Who Are You Turning Your Back On?
The twentieth century seems afflicted by a gigantic… power failure.
Powerlessness and the sense of powerlessness may be the environmental disease of the age.
New York Times, 1 May 1969
I was sent an email recently and it was one I knew needed to be shared. I read it over…..once, twice, three times. And as I let the words wash over me I realized that they were ones I had read before. So I decided to enter a few of them into my WordPress search engine, and I discovered that I did know them quite well. In fact, they were part of a post I wrote in 2012. And it was then that I knew that I needed to share them with you all once again. So here is an encore posting of “Who Are You Turning Your Back On?”
Once upon a time there was a church in a middle class community. It was small but beautiful with the most beautiful stained glass windows imaginable and a marble baptismal font lined with a silver bowel. The adult choir wore crimson robes made of satin and embroidered with golden threads. A golden cross adorned the altar and engraved on its face were the initials I.N.R.I. which means “Iesvs Nazarenvs Rex Ivdaeorvm” in Latin and translated into English means JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS. No expense had been spared.
It was a Sunday in early fall and worshippers were entering the sanctuary, dressed in their warmest Sunday best, well protected against the cooler temperatures. They were all greeted at the door by one of the church elders serving as an usher this day. Services were due to begin when an older man wearing a threadbare jacket and scuffed shoes with no socks opened the door. You see, he had seen the sign in front of the building announcing a special musical presentation featuring both the adult and children’s choirs. He dearly loved hearing the melodic voices of youngsters singing their praises and he decided to enter and worship with the rest. Finding his way barred by the elder, he was told that this was a special occasion and that his presence might just be a distraction to the children and that he would therefore need to leave the building.
Face crestfallen and shoulders hunched, he turned around and left the sanctuary without a word. However he decided to sit on the steps in front. Perhaps he would be able to hear just a bit of the service! Shivering against the cold, and hearing very little of the service, he had finally decided to leave and find some place warm when a young man suddenly appeared and sat down on the steps next to him. Glancing over, he noted that the young man had longish hair and his toes peeked from beneath his long outer garment which was tied by a cord around his waist. His sandals were worn and his feet were dusty as well!
The young man greeted his companion on the stoop and asked the older man what he was doing there. The man replied that he had so wanted to hear the church service and listen to the beautiful music but that he had been prevented from entering the church. The young man looked deeply into the beaten face of his companion, he sighed deeply and turning to the older man, replied, “I know exactly how you feel, my friend. My name is Jesus and I’ve been trying to get inside this church for years!”
So consider the next time you make a conscious decision to turn your back on your fellow man for any reason at all. Make sure you take a second to ponder just who it might be you are choosing to ignore. You may well not recognize the face of an angel or of Christ himself, should He decide to confront you. In fact, we know that the face of God is hidden from all except His Son. In John 6:46 CEB, we are told, “Not that anyone has seen the Father, except the One who is from God; He has seen the Father.” However, make no mistake whatsoever. The face of the Almighty and His Son, Jesus Christ, will become crystal clear to us all come Judgement Day!
“God also said to Moses, “I am the LORD. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as God Almighty, but by my name the LORD I did not make myself known to them.“
Exodus 6:2-3 NIV
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