Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

Oh, the Places You’ll Go! is a book written and illustrated by my all-time favorite author Dr. Seuss. This 1990 book, was the last one published during Theodor Geisel’s lifetime. The plot addresses the journey of life and its variety of challenges.

We are now on the “other side” of our Easter celebrations. The disciples were holed up in the upper room awaiting the promised Holy Spirit. Surely, they were wondering. What was next? Perhaps you are too. Whether you are a new Christian or a long-time believer, you may have the same question. I am a believer. What do I do now?

In Acts 1, Jesus tells His followers that after they receive the Holy Spirit, “…you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere – in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). And, oh, the places they will go.

So, what do we do now? We are supposed to tell people about Jesus. What else? Well, at the Last Supper, Jesus said, “…I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” (John 13:34-35). So, we are supposed to tell people about Jesus and love one another, including our neighbors as ourselves. How do we do that? Jesus said in Matthew 25, that we are to feed the hungry, offer refreshment to the thirsty, welcome strangers, give clothing to the naked, care for the sick, and visit those in prison. Jesus’ brother James put it this way, “What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, ‘Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well’ – but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless’” (James 2:14-17). So, we are supposed to tell people about Jesus, love each another, and care for the overlooked. 

Imagine going to school for medicine, studying for a dozen years, passing your medical board exams, and becoming a licensed physician. After that, you retreat to a cabin in the Maine woods and never help a single other soul. Does that make any sense? Jesus “passed our exams” for us when He went to the cross. We are all now “fully-licensed” Christians. We cannot retreat to the comfort of our own homes and do nothing. We cannot, because our hearts have changed. We have changed. Everything is different now, and, oh the places God will send you. He will put you in circumstances and situations, sometimes not of your choosing, but you will have the opportunity to tell someone about Jesus. Show them unconditional love. Help them during a season of difficulty. Will you? Yes. I believe you will, because you are now a “fully-licensed” Christian, and you will not let all of that training, all of that good news, love, and service go to waste.

What are we to do now? We tell people about Jesus, love each another, and care for the overlooked. That’s it. Do not make it complicated. It’s simple. Be Jesus to those who have not yet met Him, and before you know it, they will know Him too.        

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