I love April 1st. It usually means that spring weather is finally here in the Chicago suburbs. It means that the Chicago Cubs are about to start a new season (this really is the year!). Often it’s close to when Spring Break falls in the calendar. And…you get to play some practical jokes on people. I’m not a huge jokester, but I love a good laugh and occasional prank. I won’t get into the details of some of the Judson pranks back in my day, but, let’s just say, I still can’t believe maintenance got all of those chapel pews turned around by Senior Chapel!
One of the areas of my life that I am learning to not mess around with is my relationship with God. I have to admit that there were some times during my Judson tenure when I was a pretty bold face hypocrite. I was one person in Bible class, in chapel and, at times, another person in other segments of my life. I’d like to think that as a dad, husband and pastor those times are all behind me, but I can’t. Why? Because I am sinful just like you. However, I can say that by God’s grace those times of hypocrisy in my life are minimal compared to my past.
What about you? Who do you claim to be? If there was a jury of your people network, who would you get convicted of being? Being in the church world for almost 30 years now, I still am amazed (in a frustrating sense) of how way too many Christ-followers live. They come to church, maybe even read their Bibles a little, maybe serve a little and then live the majority of their lives no differently than their unbelieving friends. Gossip? No problem. Excessive drinking? No problem. Having the mouth of a sailor? No problem. Sleeping with a boyfriend, girlfriend or having an affair? No problem. Looking at porn? No problem. Getting completely caught up in materialism? No problem. While the sins themselves are a problem, the bigger problem is that people don’t see those actions as sins or as a problem in and of themselves.
Here’s what Jesus said about foolin’ around with Him and your faith in Revelation 3, “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other!” Friends, that’s my prayer for you as well. If you’re hot for Christ – keep going – way to go! Keep working out your faith with fear and trembling and minimizing the foolishness day by day. If you’re cold, realize that the next part of Revelation 3 is when Jesus says He’s going to spit you out of His mouth. We don’t need to get into the theology of what that means right now. Just know that it’s not good. He wants all of us – every part – all of the time!
Use this season of April foolishness to drive us to the season of spring – new life and new beginnings!
-Eric Rojas, Class of 1990, Executive Pastor at Christ Community Church in St. Charles, IL