Kingdom Group Text
A few days ago Mark and Lindsey Lashley welcomed their new baby boy into the world at a hospital in Bainbridge, Georgia. Before the birth, the baby’s grandmother decided to update family and friends through a group text. The first text read, “We are at the hospital. Having a baby today!”
In Tallahassee, Florida, Dennis Williams received the first text. However, he didn’t know the Lashley’s. The grandmother had entered an errant telephone number in her text group and accidentally sent it to Mr. Williams. He responded with the message, “Congrats! LOL, but I think someone got the wrong number.”
Soon, a photo of the new baby was sent to the group and Dennis Williams texted, “Well, I don’t know Yall but me and the boys will be thru to take picture with the baby.” At this point, the grandmother realized her mistake and apologized, but Mr. Williams and his brother still drove an hour to the hospital with diapers, pacifiers and baby bottles. A friendship was formed because of a mistaken number and a very zealous grandmother.
Some messages are intended for close friends and relatives and others are for strangers too. The good news of Jesus’ resurrection belongs to the second category.
I am going to be really honest. Sometimes I don’t trust enough in the power of the message of the resurrection to change lives. I am prone to “size-up” whether others will be open to the gospel or not. My judgments have little rhyme or reason to them, but they are a combination of a lifetime of evaluating other people’s circumstances and predicting how they might respond to Jesus.
Please tell me I’m not the only one.
But just about the time I think I have people figured out, God surprises me by touching the heart of someone I had no idea was open to His grace. When this happens I am always deeply humbled, and ashamed.
That’s right: ashamed.
Who am I to say anyone doesn’t want to hear about Jesus? And what do I know that makes me an expert on how they might respond? If two brothers will drive an hour to visit a baby born to a family they don’t know, then maybe the good news of Jesus will impact a total stranger at a time when he is ready to receive it.
Easter is a time when a lot of people are asking questions about Jesus. My perception is that it has become the time when people consider the “intellectual” facts surrounding the person, death and resurrection of our Lord. If you don’t believe me, check out some of the articles in major magazines and news outlets that appear this time of year.
People want to know if we really believe in the risen Lord, and how serving a living Savior changes our lives. At Christmastime, our compassion makes a connection with the world as we give to others, but Easter is about the facts, and how those facts continue to transform us.
As you prepare to celebrate Easter with your church family, don’t let it be just about family. Include strangers in your message. And try not to make up people’s minds for them. None of us knows who will be moved by the cross and the empty tomb. But we do know when someone responds, the angels rejoice in heaven.
When we share the message of Jesus, no address is in error. Just keep pushing “send.” Let God worry about how things are received.