In the world but not of it

June 23, 2010

Getting involved…

Filed under: Uncategorized — In the world but not of it @ 5:00 am

A passerby named Simon, who was from Cyrene, was coming in from the countryside just then, and the soldiers forced him to carry Jesus’ cross. (Simon was the father of Alexander and Rufus.) Mark 15:21

Recently I was having a meal at an airport restaurant just before boarding my flight. My carry-on bag was upright near the table. One of the waitresses walked by and brushed it, causing it to fall quite hard to the ground. It made a loud crash and everyone, except the waitress, jumped since it was quite sudden.

The waitress went about her business, never looked back nor made an effort to pick up the bag. That’s ok – what struck me more was the reminder of how many people just don’t want to get involved, don’t want to help or go out of their way. I see this a lot and you probably do as well.

Perhaps we are guilty of the same thing. How often do we stop to help someone with a flat tire on the side of the road, or how often do we call that person we know needs encouragement when we are rushing about our own business. I wasn’t upset with the waitress but I was saddened that this is the state of our world.

Not much has changed…here in Mark the term “passerby” is used to describe Simon. This term speaks of someone who does not want to get involved, someone who chooses not to look. That was Simon’s objective that day. He was there to celebrate not get dragged into some personal vendetta caused by the Jews and supported by the Romans.

Simon wasn’t interested in Jesus and in getting involved in any way. But God had other plans…He singularly called Simon right out of the crowd and placed the weight of that cross on his shoulder, the cross that was now moistened with the blood of Jesus. In that moment Simon’s entire life changed.

As the thought of not getting involved came to the forefront of his mind, the burden on his heart quickly must have overshadowed it. His mind was completely pushed aside by what had begun to transpire in his heart.

Isn’t that the distance between heaven and hell…just 18 inches, the distance between your head and your heart?

But the story gets even better for years later as Paul penned Romans he concludes his epistle by sending greetings to so many in the faith and notably to a man named Rufus, the son of Simon.

Many believe this man was the son of Simon, the man who didn’t want to get involved, who became a follower of Christ. He learned the true meaning of Passover that day and never forgot it and his children also never forgot as they grew up knowing the Lamb of God.

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