I recently downloaded a free mini-album from Elevation Church in North Carolina, which you can get here. One song in particular struck me and has been with me since I heard it. The song is called “The Church.” I encourage you to download the song and listen, but here’s a part of the first verse that made me think:
Now’s the time for us to rise and carry hope to hopeless eyes and show this world that mercy is alive
The ‘us’ there is the church. And when you hear church it’s easy to think of the steeple topped building, but the church is you and me and those who claim Christ as master and Savior of their life. When I hear the lyrics, I zero in on the words now, hope, and hopeless. Martin Luther once said, “How soon not now becomes never.” Let that sink in. Have you ever said, “Not right now” when it comes to changing something only to have that ‘not now’ become ‘never’? It happens all the time. And it happens with the church as well. We wait for perfect circumstances or situations to come along and when that perfect opportunity comes along, THEN we’ll go do good deeds, THEN we’ll go and proclaim the news of forgiveness and salvation. But THEN and not now quickly become never. We have no guarantee of a tomorrow. So while it’s great to plan ahead and be patient, that doesn’t mean we become a passive people. The church is a fluid, living, active movement.
And we are a movement that carries hope to hopeless eyes. Talk to people around you and once you get beyond superficialities and surface conversation, you will find a person and people who are pining for hope in anything that will fulfill or satisfy. The allures of success, power, money, and sex have left them wondering if there really is a hope worth living for. So why is it that we as the church harbor and hide away when we not only have a hope worth living for, but we have a hope worth DYING for? It makes no sense.
Have you told ANYONE in the past week, month, year, 10 years, that any “hope” we can see is no hope at all (Romans 8.24)? Are you eagerly waiting for the redemption of the body and the earth? If so, you cannot help but want to bring as many people into that redemption as possible. If you wait for the perfect opportunity to share that hope with someone, you’ll never do it. Now’s the time for the church to be the church, and at the very core that means we put the hope of Christ on display in word and deed.
What keeps you from sharing the hope?