Dear Suntree Family,
Ok, before you get started with this, take a moment and think about this question: “What is the most courageous thing you’ve ever done?”
And remember, I’m asking about courage, not craziness! A lot of us could answer the craziness question pretty easily! I have a best friend (all the way from high school) who, at the age of 17, was working at a large hotel in Orlando. The hotel was 10 stories high. One day, he took the elevator up to the 10th floor and opened a window and threw his shoes up on the roof! Why did he do that? Because he reasoned that with his shoes on the roof, he’d have to climb up there, somehow, and retrieve them. So he did that. He climbed out of the 10th story window, put his hands on the ledge of the top of the building, and pulled himself up. That’s not courageous, that’s crazy!
A few moments ago, I asked a wonderful young lady in our youth ministry (a 6th grader) to read Scripture this week via video for our Sunday service. I could tell she was nervous about it. I invited her to be courageous and kick fear in the face. And she did that! I was so happy!
I have tried to be courageous in life without being too crazy. As a kid, I was happy to jump off the bridge into the lake, but not until I checked to make sure the lake was deep enough! But I was never going to step out of a 10th story window onto the roof. That’s just crazy!
This Sunday, we’re going to be talking about courage. You’ll hear and see more about this Sunday, of course, but part of the lesson has Peter saying this: “We must obey God rather than any human authority.” (Don’t read too much into that sentence — we still have to obey laws, respect authority, etc.) The narrative is a story about courage. And not just any ole courage! It’s Christian courage — the courage to stand up for what you believe as a Christ-follower. Sounds cool, eh?! And it is. But it is one of those “easier said than done” things.
So how about you? When you think about your life as a Christian, is it (at least in part) a story of courage? Are you courageous enough to stand up (maybe even on social media!!) and courageously go against the grain? Are you courageous enough to do the right thing, even when it means being laughed at or ridiculed? Are you courageous enough to dig deep into God’s Word and perhaps, dare I say, miss out on the latest gossip, social media ramblings, and/or enticing yet hurtful rumors?! Think of this: The Bible is full of courageous heroes who are cheering us on to courageousness (Hebrews 12)!
So are you courageous? You probably are. I know that there have been times in my life when I’ve been courageous for Jesus … But I’ve also been a big chicken. It’s a journey that we’re all on and it is well worth the effort! So, I invite you to tune in this week to our online service to be encouraged and cheered on to live the courageous Christian life! It’s a glorious life, full of joy and challenge! And, it’s not too crazy!
Rev. Dr. Joel Lusz