Our church offers four services on the weekend, one on Saturday night and three more on Sunday. They are all the same. Same songs. Same sermon. There’s no need to attend more than once.
And yet, on the weekends when Cheryl and I attend on Saturday evening, I wake up feeling a little guilty the next day. It’s Sunday, and I’m not going to church.
So, one Sunday morning, I assuage my guilt and tune in to a “live” internet church service. Before the sermon, an inspirational video comes on the screen. I settle in with my cup of coffee.
Now, I don’t know if you’re like me, but I’ve seen a good number of these short Christian films. They usually go something like this: 1) the person has a problem; 2) he/she gives it over to God; 3) God fixes the problem; 4) the person goes on to do amazing things for God and the world.
This video seems to be no exception.
He’s good-looking and has an extremely cool New Zealand accent.
One day, Chris goes off to a medical appointment and is diagnosed with cancer. He’s given six months to live.
Chris is stunned and decides to renew his boyhood commitment to the Lord.
This sustains him for the next two years. He’s alive and appears strong.
My mind begins to predict: 1) Chris beats cancer by the power of God, and 2) he devotes the rest of his life to helping cancer survivors.
The camera focuses in on Chris. He talks about spending time drawing closer to God. Then scenes come up of Chris walking hand in hand with his wife and playing with his children in the driveway. Then back to Chris who’s talking more about growing deeper in his relationship with God.
And, with that, the video ends.
The lights come up and a minister walks out on the internet church stage and says, “Sadly, Chris passed away last summer. We miss him.”
Wait a minute, I think, what about Chris doing something big or important with his life? Where’s that part?
Wait a minute …
No, the Lord has told us what is good. What he requires of us is this: to do what is just, to show constant love, and to live in humble fellowship with our God. – Micah 6:8 (Good News Translation)