GN: CALLED TO BE A WATCHMAN EARLY IN THE NEW YEAR
Even Piers Morgan, the successor of Larry King Live, has taken an interest in the Chris Gayle saga – the Internationally celebrated West Indian Cricket star, who famously invited a female reporter, whilst being interviewed on live television, for ‘ a drink’.
This, after complimenting her on her eyes and expressing his delight to be in her company.
A faux pas, at least in my opinion, which has landed him in trouble in Australia, where he is currently playing ‘ big bash’ cricket, for which he is earning mega bucks.
So what does all of this furore, all of this, ‘ making a mountain over a mole hill’, as one sports journalist, echoing the sentiments of many, male and female Jamaicans, have to do with Christ and Him Crucified and the Christian journey ?
A lot! For if our life is not ‘ beyond reproach’, how are we ever going to, with any moral authority, challenge the Chris Gayle’s and Maria Sharapova’s ( read Pier Morgan’s blog) of this world?
And God knows that Chris Gayle plain ‘ out of order’ behaviour, represents only the ‘ tip of the iceberg’, in respect of how we human beings have learned to treat, or mistreat, each other. The ultimate example of which, is not just disrespect for the opposite sex, but a wanton disregard for the sacredness of human life! About which we, very sadly, know a lot in my country.
So this morning, I was led to read and reflect on God’s call for The Church to be a Watchman. To be the moral compass for a society and a nation! And the consequences of disobedience for those to whom the Church is sent with a call for Righteousness. Also, equally the consequences of our failure to warn the disobedient.
As we read this powerful Word from the Prophet Ezekiel, it may do us well to consider, how effectively can we challenge others to do better, in this age, if those to whom we are sent, or go on our own, do not have any respect for our lifestyle. Regardless of our claims to be ‘ in Christ’!
And in the language of some of those who support Chris Gayle’s madness, ‘you see me’. In other words, ‘ do you understand what I am saying!
THE WORD OF GOD
http://bible.com/111/ezk.3.16-21.niv At the end of seven days the word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn from their wickedness or from their evil ways, they will die for their sin; but you will have saved yourself. “Again, when a righteous person turns from their righteousness and does evil, and I put a stumbling block before them, they will die. Since you did not warn them, they will die for their sin. The righteous things that person did will not be remembered, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. But if you do warn the righteous person not to sin and they do not sin, they will surely live because they took warning, and you will have saved yourself.”
I close with a continuation of the last message. And an inspired word which provides a bookend for this one.
For as the great Russian writer, Leo Tolstoy, to whose meditation I was led to read and to reflect on deeply for some time now, when God calls, there must be a vast difference in the life we once lived.
A new kind of living which Chris Gayle et al would find challenging, even if they cannot identify with it. A ‘ new man in Christ’, who can be a ‘ Watchman’ for his or her family; for his or her community; and for his or her nation. Otherwise what’s the point.
( A thought which ‘ flesh and blood’ did not place in my mind) Otherwise who will the Lord send!
As such an understanding of life only comes when we, like, the former slave ship owner, John Newton, have had an Encounter with The Risen and Ascended Christ. And have our entire lived changed. Forever! ( Stopped my wild career)
GOOD AND EVIL CHANGED PLACES
Verse: Luke 23:43
Five years ago I came to believe in Christ’s teaching, and my life suddenly changed; I ceased to desire what I had formerly desired, and began to desire what I formerly did not want.
What had previously seemed good to me seemed evil, and what had seemed evil seemed good.
It happened to me as it happens to a man who goes out on some business and on the way suddenly decided that the business is unnecessary and returns home.
All that was on his right is now on his left, and all that was his left I’d now on his right; his former wish to get as far as possible from home had changed to a wish to be as near as possible to it. The direction of my life and my desires changed, and good and evil changed places.
Final comment: Unless you were born a Saint, this story, hopefully, will touch your heart. As it did mine. Otherwise people like Chris Gayle will go unchallenged. As unless good and evil have changed places in my life and yours, who belong to Christ, or who have that aspiration, then who can really be a ‘ Watchman’ for our troubled nation. The Judiciary System! The Police! The Government! Civil Society! The Media!
Thank God for Jesus, in Whom we have all our Righteousness. And in whose Name we, the Body of Christ, can call people to a better and unending Life.