Nate continues his story to reveal the winding road of plunging into his disease and coming out of it to walk in the light.  A number of things struck me here.  Firstly, the church needs honesty.  People have serious problems.  Perhaps I should say, all people have serious problems. If grace is to be applied deeply, the furrows must be dug deeply. Truth, as painful as it may be and as deep as it lies, must come out into the open.  Yet, often the church perpetuates the belief that we are really okay and that we do not really need help.  So we go and put on a show.  Everything has to look good, right?  It’s time we get honest.  We should be able to be more honest at church than AA meetings and on therapist’s couches. Why?  We all stand together in our brokenness and we need the support and truth of community to be whole.  This means we need to create a place where it is safe to come into the light.  Secondly, this leads to the conclusion that we need community.  Keith Ferrazzi says community of this nature requires generosity, candor, honesty.  It is not just that we can tell our story, but that we have accountability and others to help us face our demons.  Without supportive brothers, I have only my own strength.  I am weak.  A cord of three strands is not easily broken.  This leads to the third thing.  We need the gospel.  One might hear Nate’s story and wonder what hope he has for recovery.  The darkness in his life choked out the light entirely.  Or, did it?  There is grace greater than all our sins.  We learn this through the presence of a brother, someone who loves us and is generous with his time to help in our healing.  That’s what grace is.  Something outside yourself that you don’t make happen.  You can only freely receive it.  That is what Jesus’ coming is all about.  Undeserved.  Even unrequested.  He showed up and walked into our worlds and lives with his mercy and forgiveness. He not only shined the light in our dark places, but he never condemned us.  He took our condemnation on himself so that we could be restored, healed, forgiven, and set free.  The question is: will we?

Nate’s story:  http://tomorrowsreflection.com/07/2009/otr-nate-larkin/

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