Thursday, July 7, 2016

9-1-1 and the Gospel

Earlier this week, a Florida man was arrested for calling 9-1-1. To be clear, the man wasn’t arrested for simply using the emergency phone service. He was arrested for overusing and misusing the service.

The man called 9-1-1 six times in a single day. He called to talk about lots of things: Hitler, the persecution of the jews and other World War II era history. After repeated requests, asking the man to stop, the emergency service sent police officers to the man’s house. The officers asked why he was calling. He said, “(I was) talking to your dispatcher because I’m board.” The man occupied an emergency service for those in need because he didn’t have anything better to do.

Hearing that story, I am reminded how important purpose is. We humans long to have something meaningful to do with our time and energy. When we have no purpose, we do goofy stuff. Some end up using important emergency services like 9-1-1 for entertainment.

The good news about Christianity is that Jesus gives us that much needed purpose. At the end of the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus tells His disciples, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” In doing so, Jesus gave His people purpose. No reason to be bored. No need to tie up much needed emergency resources for our own entertainment. God has given us a job known as “The Great Commission.”

As you go through the coming week, remember your God given purpose. Jesus has called us all to reach the nations with the gospel, making disciples, teaching people everything that Jesus commanded. That calling gives meaning to our work-life, home-life, our relationships with neighbors and more. That is important to remember the next time you are tempted to call 9-1-1 in order to chat about World War II history.   

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