I received a most excellent gift at Easter time, though I do not believe it was an Easter gift, per say. It is a “ShamWow®.” If you’ve never stayed up late watching television and have not seen “Vince” and his infamous infomercial about the “ShamWow®” then you should search it out on YouTube and take a look. Just one view, and I’m certain that you’ll be wanting a “ShamWow®” of your very own.
What is it? You may ask, prior to viewing the infomercial for yourself. In essence, it is a chamois cloth: A special towel for drying off things. But wait! It’s so much more! It can pick up “twenty times” its weight in liquid. It is made in Germany, (“and we know the Germans always make good stuff.”) It works wet or dry. It acts like a vacuum. “You’ll be saying ‘WOW!” every time you use it.” But wait… I’m beginning to sound like an infomercial myself.
The reason I bring this up at all is not to sell you a “ShamWow®” I get no commission on their sales, (and mine was free, after all!) I bring this up because of an short story on the atonement that I recently read by Chris Friesen called, “Atonement in the Coffee Shop.” In his article, Chris writes about two people chatting about life and faith in a coffee shop. One of them spills his coffee while in the process of interviewing a pastoral candidate for his church. The candidate grabs some nearby napkins and uses them to illustrate one aspect of Jesus’ work of atonement through the cross and resurrection.
She held up the napkin. “Earlier I said that this is Jesus. Jesus, then, is God the Father entering the mess” – she moved the napkin as if it were a human figure – “embracing the enmity and suffering and guilt and death of the world and absorbing it into himself. It’s the same kind of absorption as turning the other cheek, but now on a cosmic scale.”
That particular illustration has stuck with me all through this past Easter season and my recent “ShamWow®” acquisition. Jesus, at the cross, took all of this world’s “junk” – that is, all of what’s wrong with this world – and took it to Himself that we may be free from it, once and for all. Or in the words of 2 Corinthians 5: 21 (ESV) – “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
What a wonderful thought! There’s just one problem with my illustration. In my case, I have yet to unpack and use my “ShamWow®” Yes. It’s still sitting there, in a pile in the hallway. Fresh, pristine yet unused. For all my desire to possess that cool gadget, the “ShamWow®”, I have yet to put it to use.
Some people, I’m afraid, have done the same with the gift of salvation that Jesus offers. Sure, they have heard about it. They may even desire to, someday, experience salvation, but not just yet. For now, they lay aside God’s gift for them. They might get to it. They hope to, someday. Maybe someday.
Could it be that you know someone like that? Someone who has heard the news of God’s forgiveness through Jesus but keeps putting off God’s free gift of salvation? If you do know someone like that, now is the time to keep them continually before God in prayer. Don’t let go of the altar of prayer for that person. Keep pleading for them before God, and God willing, their hearts will melt before Him in repentance. Don’t give up. Keep praying.
Praying with you for those who need to know,
PS: Happy Mother’s Day to moms, and Congratulations to the graduates. On the subject of prayer, we are starting a new time for corporate prayer at Cable Church: Thursday evenings from 7:00 – 8:00. Beginning on The National Day of Prayer, Thursday, May 7, 2009 and continuing for as long as God continues the burden to pray. Won’t you join us in prayer? Just come one time. There’s no need to commit to every week. Here’s a thought…. pray about it!